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Arthritis, Rheumatoid: Lactobacillus Rham GG Might Help: In a DB PC 12-month study of just 21 patients, those taking lactobacilli in capsules twice a day had a 71% decrease in tender and swollen joints (8.3 to 4.6) vs. 30% (5.5 to 4.8), however, there was no change in rheumatoid markers. Effects of probiotic therapy on the activity and activation of mild rheumatoid arthritis--a pilot study. Hatakka K, Martio J, Korpela M, Herranen M, Poussa T, Laasanen T, Saxelin M, Vapaatalo H, Moilanen E, Korpela R. Scand J Rheumatol. 2003;32(4):211-5

Calcium: Yogurt Improved Calcium Availability vs. Regular Milk: Milk fermented with Lactobacillus helveticus ( L. helveticus) has been shown to lower blood pressure and to increase bone mineral content in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The effect of L.helveticus may be due to better calcium availability. In a DB PC crossover study of 20 postmenopausal women L. helveticus fermented milk reduced serum parathyroid hormone (405.3 +/- 37 ng/l vs. 454.9 +/- 37, p = 0.012) and increased serum calcium (19.1 +/- 0.2 mmol/l vs. 18.8 +/- 0.2, p = 0.031) compared to the control milk. The effect of Lactobacillus helveticus fermented milk on acute changes in calcium metabolism in postmenopausal women. Narva M, Nevala R, Poussa T, Korpela R. Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland. Eur J Nutr. 2004 Apr;43(2):61-8.

Cataracts: Yogurt Safer than Milk; May be Protective: In a French study, milk ingestion was dose-related with cataract risk in lactose digesters (particularly in diabetics) but not in lactose maldigesters. Conversely, yogurt intake had a protective dose-effect on cataract formation for the whole population. Disturbed galactose metabolism in elderly and diabetic humans is associated with cataract formation. Birlouez-Aragon I, Ravelontseheno L, Villate-Cathelineau B, Cathelineau G, Abitbol G. J Nutr. 1993 Aug;123(8):1370-6

Cholesterol: LDL Decreased by Probiotic (Yogurt-Like) with Selenium: In a 56-week DB PC study of 43 elderly adults, those taking a daily capsule of probiotic strain Enterococcus faecium (EF) M-74 enriched with selenium 50 mcg had a 12% decrease in total cholesterol  from 5.94 to 5.22 mmol/l (p<0.001), mainly due to a fall in LDL cholesterol (3.85 to 3.09 mmol/l, p<0.001) with significant change in HDL and triglycerides. There were no significant changes in the placebo group. One-year application of probiotic strain Enterococcus faecium M-74 decreases serum cholesterol levels. Hlivak P, et al. Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. . Bratisl Lek Listy. 2005;106(2):67-72

Cholesterol: Good HDL Cholesterol Raised by Yogurt; Symbiotic Oligofructose No Added Benefit: A long-term 6-month study of 29 women consuming either a regular yogurt or one with 1% added oligofructose found that neither affected LDL cholesterol but that both equally raised HDL cholesterol 0.3 mmol/L (p=.002) and lowered the LDL/HDL ratio from 3.24 to 2.48 (P=0.001). Long-term consumption of fermented dairy products over 6 months increases HDL cholesterol. Kiessling G, Schneider J, Jahreis G. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Sep;56(9):843-9

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Speculation that Yogurt Might Help: CFS patients have marked alterations in microbial flora, including lowered levels of bifidobacteria and also have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Yogurt can correct these. Research also indicates that CFS patients are under increased oxidative stress, have a type 2 helper cell dominate cytokine profile, frequently report allergies, have altered essential fatty acid status and may have malabsorption of certain micronutrients. Lactic acid bacteria found in yogurt have the potential to influence the immune system in CFS patients by supporting T helper cell 1 driven cellular immunity and may decrease allergies. Chronic fatigue syndrome: lactic acid bacteria may be of therapeutic value. Logan AC, Venket Rao A, Irani D. Med Hypotheses. 2003 Jun;60(6):915-23

Immunosuppressed Fatality Case: One case is reported of an immunosuppressed Sjogrens patient with a severe case of Clostridium difficile infection being treated with vancomycin but dying from an infection of lactobacillus rhamnosus. Yoghurt biotherapy: contraindicated in immunosuppressed patients? MacGregor G, Smith AJ, Thakker B, Kinsella J. Postgrad Med J. 2002 Jun;78(920):366-7

Infant Formula: Yogurt-Like Infant Formula Better than Standard in Huge Study: In a 5-month DB PC study of 971 infants 4-6 months old, a fermented infant formula (FF) (fermentation with Bifidobacterium breve C50 and Streptococcus thermophilus 065) or a standard infant formula (SF) of the same nutritional composition, there were fewer cases of dehydration 2.5% vs. 6.1% (P = 0.01), fewer medical consultations (46% vs. 56.6%, P = 0.003), fewer ORS prescriptions 41.9% vs. 51.9% (P = 0.003) and fewer switches to other formulas (59.5% vs. 74.9%, P = 0.0001) in FF infants compared to SF. Effects of Long-term Consumption of a Fermented Infant Formula (with Bifidobacterium breve c50 and Streptococcus thermophilus 065) on Acute Diarrhea in Healthy Infants. Thibault H, Aubert-Jacquin C, Goulet O. Hopital Necker Enfants Malades, Paris. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Aug;39(2):147-152

