New clinical study shows that Probi’s probiotics support the immune system and may delay the onset of gluten intolerance in children

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial has evaluated the effect of probiotics from Probi in children genetically predisposed for gluten intolerance

The results show that the probiotics have a suppressing effect on coeliac autoimmunity and may delay the onset of the disease.

Coeliac disease affects up to 3% of the population and, currently, the introduction of a lifelong gluten-free diet is the only available treatment.

Consistent study results: The randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled intervention study was performed by Dr Daniel Agardh, MD, PhD, 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 Coeliac disease (CD) autoimmunity.

Se vent 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 whilst 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 are surprisingly consistent and show that the consumption of the probiotics is associated with suppressing effects on celiac autoimmunity in the children.

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.”

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the mucosa of the small intestine owing to an immunological reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. CD affects approximately 1% of the global population; but, in some countries, such as Sweden, the prevalence is 1.5-3%.

A certain genetic predisposition is required for the development of the disease but other parameters, not completely defined, may also contribute. Currently, the introduction of a lifelong gluten-free diet is the only known approach to alleviate the symptoms of CD.

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 from the study was presented at the International Coeliac Disease Symposium in New Delhi, India, on 10 September.