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Food Formulators Need To Be Careful When Mixing Vitamins With Probiotics

August 15, 2011: 06:09 AM EST
Researchers in Australia and Switzerland report that vitamins added to probiotic formulations can either enhance or harm the bacteria, depending on the vitamin used. Blending vitamin E, or tocopherol, in probiotic formulas enhances the viability of bacteria, while vitamin C has a harmful effect. Researchers tested micro-encapsulated probiotic formulations that used Lactobacillus rhamnosus. They mixed in tocopherol, sodium ascorbate (vitamin C), or both, finding that the  antioxidant activity of the tocopherol enhanced the probiotics during storage. But the vitamin C salt, even with tocopheral added, “had detrimental effects on probiotic survival.” They concluded that “the chemical effects of additives and their metabolic fate in the presence of probiotic bacteria” need to be monitored when preparing probiotic products.
DanYang Ying, et al. , "Tocopherol and Ascorbate Have Contrasting Effects on the Viability of Microencapsulated Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 15, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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