Effect of daily consumption of probiotic yoghurt on serum levels of calcium, iron and liver enzymes in pregnant women

Zatollah Asemi, Ahmad Esmaillzadeh
International Journal of Preventive Medicine 2013, 4 (8): 949-55

BACKGROUND: To reach fetal appropriate growth during the third trimester, the requirements for dietary calcium and iron intakes during the pregnancy increases. This study was carried out to determine the effects of daily consumption of probiotic yoghurt on serum calcium and iron levels and liver enzymes among Iranian healthy pregnant women.

METHODS: In this controlled clinical trial, 70 primigravida pregnant women carrying singleton pregnancy at their third trimester were participated. Participants were randomly divided into two groups of consuming 200 g/d of conventional (n = 33) or probiotic yogurts (n = 37) for 9 weeks. The probiotic yogurt contained Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis with a total of min 1 × 10(7) CFU. To measure serum calcium, iron, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, blood samples were drawn in a fasting state at baseline and after 9 weeks intervention.

RESULTS: Consumption of probiotic yogurt resulted in maintaining serum calcium levels compared with the conventional yogurt (P = 0.01). Within-group differences in the conventional yogurt group revealed a significant reduction of serum calcium levels (-1.7 mg/dL, P < 0.0001). No significant differences were found between the two yogurts in terms of their effects on serum iron, AST and ALT levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of probiotic yogurt among pregnant women resulted in maintaining serum calcium levels compared with the conventional yogurt; however, it could not affect serum iron, ALT and AST levels.

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