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Keep your yogurt cold.

Three commonly available yogurt products that contain viable probiotic strains (Lactobacillus johnsonii, L GG, or L acidophilus) were kept at 4 [degrees]C or placed at room temperature for 6 hours or 24 hours. Each yogurt was then incubated on Man-Rogosa-Sharpe agar at 37 [degrees]C for 48 hours, and the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) was counted by microscopy. The number of CFUs decreased in each product after 6 hours at room temperature, and the decrease was even more pronounced after 24 hours at room temperature. The decreases ranged from 5% to 46% after 6 hours and from 55% 75% after 24 hours at room temperature. The greatest decreases were in the yogurt that contained L acidophilus.

Comment: These findings indicate that the number of living probiotic bacteria in yogurt products decreases progressively when the yogurt is kept at room temperature. Considering that probiotics have value for preventing and treating a wide range of health conditions, it would be prudent to keep yogurt products refrigerated as much as possible.

Scharl M et al. Dying in yoghurt: the number of living bacteria in probiotic yoghurt decreases under exposure to room temperature. Digestion. 2011;83:13-17.

by Alan R. Gaby, MD

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Title Annotation:Literature Review & Commentary
Author:Gaby, Alan R.
Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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