IVF Births Increased 64% with Lactobacillus: In a study of 91 women undergoing in vitro fertilization, the conception rates in women with bacterial vaginosis, intermediate flora and normal lactobacillus flora were 30% (3/10), 39% (12/31) and 52% (26/50). Early pregnancy loss occurred in 33% (1/3), 42% (5/12) and 31% (8/26) of women. The vaginal log concentration of hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli was 7.3 in women with a live birth (n = 27) and 4.9 in those with early pregnancy loss (n = 14) (p = 0.1).  The live baby rate for women with bacterial vaginosis and intermediate flora was 22% vs. 36% for normal lactobacillus flora. Univ Washington. Relationship of vaginal bacteria and inflammation with conception and early pregnancy loss following in-vitro fertilization. Eckert LO, Moore DE, Patton DL, Agnew KJ, Eschenbach DA. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2003;11(1):11-7

IVF Births Decreased by Pathogenic Bacteria; Higher with Lactobacillus: In a Israeli study of 220 women going through embryo implantation, of the 75 (36.8%) with sterile cervical cultures or lactobacillus, 23 (30.7%) conceived. Among the 129 in whom any pathogenic micro-organism was recovered only 21 (16.3%) conceived (P = 0.002). Any Gram-negative colonization was associated with no conception. Bacterial colonization of the uterine cervix and success rate in assisted reproduction: results of a prospective survey. Salim R, Ben-Shlomo I, Colodner R, Keness Y, Shalev E. Hum Reprod. 2002 Feb;17(2):337-40

Lead Levels Lower: In a study of 60 infants and toddlers from Jersey City homes high in lead, yogurt consumption was associated with lower blood lead levels. Hygiene- and food-related behaviors associated with blood lead levels of young children from lead-contaminated homes. Freeman NC, Ettinger A, Berry M, Rhoads G. J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 1997 Jan-Mar;7(1):103-18

Liver Regeneration: In a Hungarian study of rats which had 70% of their livers removed, normal liver tissue regeneration occurred to a greater degree in rats fed fermented milk (yogurt, kefir, sour milk) than in mice fed regular milk. Effect of fermented milk diets on regeneration of the rat liver. Schmidt P, Vass A, Szakaly S. Acta Med Hung. 1984;41(2-3):163-9; The favorable protein utilization and body mass increment on fermented milk diets, which are attributed to a better digestibility of proteins in these products, might have played a role. Acta Med Hung. 1984;41(2-3):157-61

Longevity: Meat Bad; Yogurt, Milk, Citrus, Coffee Good: In a small 5-year follow-up study of just 162 Italian elderly, citrus fruit at least twice a week had an adjusted risk of dying that was half that of individuals who consumed citrus fruit less than once a week [relative risk (RR) = 0.52]. The adjusted RRs of mortality were 0.38 for consumption of milk and yogurt at least three times a week vs. less than once a week; 0.21 for moderate consumption of espresso coffee (1-2 cups weekly) vs. less than once a week; and 0.35 for > 2 cups a week of espresso coffee vs. less than once a week. High levels of intake of ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and linoleic acid were associated with 50-60% decreases in mortality risk. High consumption of meat was associated with a much higher risk of mortality (RR = 9.72). Diet and overall survival in a cohort of very elderly people. Fortes C, Forastiere F, Farchi S, Rapiti E, Pastori G, Perucci CA. Epidemiology. 2000 Jul;11(4):440-5. Ed: Data from such a small study is interesting but unreliable. However, other studies confirm most of these findings.

Longevity: Whole Grains, Yogurt, Vegetables, Fish, Fruit, Coffee Increased Male Survival: In a 25-year follow-up study of 2,820 middle-aged Dutch civil servants and their spouses of the 10 food items that constituted the diet score in men, a higher intake of brown bread, porridge and/or yogurt, vegetables, fish, and fruit was associated with a slightly better survival. There was a significant inverse relationship between coffee consumption and survival. A similar trend, which, however, was not significant, was observed for alcohol intake. In women, the results for the separate food items were inconsistent, and no effect of a prudent diet score on longevity was observed. Scoring of prudent dietary habits and its relation to 25-year survival. Nube M, Kok FJ, Vandenbroucke JP, van der Heide-Wessel C, van der Heide RM. J Am Diet Assoc. 1987 Feb;87(2):171-5

Longevity: Yogurt First Promoted in 1907: Advocating the theory that lactobacillus in yogurt were healthy and normal and their ingestion promoted longevity. Metchnikoff E. The Prolongation of Life 1907 Heinemann London, UK.

