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Volume 42, Number 6, December 2009

The effect of nonylphenol on the growth of Lactobacillus
acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum


Jackson Tzu-Hsun Lin, Eddy-Essen Chang, Chih-Hsing Hung, Ay-Lin Huang, Tzu-Ching Wu, You-Hsuan Lee, Yi-Sheng Su, Chien-Jung Huang, Wan-Ting Hsu


Received: October 5, 2007    Revised: August 31, 2008    Accepted: November 10, 2008   

 

Corresponding author:

Dr. Wan-Ting Hsu, Department of Clinical Pathology, Chung Shan Medical University Hosptial, No.110 Sec. 1 Chien-Kuo North Rd, Taichung, Taiwan. E-mail: shwantin@yahoo.com.tw



 

Background and purpose: 

Nonylphenol (NP) is a well-known environmental hormone recognized as detrimental to the reproductive systems of aquatic animals and humans. The effect of NP on probiotics in the human
gastrointestinal tract remains unclear. This study investigated the effect of NP on the growth of Lactobacillus
acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.



 

Methods:

L. acidophilus and B. bifidum were grown in anaerobic cultures. Both strains were incubated with and
without NP. The dose effects of NP on the growth of both probiotics were compared, and the effects of NP on
the growth of L. acidophilus and B. bifidum in different concentrations were evaluated.



 

Results:

NP 5 to 10 μg/mL inhibited the growth of L. acidophilus (p < 0.05), but was ineffective at 2.5 μg/mL
(p > 0.05). NP significantly inhibited the growth of B. bifidum in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05). NP
inhibited the growth of different concentrations of L. acidophilus (6.25 × 104 to 2.5 × 105 colony-forming units
[CFU]/mL) and B. bifidum (1.25 × 109 to 5.0 × 109 CFU/mL) [p < 0.05].



 

Conclusion:

Growth of L. acidophilus and B. bifidum was inhibited by NP. This finding suggests that NP may
interfere with normal gastrointestinal microbiota. This may alter immunomodulation in the intestinal mucosa and
may be correlated with an increase in the incidence of allergic diseases or other gastrointestinal disorders.



 

Key words:

Bifidobacterium; Endocrine disrupters; Hypersensitivity; Lactobacillus acidophilus; Nonylphenol