Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 1113-1117

First online:

Evaluation of Five Probiotic Products for Label Claims by DNA Extraction and Polymerase Chain Reaction Analysis

  • Jeanne DriskoAffiliated withUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterProgram in Integrative Medicine, University of Knasas Medical Center Email author 
  • , Bette BischoffAffiliated withUniversity of Kansas Medical Center
  • , Cheryl GilesAffiliated withUniversity of Kansas Medical Center
  • , Martin AdelsonAffiliated withMedical Diagnostic Laboratories
  • , Raja-Venkitesh S. RaoAffiliated withMedical Diagnostic Laboratories
  • , Richard MccallumAffiliated withUniversity of Kansas Medical Center

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Label claims were evaluated for five probiotic products. Specific oligonucleotide primers were designed for 11 species from the Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus genera. Polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, and amplicon excision with DNA sequencing were performed: Sequence analysis and DNA homology comparisons followed. Bifidobacterium bifidum was not detected in two of the five samples by PCR analysis. Also, Lactobacillus species were found in two of the five product samples for which the species was not listed as an ingredient. We conclude that (1) lack of B. bifidum in two probiotic products may be attributed to different preparation standards among probiotic manufacturers, and (2) identificaition of additional Lactobacillus species may represent contamination of the samples related to the fact that manufacturers utilize shared equipment to produce all probiotics and PCR is a highly sensitive technique.

Key Words

DNA PCR probiotic supplement label claims Lactobacillus Bifidobacterium species