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Effect of yoghurt containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12® on faecal excretion of secretory immunoglobulin A and human beta-defensin 2 in healthy adult volunteers

Jayakanthan Kabeerdoss, R Shobana Devi, R Regina Mary, D Prabhavathi, R Vidya, John Mechenro, NV Mahendri, Srinivasan Pugazhendhi and Balakrishnan S Ramakrishna*

Author affiliations

Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences & Dietary Services, Christian Medical College, Vellore & Department of Zoology, Auxilium College, Vellore, India

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:138  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-138

Published: 23 December 2011



Probiotics are used to provide health benefits. The present study tested the effect of a probiotic yoghurt on faecal output of beta-defensin and immunoglobulin A in a group of young healthy women eating a defined diet.


26 women aged 18-21 (median 19) years residing in a hostel were given 200 ml normal yoghurt every day for a week, followed by probiotic yoghurt containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12® (109 in 200 ml) for three weeks, followed again by normal yoghurt for four weeks. Stool samples were collected at 0, 4 and 8 weeks and assayed for immunoglobulin A and human beta-defensin-2 by ELISA. All participants tolerated both normal and probiotic yoghurt well. Human beta-defensin-2 levels in faeces were not altered during the course of the study. On the other hand, compared to the basal sample, faecal IgA increased during probiotic feeding (P = 0.0184) and returned to normal after cessation of probiotic yoghurt intake.


Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12® increased secretory IgA output in faeces. This property may explain the ability of probiotics to prevent gastrointestinal and lower respiratory tract infections.

Probiotics; innate immunity; health promotion; mucosal defences