Daily supplementation with the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 decreased whole gut transit time in a dose-dependent manner, and reduced the frequency of functional gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in adults with functional GI symptoms, according to new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.
B. lactis HN019, also known as HOWARU® Bifido and DR10™, can be formulated into dairy products, supplements, bars, juice, spreads, confectionery products, ice cream and other food applications to help benefit patients with mild GI disorders.
Slow whole gut transit time, or the time it takes food to be swallowed, digested, absorbed and excreted, is linked to GI health an increased risk of gallstones, and possibly bowel and breast cancer. Functional GI symptoms can affect the quality of daily life and include pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. According to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidelines for digestive health claims; transit time, frequency of bowel movements and stool bulk are appropriate outcome measurements for bowel function.
Researchers from Texas, New Zealand, Wisconsin and California joined in the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of the proprietary probiotic strain from Fonterra Research Centre and supplied by Danisco. They randomized 100 subjects, aged 25 to 65 years (mean age: 44 years; 64 percent female) with functional GI symptoms to consume B. lactis HN019 at daily doses of 17.2 billion colony forming units (CFU) (high dose; n = 33), 1.8 billion CFU (low dose; n = 33) or placebo (n = 34) for 14 days. Whole gut transit time was assessed by X-ray on days zero and 14 following six days of ingestion of capsules containing radio-opaque markers. Frequency of upper GI symptoms ( nausea, vomiting, regurgitation, abdominal pain and gurgling) and lower gastrointestinal symptoms (flatulence, constipation, diarrhea and irregular bowel movements) were recorded before and after supplementation using a Likert scale. Food consumption habits were similar among the three groups over the 14-day study period.
Decreases in mean whole gut transit time over the 14-day study period were statistically significant in the high dose group (49 ± 30 to 21 ± 32 hours, P<0.001) and the low dose group (60 ± 33 to 41 ± 39 hours, P=0.01), but not in the placebo group (43 ± 31 to 44 ± 33 ahours). Time to excretion of all ingested markers was significantly shorter in the treatment groups versus placebo. Of the nine functional GI symptoms investigated, eight significantly decreased in frequency in the high-dose group and seven decreased with the low dose, while two decreased in the placebo group. No adverse events were reported in any group.