Effect of viable starter culture bacteria in yogurt on lactose utilization in humans.J Dairy Sci 1984; 67(1):1-6JD
Breath hydrogen production was used as a measure of lactose malabsorption in human test subjects following the consumption of both heated and unheated cultured yogurt. Less hydrogen was produced when the subjects consumed the unheated cultured yogurt than when they consumed the heated product, indicating that lactose hydrolysis was improved in the small intestine of the individuals consuming the unheated cultured yogurt. Lactase activity in yogurt samples was increased in the presence of bile. Yogurt starter bacteria growing in milk normally do not hydrolyze more lactose than needed for their growth. However, the increased lactase activity in the presence of bile indicates that these bacteria could function as a source of lactase to hydrolyze lactose in the small intestine even though the organisms themselves are not expected to grow in that environment.