Study shows that Probi probiotics may delay the onset of gluten intolerance in children

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11 Sep 2017 --- A clinical trial evaluating the effect of probiotics from Probi in children genetically predisposed for gluten intolerance has shown that these probiotics have a suppressing effect on celiac autoimmunity and may delay the onset of the disease. Celiac disease affects up to 3 percent of the population, and currently, the introduction of a lifelong gluten-free diet is the only available treatment.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled intervention study was performed by Dr. Daniel Agardh and his research team at Lund University with the objective of evaluating the effect of Probi’s probiotic strains Lactobacillus plantarum Heal 9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 on Celiac Disease (CD) autoimmunity. Seventy-eight asymptomatic children (3-7 years old) with an increased risk for developing CD were randomly allocated to a daily consumption of either the probiotic product or a placebo for a total period of 6 months while on a gluten-containing diet. The 78 children were identified as a subpopulation in a multinational and multiyear autoimmunity study with thousands of children.

The study results show that the levels of the disease-related antibodies were significantly reduced in the probiotic group and significantly increased in the placebo group during the course of the study. In addition, several significant differences were observed between the groups on a cellular level indicating that the probiotic may counteract CD-associated ongoing immunological and inflammatory response.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time a probiotic study has been performed on this specific population and the results show immune-supporting properties of these probiotics as well as a potential preventive effect on the development of CD,” says Daniel Agardh.

“This is an excellent example of a well-working collaboration between academia and the industry” says Peter Nählstedt, CEO of Probi AB. “We see a growing interest in children’s probiotics and these results enable Probi to build a product platform for children.”

“The probiotic was administered in a sachet, and the subjects were instructed to sprinkle the powder on their food or dissolve it in water. Probi has recently launched a new fast melting powder formulation which would be a suitable format for a commercial product,” Nählstedt tells NutritionInsight

“This was a study in a population that has, to our knowledge, not been studied before. We are very excited about the good results and based on the evaluation of the data we will now build our product platform for children. For companies that are interested in marketing a product with the strains, Probi is able to formulate a fast melting powder or other desired product format,” Nählstedt adds.

Probi’s proprietary probiotic strains Lactobacillus plantarum Heal 9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 are patent protected, of human origin and are commercially available. The results of the study were presented at the International Celiac Disease Symposium in New Delhi, India, on 10 September.

By Lucy Gunn

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