Paediatric society recommends Chr Hansen probiotics for preterm infants

Published: 28-Feb-2020

A new position paper by the ‘European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition’ has identified probiotic strains with efficacy for preterm babies

A new position paper has been published by the globally recognised ‘European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition’. The paper identified probiotic strains with efficacy for preterm babies.

In November 2019, Chr Hansen announced the launch of a new three-strain probiotic blend that can help support the health and development of intestines in preterm babies and has been shown to reduce risk of Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) by 50%. NEC is an inflammatory disease and the leading cause of mortality worldwide for preterm babies.

Available through customer partnerships in the US and in Europe, this product is already being used in several neonatal intensive care units. Now a new Position Paper by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition recommends the probiotic strains included in the blend by Chr Hansen.

The working group recommends that “if all safety conditions are met, the panel conditionally recommends using the combination of Bifidobacterium infantis, Bb-02 (DSM 33361), Bifidobacterium, BB-12® and Streptococcus thermophilus, TH-4 at a dose of 3.0 to 3.5 x 108 CFU (of each strain) as it might reduce NEC stage 2 or 3”.

The recommendation was published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, on 11 February, 2020.


“With this new position statement, our three-strain probiotic blend has received a strong external validation by a highly recognised pediatric society. We are proud to deliver a probiotic solution with strong evidence on reducing one of the most serious conditions among preterm infants and we hope that with this external validation, the probiotic solution may aid an even greater number of preterm infants across the globe,” said Christian Barker, EVP of Health & Nutrition at Chr Hansen.

“We could not have asked for a finer endorsement of our product, which represents Chr Hansen’s strongholds in terms of innovation, next-level quality and safety and not least our overall purpose. Using our science and technology to make a positive difference in the world is what we are in business for, and this solution is a great example of that.” 

About 1-2% of all infants are born very preterm or extremely preterm – i.e. two months or earlier than due date – which is some 2.4 million babies globally every year. NEC affects approximately 5% of this group and results in a mortality rate of up to 30%.

Production processes

Chr Hansen’s multi-strain probiotic has been tested in two high-quality clinical trials for its efficacy and safety. It has shown to help support the intestinal tract for healthy immune and digestive function, reducing the risk of Necrotising enterocolitis by 50%.

Due to the high vulnerability of preterm infants to infections, Chr Hansen has implemented the strictest of production processes, adding many more requirements on top of what is stipulated as standard:

  • All raw materials are sourced from approved suppliers based on a regulatory evaluation to be allowed in infant formula products
  • An extensive testing regimen is applied per batch for the only excipient in the product, maltodextrin, to verify microbiological quality
  • All rooms where open infant products are handled comply with ISO 14644-1-Class-7 and have an overpressure compared to the surroundings
  • Single use, sealed packages minimizes contamination risk in use

What is ESPGHAN?

The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) is a multi-professional organisation whose aim is to promote the health of children through knowledge creation and the dissemination of science based information.

ESPGHAN issues a range of position papers and guidelines, published through the scientific journal “Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition”. In February 2020, ESPGHAN published a Position Paper “Probiotics and preterm infants” which shall serve as a guide for the possible use of probiotics in preterm infants.

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