Yogurt Protects Against Dietary Toxins

In many developing nations, environmental toxin exposure can occur via dietary sources.  JR Mwanga, from the National Institute for Medical Research (Tanzania), and colleagues report that probiotic-rich yogurt may reduce the uptake of food-based heavy metals and toxins.  The researchers enrolled 60 pregnant women and 44 school-aged children, residing in a region of Tanzania known for high environmental pollution, in a study in which the participants consumed a yogurt rich in Lactobacillus rhamnosus, for 19 days.   Among the pregnant women, the probiotic-rich yogurt protected from mercury uptake by up to 26% and arsenic by up to 78%.  The children showed positive, but not statistically significant results.  The study authors urge that: “Probiotic food … represents a nutritious and affordable means for people in some developing countries to counter exposures to toxic metals.”

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