New probiotic strain from Kaneka supports immunity and stress


Kaneka Probiotics added a new probiotic strain to its portfolio: Lactobacillus plantarum DR7.


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Kaneka Probiotics (Pasadena, TX) added a new probiotic strain to its portfolio: Lactobacillus plantarum DR7. The launch comes after years of research resulting in multiple publicatins demonstrating the strain’s efficacy in a number health outcomes.

Originally isolated from fresh bovine milk, DR7 has been found in clinical research to offer support during upper respiratory tract infections as well as support stress. A randomized-controlled clinical trial published in the Journal of Dairy Science1 found that in middle-aged adults, supplementation with the strain suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines while enhancing anti-inflammatory cytokines, accompanied by a reduction in plasma peroxidation and oxidative stress levels compared with the placebo. Compared to placebo, there was also a reduction in the duration of nasal symptoms.

This impact on immunity involves the gut-brain axis, says Kaneka. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study published in Beneficial Microbes2, researchers found that supplementation with DR7 reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety, reducing plasma cortisol levels, compared to placebo, as well as reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, while increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines. According to Kaneka, the potential mechanism for this improvement is DR7’s ability to upregulate the tryptophan-serotonin pathway by driving the tryptophan metabolic pathway towards serotonin, instead of the kyneurine degradation pathway. This de-emphasizes the tryptophan-kyneurine pathway, which is associated with a weaker immunity.

"A particularly unique aspect of this strain is its ability to enhance immune function in normal ranges, promote the protection of the upper respiratory tract, and help the body modulate the gut brain axis," said Mike Kolifrath, vice president of the Kaneka Probiotics Division, in a press release. "Our DR7 is a Kaneka Probiotics exclusive and presents a new option for product developers in creating specialized products in the immune, brain and gut-brain axis categories."

L. plantarum DR7 is non-GMO, gluten-free, and approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA; Qualified Presumption of Safety, QPS).


  1. Chong HX et al. “Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 improved upper respiratory tract infections via enhancing immune and inflammatory parameters: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 102, no. 6 (2019): 4783-4797
  2. Chong HX et al. “Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 alleviates stress and anxiety in adults: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Beneficial Microbes, Published online ahead of print on March 20, 2019
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