Trans fatty acids promote the growth of some Lactobacillus strains

Yasushi Endo, Shusuke Kamisada, Kenshiro Fujimoto, Tadao Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Five Lactobacillus strains (2 L. gasseri, 2 L. plantarum and 1 L. reuteri) were cultured in modified MRS medium containing fatty acids (FAs) instead of Tween 80 for 24 h at 37°C, to learn the effect of saturated and unsaturated FAs on the Lactobacillus growth. Free FAs included palmitic (16:0), palmitoleic (c9-16:1), stearic (18:0), oleic (c9-18:1), elaidic (t9-18:1), cis-vaccenic (c11-18:1), vaccenic (t11-18:1), linoleic (c9, c12-18:2), conjugated linoleic (c9, t11- and t10, C12-18:2), α-linolenic (c9, c12, c15-18:3), α-eleostearic (c9, t1l, t13-18:3), eicosapentaenoic (20:5), and docosahexaenoic (22:6) acids. Among free FAs, oleic acid stimulated the growth of all Lactobacillus strains, whereas palmitoleic acid had almost no affect on the Lactobacillus growth. Saturated FAs such as stearic and palmitic acids inhibited or did not affect the Lactobacillus growth. Polyunsaturated FAs such as α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids strongly inhibited the Lactobacillus growth at 7.6 × 10-4 M. Octadecenoic acids such as oleic, elaidic, cisvaccenic and vaccenic acids remarkably promoted the growth of L. gasseri, regardless of the different double bond positions and configurations. When oleic or cis-vaccenic acid was incubated with L. gasseri, the FAs was transformed to cyclopropane, FAs (methyleneoctadecanoic acids) after incorporation into the cells. On the other hand, trans FAs such as elaidic and vaccenic acids incorporated into the cells were not converted to another FAs. Conjugated linoleic and α-eleostearic acids having a trans double bond promoted the Lactobacillus growth. The growth of L. gasseri was also stimulated by trans-rich free FAs from hydrogenated canola and fish oils. These results showed that octadecenoic acid and trans FAs had strong promotion activities for the Lactobacillus growth due to their incorporation into membrane lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General and Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Apr 6


  • Elaidic acid
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Lactobacillus
  • Octadecenoic acid
  • Trans fatty acid
  • Vaccenic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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