Bile tolerance, deconjugation of sodium taurocholate, and the cholesterol-binding ability of 28 strains of Lactobacillus gasseri were examined. There was significant variation among strains in growth in media containing bile and also variation in the ability to bind cholesterol. Cultures grown for 12 h at 37 degrees C bound significantly more cholesterol than did cells from a 48-h incubation. Variation among strains in the ability to deconjugate sodium taurocholate was not significantly different. Maximal deconjugation of sodium taurocholate was achieved with the cells during the stationary phase of growth (12 h). Statistical analysis showed no significant correlation between bile tolerance and sodium taurocholate deconjugation, bile tolerance and cholesterol-binding ability, or sodium taurocholate deconjugation and cholesterol-binding ability.
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