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Lactobacillus helveticus is a lactic-acid producing, rod-shaped bacterium is most commonly used in the production of American Swiss cheese and Emmental cheese, but is also sometimes used in making other styles of cheese. It is used to prevent bitterness and produce nutty flavors in the final cheese. It is part of the phylum of Firmicutes and its name is derived from “Helvetia”, the Latin name for the region occupied by the ancient Helvetii (and for modern Switzerland).

It has been used as a probiotic and an initial studies of powdered milk fermented with L. helveticus was shown to decrease blood pressure due to the presence of manufactured tripeptides that have ACE inhibitor activity (1). These initial results have not been found in later studies (2-4).

 

 

Research

 

  1. Aihara K, Kajimoto O, Hirata H, Takahashi R, Nakamura Y (Aug 2005). “Effect of powdered fermented milk with Lactobacillus helveticus on subjects with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension”. J Am Coll Nutr. 24 (4): 257–65. doi:10.1080/07315724.2005.10719473. PMID 16093403.
  2. Van, K; der Zander, K; Bots, M; Bak, A; Koning, M; de Leeuw, P (2008). “Enzymatically hydrolyzed lactotripeptides do not lower blood pressure in mildly hypertensive subjects”. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 88 (6): 1697–1702. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26003. PMID 19064533.
  3. Engberink, M; Schouten, E; Kok, F; van Mierlo, L; Brouwer, I; Geleijnse, J (2008). “Lactotripeptides Show No Effect on Human Blood Pressure”. Hypertension. 51 (2): 399–405. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.098988. PMID 18086944.
  4. Boelsma E, Kloek J (2009). “Lactotripeptides and antihypertensive effects: a critical review”. The British journal of nutrition. 101 (6): 776–86. doi:10.1017/S0007114508137722. PMID 19061526.