According to a press release from the probiotic supplier Probi (Lund, Sweden), immune health is the second largest health focus for probiotics. Now, a new study affirms the immune-improving effects of the company’s branded probiotic immune concept, Probi Defendum, while suggesting a mechanism of action that might underlie the product’s benefits.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial—Probi’s largest ever—followed 900 subjects over the course of three winters. The subjects received Probi Defendum—a combination of the company’s patented probiotic strains Lactobacillus plantarum Heal9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2—or a placebo once daily for 12 weeks as researchers tracked their experiences with the common cold better to understand the probiotic’s immune effects.
The results show that the probiotic significantly decreases recurrent common colds. In subjects not experiencing the common cold at all, it revealed apparent immune system activation as soon as two weeks into supplementation. And during the first winter of the study, the probiotic group saw a reduced overall severity of common cold symptoms relative to the placebo group.
Previous clinical studies have demonstrated Probi Defendum’s immune-boosting effects, and, noted Peter Nählstedt, CEO, Probi AB, in the press statement: “We are proud to conclude that our largest clinical trial so far has successfully confirmed earlier clinical results. Interestingly, in subjects that did not experience any viral infection during the study period, there was an activation of the immune system measured already after 2 weeks of Probi Defendum intake, indicating an alert and resilient immune system.”
The company believes the new study will create opportunities for product launches that can extend probiotics’ already-strong positioning in the gastrointestinal health market to new health areas, both within the consumer healthcare and the functional food segments.