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Streptococcus thermophilus is a gram positive facultative bacterium belonging to the phylum Firmicutes. Streptococcus thermophilus is largely used for the cultures prepared for the manufacture of dairy products, particularly yogurt and mozzarella cheese.

Health Benefits :

Streptococcus thermophilus is best known for it's gastrointestinal health benefits owing to the presence of its strain in the human intestines. It is found to occur in yogurt and other dairy products which when consumed, aid in maintaining micro-ecology of the digestive system. Products containing S. thermophilus strains are largely given to people suffering from organ failure, particularly those suffering from acute pancreatitis. Another anomaly that this Streptococcus strain helps address is acute diarrhea in infants.

Probiotic supplement containing thermophilus strain forms one of the most effective ways of preventing rotavirus diarrhea in children. Besides, it is also beneficial for rendering and monitoring stable growth in children. A study on the Z-score average weight of children after 6 months showed that the children in the Bbl2+ST group had the maximum increase in weight from -1.4 +/- 0.11 to -0.9 +/- 0.12 as compared to the Z-score of the Bb12 group which had increased from -1.8 +/- 0.12 to -1.2 +/- 0.13.

Another benefit that this lactic acid bacteria has been observed to have, is its antioxidative ability. S. thermophilus is a strain that particularly reveals mechanisms like scavenging of reactive oxygen species, metal ion chelating ability, reduction of the intracellular activity of cell-free extract and enzyme inhibition.

Preparation :

S. thermophilus can either be taken in the form of yogurt or other dairy products or as a probiotic supplement.

Side Effects :

No negative side effects of S. thermophilus consumption.

References :

Blum S, Reniero R, Schiffrin EJ, et al. Adhesion studies for probiotics: need for validation and refinement. Trends Food Sci Technol . 1999; 10:405-410.

Kimoto H, Kurisaki MN, Tsuji, et al. Lactococci as probiotic strains: adhesion to human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells and tolerance to low pH and bile . Lett Applied Microbiol . 1999; 29:313-316.

Nopchinda S, Varavithya W, Phuapradit P, Sangchai R, Suthutvoravut U, Chantraruksa V, Haschke F. Effect of bifidobacterium Bb12 with or without Streptococcus thermophilus supplemented formula on nutritional status. J-Med-Assoc-Thai. 2002 Nov; 85 Suppl 4: S1225-31.

Lin M-Y, Yen C-L. Antioxidative ability of lactic acid bacteria. J Agric Food Chem . 1999; 47:1460-1466.