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Past preclinical studies have suggested Lactobacillus acidophilus may be effective in breaking down lactose, but a new human clinical study is the first to investigate its ability to offer relief from symptoms of lactose intolerance.
While preclinical studies have suggested that Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics may be effective in breaking down lactose, actual human clinical trials linking this probiotic species to relief from the symptoms of lactose intolerance have been lacking. Until now, that is, as a new randomized, double-blind, crossover trial suggests the DDS-1 strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus from Nebraska Cultures (Walnut Creek, CA) may alleviate several abdominal symptoms related to lactose intolerance.
Writing in Nutrition Journal, researchers report that the crossover trial included 38 initial participants aged 18–75 who reported suffering from symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and/or flatulence after consuming 25 g of lactose dissolved in water, also known as the lactose challenge. Of those 38 initial participants admitted into the supplementation period of the study, 22 completed both arms of the crossover trial.
For four weeks, participants were randomized to receive either 10 billion CFUs of DDS-1 or a placebo every day. Then, following a two-week washout period, both participant groups supplemented with the other administration for an additional four weeks to complete the study’s crossover design. After each four-week administration period, study subjects participated in an additional lactose challenge.
Compared to the control group, participants supplementing with the DDS-1 Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic demonstrated significant reduction to abdominal symptom scores for diarrhea, abdominal cramping, vomiting, and overall symptom score at the end of the supplementation period.
“This clinical research demonstrates that supplementation with the DDS-1 strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus, produced by Nebraska Cultures, is an important part of restoring balance and alleviating symptoms for lactose-sensitive people,” said Michael Shahani, chief operations officer for Nebraska Cultures. “People have used this strain for decades to promote overall healthy digestion, and this additional evidence is another good reason to formulate probiotic products with it.”
Nebraska Cultures explains that Lactobacillus acidophilus is known to ferment carbohydrates including lactose and glucose, and its DDS-1 strain has also been studied for its ability to survive passage through the stomach and into the bowel.
“Lactobacillus is a common component of many probiotic formulations,” said Michael Pakdaman, MD, study director. “However, this particular strain is unique in its ability to colonize the GI tract and do powerful good work related to relieving pervasive symptoms among those who suffer from lactose intolerance, which represents over 30% of the population.”
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Pakdaman MN et al., “The effects of the DDS-1 strain of lactobacillus on symptomatic relief for lactose intolerance - a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial,” Nutrition Journal, vol. 15, no. 1 (May 2016): 56