Nasal: Live Yogurt Reduced Pathogenic Nasal Bacteria: In 209 volunteers in a DB PC study, those consuming live culture yogurt had a 19% decrease in potentially pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, beta-hemolytic streptococci, and Haemophilus influenzae) after 3 weeks of consuming live yogurt vs. those consuming standard yogurt. Switzerland. Ingested probiotics reduce nasal colonization with pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and beta-hemolytic streptococci). Gluck U, Gebbers JO. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Feb;77(2):517-20

Nasal: Allergic Rhinitis Helped by Lactobacillus Yogurt: In an 80-patient DB PC trial of perennial allergic rhinitis, those receiving Lactobacillus paracasei-33 (LP-33)(a strain from the human intestine)(2 x 10(9) colony-forming units per bottle) fermented milk for 30 days had scores for the overall quality of life significantly improve in the LP-33 group in both frequency of symptoms (-16.02 vs. -7.27; p = 0.037) and level of bother (-16.35 vs. -6.20; p = 0.022). Treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis with lactic acid bacteria. Wang MF, Lin HC, Wang YY, Hsu CH. Taiwan. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2004 Apr;15(2):152-8

Naso-Pharyngeal Infection Helped: In an unpublished report, an adult patient with a mild chronic post-nasal pharyngeal infection reported a marked relief of symptoms with repeated instillation of 3 cc of a 50:50 yogurt and water mixture in each nostril one a day for several days. This treatment had to be repeated intermittently to maintain the improvement. Oral yogurt had been inadequate.  T. Radecki, 3/2004.

Obesity: Yogurt Helped Lose Weight in Small Study: In a randomized study of 34 obese adults on equal caloric weight loss diets for 12 weeks, those consuming yogurt showed much more fat loss (9.6 pounds vs 6.1 pounds; P<0.005) while lean tissue loss was reduced by 31% on the yogurt diet. Trunk fat loss was increased by 81% and waist measurements similarly decreased on the yogurt  vs. the control diet (P<0.001). Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects. Zemel MB, Richards J, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. International Journal of Obesity, 11 January 2005

Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) and Chorioamnionitis Associated with Lack of Lactobacilli: In a study of 37 women with PPROM and 25 normal deliveries, the women with PPROM had much lower levels of lactobacilli and 80% had chorioamnionitis. Cervical Lactobacillus and leukocyte infiltration in preterm premature rupture of membranes. Silva MG, Peracoli JC, Sadatsune T, Abreu ES, Peracoli MT. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2003 May;81(2):175-82. Ed: This study suggests that yogurt might help maintain a more healthy cervical flora and prevent some preterm deliveries and chorioamnionitis infections.

Surgery: Lactobacillus Helped Major Abdominal Surgery: In a small study of 30 patients given standard post-op feedings or 10% fiber plus yogurt or 10% fiber plus heat-treated yogurt, both groups with the fiber and yogurt had a lower infection rate (10%) than the control group (30%) and the live-yogurt group received fewer antibiotics. The pancreatic and gastric surgery patients seemed to especially benefit but their numbers were too small for statistical significance. Early enteral supply of fiber and Lactobacilli versus conventional nutrition: a controlled trial in patients with major abdominal surgery. Rayes N, Hansen S, Seehofer D, Muller AR, Serke S, Bengmark S, Neuhaus P. Berlin. Nutrition. 2002 Jul-Aug;18(7-8):609-15

Surgery: Elective Abdominal Surgery Patients Not Helped by Lactobacillus Fruit Drink: A total of 129 patients having elective abdominal surgery completed the study (probiotic group n=64 drank Proviva, a dairy free fruit drink with Lactobacillus plantarum 299v). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of bacterial translocation (12% v 12%; p=0.82), gastric colonization with enteric organisms (11% v 17%; p=0.42), or septic morbidity (13% v 15%; p=0.74). A prospective randomised study of the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 299V on indices of gut barrier function in elective surgical patients. McNaught CE, Woodcock NP, MacFie J, Mitchell CJ. Gut. 2002 Dec;51(6):827-31

Transplants: Yogurt Helps Prevent Graft vs. Host Disease: In a University of Regensburg study, oral administration of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG before and after transplantation results in improved survival and reduced Graft-Versus-Host-Disease (aGvHD). Furthermore, subculturing of mesenteric lymph node tissue revealed a reduced translocation of enteric bacteria. Our findings suggest, that alteration of the intestinal microflora plays an important role in the initiation of experimental aGvHD. Probiotic Effects on Experimental Graft-Versus-Host-Disease: Let Them Eat Yoghurt. Gerbitz A, Schultz M, Wilke A, Linde HJ, Schoelmerich J, Andreesen R, Holler E. Blood. 2004 Feb 12

Weight Loss: Yogurt Helped Lose Weight in Small Study: In a randomized study of 34 obese adults on equal caloric weight loss diets for 12 weeks, those consuming yogurt showed much more fat loss (9.6 pounds vs 6.1 pounds; P<0.005) while lean tissue loss was reduced by 31% on the yogurt diet. Trunk fat loss was increased by 81% and waist measurements similarly decreased on the yogurt  vs. the control diet (P<0.001).

Thomas E. Radecki, M.D., J.D.