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New clinical study indicates: probiotics may shorten duration of common cold and lower use of health care resources

Press release   •   May 21, 2015 06:57 UTC

With the completion and publication of the world’s largest clinical study on the immune effect of probiotics in adults, Chr. Hansen has obtained results indicating that the probiotic strain named L. CASEI 431® can shorten the duration of common cold and influenza-like illness, lower the use of health care resources and reduce use of antibiotics. 

Recently e-published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study was initiated by Chr. Hansen in 2011 and included more than 1100 subjects in Denmark and Germany. It investigated the effect of the probiotic strain (L. CASEI 431®) on the immune response to an influenza vaccination, and on respiratory symptoms in otherwise healthy adults.

Results from the study indicate that in cases of influenza-like illness, the number of sick days was reduced to five in the group that consumed a daily dairy beverage with 1 billion live bacteria (L. CASEI 431®), compared to eight days in the placebo group. Furthermore, the proportion of subjects who required health care system support during the follow-up period was reduced from 28% to 22%.

Mikkel Jungersen, Scientific Advisor, Human Health & Nutrition, Chr. Hansen, says: “Not only is this a clear benefit for individuals. It also indicates that products with this probiotic strain can have a significant impact on productivity in society.”

A strong clinical documentation package

The L. CASEI 431® probiotic strain has been used as an ingredient in food since 1995 and earlier human studies[1] have shown that the probiotic strain alone or in combinations may have a beneficial effect within the immune and gastrointestinal function. It is gaining popularity as a natural probiotic culture in dairy products across the globe, and in particular in China and South East Asia. It also holds potential within dietary supplements and exists in Chr. Hansen’s product portfolio as an immune product, combined with Vitamin C.

Mikkel Jungersen continues:“When it comes to scientific documentation on probiotics, we are committed to delivering the best. Adding these new results to the existing data of the strain (L.CASEI 431®), it now stands out as a strong probiotic within immune function”.

For more information on the study or on the probiotic strain named L. CASEI 431®,please do not hesitate to contact Mikkel Jungersen, or visit the product website.

[1] Rizzardini et al. 2011 and Gaon et al. 2003


The Study

  • Jespersen et al. Effect of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, L. CASEI 431® on immune response to influenza vaccination and upper respiratory tract infections in healthy adult volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study.

E-published ahead of print in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on April 29, 2015. 

Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2013/14 financial year was EUR 756 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.

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