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New study confirms presence of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in breast milk from Chinese mothers

Press release   •   May 11, 2015 07:13 UTC

A study initiated by Chr. Hansen has shown that bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are present in breast milk from Chinese mothers, strengthening the case for adding clinically documented probiotics to infant formula, in order to improve nutrition.

In the last decade, research has shown that breast milk from Western women contains bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Bifidobacteria are known to play an important role in the development of a healthy microbiota in infants and children, which is beneficial to the digestive and immune functions. A new study now confirms a presence of the same bacteria in breast milk from Chinese mothers.

The study was initiated by Chr. Hansen and conducted in collaboration with Shanghai Institute of Pediatric Research. The main author, Dr. Linxi Qian, presented the results last week at the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition 2015, in Amsterdam.

Important findings for infant formula development

Chr. Hansen continuously invests in clinical studies within the infant segment, and previous studies have shown that the probiotic Bifidobacterium strain named BB-12® may be effective in preventing gastrointestinal and respiratory infections in infants and children[1]. The product portfolio also includes Lactobacillus, LGG® which is the world’s best documented lactobacillus.

Mikkel Jungersen, Scientific Advisor, Human Health & Nutrition, Chr. Hansen, says: “The confirmed presence of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in Chinese breast milk is essential knowledge for all those who are active in the infant formula business in China. It makes sense for a mother who is feeding her baby with infant formula to prefer a product resembling real breast milk the most, and this study shows that bifidobacteria and/or lactobacilli are essential additives to nutritious infant formula.”

For more information on the study or on BB-12® or LGG®, please do not hesitate to contact Mikkel Jungersen, +45 22 57 26 78 or

To read more about Chr. Hansen’s BB-12®, click here. To read more about LGG®, click here.

Note: Chr. Hansen is committed to the highest standards of responsible marketing of breast milk substitutes and complies with the WHO Code as implemented by national governments.

[1]Chouraqui et al. 2004; Saavedra et al. 2004; Saavedra et al. 1994; Taipale et al. 2010 Rautava et al. 2009.

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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