Long-term consumption of high-protein, drained yogurt (Skyr) daily associated with significantly altered fecal short chain fatty acid profiles among women with overweight or obesity, according to study findings published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

Women (N=43) aged 18 to 30 years who had a body mass index (BMI) 25 kg/m2 or higher were enrolled for the study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04419415) in Demark. Study participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups:

  1. 300 g Skyr for breakfast
  2. 300 g Skyr for breakfast with 3 weekly exercise sessions
  3. Omitting breakfast
  4. Omitting breakfast and exercising 3 times per week

At-home fecal samples were collected on days 0, 42, and 112.

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Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Skyr breakfast group (n=11) and breakfast omitting groups (n=18) were combined. A total of 29 women completed the study.

The study participants were aged between 20 and 29 years and BMI ranged between 24.2 to 44.4 kg/m2. At baseline, the Skyr and control groups had median BMI of 30.2 and 29.7 kg/m2, and at day 112, 30.5 and 29.2 kg/m2, respectively.

Skyr cultures were found to contain approximately 2.0 x 109 colony forming units (CFU) per gram of cultivable bacteria and comprised Streptococcus (S) thermophilus, Lactobacillus (L) bulgaricus, lactose, glucose, galactose, lactate, acetate, and formate.

At baseline, S salivarius and S thermophilus was detected among all participants at cell counts between 6.4 and 10.0 log cells/g. The abundance significantly increased among the Skyr cohort on days 42 (P =.009) and 112 (P =.01). Similarly, cell counts of L bulgaricus were significantly higher among Skyr consumers at day 42 (P =.02) and 112 (P =.01).

At baseline and day 42, the a-diversity of the fecal microbiota was similar between cohorts. By day 112, the diversity had decreased compared with control individuals, but the difference was not significant (median, 189 vs 221; P=.10).

At day 42, group differences were observed for stool sample total short-chain fatty acid (P =.02) and the proportion of butyrate (P =.04) content and at day 112, the ratio of propionate to butyrate (P =.03).

This study was limited by the change in study procedure and the loss of many participants during follow-up.

“These results provide a framework indicating the potential of a specific fermented dairy product with selected starter cultures or process conditions in individualized nutrition or targeted microbiome engineering,” the study authors noted.


Yazdi FG, Dalgaard LB, Li Q, et al. Long-term daily high-protein, drained yoghurt consumption alters abundance of selected functional groups of the human gut microbiota and fecal short-chain fatty acid profiles in a cohort of overweight and obese women. J Funct Foods. Published online May 8, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2022.105089

This article originally appeared on Gastroenterology Advisor