Studies with FrieslandCampina’s Vivinal GOS show increased uptake of iron and improved gut microbiome

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27 Nov 2017 --- Two recent studies have led to new insights into supplements containing FrieslandCampina’s Vivinal GOS. The first study showed an increase in iron absorption by 62 percent upon supplementation with Vivinal GOS in iron-deficient Kenyan infants. Additionally, the second study revealed that adding Vivinal GOS mitigated the adverse effects of iron supplementation on gut microbiota and infections.

“These are the first human studies that clearly show that prebiotics can improve iron absorption and reduce the negative side-effects of iron supplements in infants with iron deficiency,” says Professor Zimmermann from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, whose group conducted both studies.

Studies improve iron uptake in Kenyan infants
Iron deficiency is a common global problem that can lead to anemia. To control iron deficiency, supplements containing iron are given. The first study by ETH in Zurich investigated whether adding Vivinal GOS to an iron-containing supplement affected the uptake of iron in Kenyan infants. The results of this study showed an increase in iron absorption by 62 percent after Vivinal GOS supplementation.

Adding iron to the diet of iron-deficient infants reduces the incidence of anemia, but may also increase the chance of infections. In the second study with Kenyan infants, the Zimmermann group showed that adding Vivinal GOS to an iron-containing supplement mitigated most of the adverse effects of iron: Vivinal GOS supplementation increased beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacterium & Lactobacillus), reduced pathogenic bacteria in the gut and reduced the number of treated respiratory infections.

Click to Enlarge“Vivinal GOS has long been a key ingredient in infant formula, which has been shown to have a beneficial effect on gut microbiota composition and defaecation,” says Dr. Marchel Gorselink, Development Director at FrieslandCampina DOMO. “Vivinal GOS is used mostly in infant nutrition designed to maintain a healthy gut; these new studies really add to a versatile use of this ingredient.”

“Currently we are working together with FrieslandCampina on a new study to find out whether Vivinal GOS increases iron absorption in young women,” adds Professor Zimmermann.

The uses of prebiotics like FrieslandCampina’s Vivinal GOS make up an interesting segment of the gut health space. For a thorough overview of the gut health platform, be sure to read NutritionInsight’s special report on gut health here and our look into synbiotics here

References:

1. WHO (2017)
2. Paganini, D. et al. (2017a)
3. Paganini, D. et al. (2017b)
4. Ben, X.-M. (2008)
5. Fanaro, S. et al. (2009)
6. Williams, T. et al. (2014)

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