Supplementary materials to Beneficial Microbes: Effects of fermented soymilk with Lacticaseibacillus paracasei YIT 9029 on gut microbiota and defecation habits: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
Previous studies have demonstrated that soymilk and Lacticaseibacillus paracasei YIT 9029 (strain Shirota: LcS) each beneficially affect the gut microbiota and defecation habits. To investigate the effects of daily consumption of fermented soymilk containing LcS (FSM), we conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 112 healthy Japanese adults with a low faecal Bifidobacterium count. They consumed 100 ml FSM or placebo (unfermented soymilk base) once daily for 4 weeks. Their gut microbiota was analysed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and faecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and urinary putrefactive products were assessed during the pre- and post-consumption periods. Defecation habits were examined weekly using a subjective questionnaire. In the post-consumption period, living LcS were not detected in two subjects in the FSM group (n = 57) but were detected in one subject in the SM group (n = 55). The FSM group had a significantly higher number and relative abundance of faecal lactobacilli compared with the placebo group. The relative abundance of Bifidobacterium, alpha-diversity of microbiota, and concentrations of acetate and total SCFAs in faeces were significantly increased in the FSM group, although no significant differences were detected between the groups. The number of defecations and defecation days per week significantly increased in both groups. Subgroup analysis of 109 subjects, excluding 3 with inconsistent LcS detection (2 and 1 subjects in the FSM and SM groups, respectively), revealed that the FSM group (n = 55) had significantly greater increases in faecal acetate concentration compared with the SM group (n = 54) and significant upregulation of pathways related to energy production or glucose metabolism in the gut microbiota. These findings suggest that daily FSM consumption improves the gut microbiota and intestinal environment in healthy adults and may help to maintain health and prevent diseases.