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New study: Probiotics may help you fight off the flu

Press release   •   Oct 28, 2010 10:40 UTC

A new clinical study sponsored by Chr. Hansen and conducted in cooperation with a hospital and the University of Milan documents that supplementation with either of the strains BB-12® or L. casei 431® may improve the body’s resistance to common infections such as flu and colds.

A new clinical study which will be published at a later stage further documents the immune health benefits of Chr. Hansen’s probiotic strains BB-12® and L. casei 431®. The study results showed that the antibody responses were significantly increased in both probiotic groups compared to placebo after a challenge of the immune system. The study abstract “Probiotic strains BB-12® and L. casei 431® increase the immune response to an influenza vaccine: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” was presented on Oct. 28, 2010 at the 2nd World Congress on Immunity Ingredients, Malta.

Strong scientific evidence

“These results offer strong evidence that the functionality of the immune system can be improved by dietary supplementation with these probiotic strains. No drugs are available to improve the effects of vaccinations or to augment the level of immune mediated protection against infections. This can apparently be achieved with dietary supplementations,” concludes study Co-Investigator Professor Mario Clerici, Director, Department of Biomedical Science and Technology, University of Milan, Italy.

Promising results

”This study which is part of our comprehensive clinical study program documents that supplementation with our probiotics induces multiple and complimentary parts of the immune system. This is promising,” says Chr. Hansen’s Birgit Michelsen, Director of Scientific Affairs, Health & Nutrition Division. “The outcomes of this study, as well as data from previous studies on BB-12® and L. casei 431®, show that supplementation with these probiotic strains result in a strengthening of various parts of the immune system. This will very likely translate into a clinical benefit, such as reduced rates of infection. However, studies designed specifically to assess infections are needed to determine this.”

Science is key

“Food manufacturers as well as dietary supplements producers observe an increasing consumerinterest in probiotics with credible, scientifically documented health benefits,” comments Lars Bredmose, Marketing Director, Probiotic Cultures, Chr. Hansen. “As a market-leading probiotics supplier we are continuously striving to support this positive consumer trend by substantiating our offering with clinical studies of the highest standard.”

The study investigated the impact of Chr. Hansen’s probiotic strains BB-12® and L. casei 431® on the functional capacity of the immune system by measuring specific antibody responses to an influenza vaccination. Antibody responses in such a vaccination model have been identified by experts as being the best marker currently available to evaluate the human immune response. The study which was managed by Sprim Italy was conducted at the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan and included 211 healthy adults.

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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