Probiotics and health benefits with reference to synthesis of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by selected probiotic bacteria

Wednesday, July 23, 2014: 2:00 PM
3501C (Kansas City Convention Center)
Nagendra Shah , The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Qinglong Wu , The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Abstract Text:

Traditionally, probiotics have been added to yoghurt and other fermented foods for health benefits. Currently 56 species of Lactobacillus including L. acidophilus and L. casei and 32 species of Bifidobacterium exist. These probiotic cultures are able to restore the normal balance of microbial populations in the intestine and offer several therapeutic benefits. There has been an increasing demand for health-promoting food ingredients. Different milks fermented with bacteria, yeasts, moulds or enzymes offer a broad range of possibilities to cover different health aspects with new bioactive components such as lactoferrin, micro-nutrients, CLA, sphingolipids and bioactive peptides or synthesize exo-polysaccharides. In particular, milk-proteins and associated bioactive peptides released during microbial or enzymatic fermentation of milk offer a broad spectrum of new functional properties including anti-hypertensive, anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, and immuno-modulatory properties.     

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a non-protein amino acid, is mainly found in the brain and regulates vertebrate physiological and psychological behaviors such as anxiety and depression blood pressure and hormone secretion. The synthesis of GABA in the brain decreases with age, especially in elders. Hence, there has been increasing interest in use of probiotics for GABA production.

In this study, several GABA-producing LAB isolates have been isolated from naturally fermented foods such as Korean kimchi. Previous screening methods are time-consuming and inefficient. In the present study, we have developed a novel screening and identification method for GABA-producing LAB from Korean kimchi. Acid treatment was applied to screening procedure to obtain acid-tolerant LAB isolates, and then a simple identification of GABA-producing LAB based on release of gas by these bacteria has been developed. The amount of GABA produced by LAB isolates at various monosodium glutamate (MSG) concentrations and incubation time in MRS medium was quantified by HPLC. Genetic identification of high GABA-producing LAB was carried out by both 16S rRNA gene and glutamate decarboxylase gene. Nine potential GABA-producing LAB isolates were selected by observing gas release during fermentation. The conversion ability of MSG into GABA for all nine LAB isolates was 100% (supplementation level 10 g/L MSG, incubation time 24 h), over 80% (supplementation level 30 g/L MSG, incubation 48 h), over 60% (supplementation level 50 g/L MSG, incubation time 72 h) and over 50% (supplementation level 70 g/L MSG, incubation time 72 h). These nine LAB isolates were genetically identified as Lactobacillus brevis by 16S rRNA gene and confirmed by glutamate decarboxylase gene.

Keywords: Probiotics, gamma-aminobutyric acid, health benefits