Fonterra probiotic reduces occurrence of eczema symptoms: Study
Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, a probiotic developed from dairy cultures by Fonterra Nutrition, has been shown to have significant long term benefits for children suffering from eczema, according to a study by the University of Otago’s Wellington Asthma Research Group.
The probiotic is already used in Fonterra's Fresh 'N' Fruity My First yogurt range in New Zealand under Bifidus Immuni brand and is being marketed globally under an agreement with DuPont Nutrition & Health.
In a previous trial Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 was shown to reduce the occurrence of eczema symptoms in children by almost 50% when they took it up to two years of age.
Now, a follow-up study has demonstrated that it continues through to four years old, even though the children stopped taking it.
Fonterra Nutrition Senior Research Scientist Dr James Dekker said, "The long term benefits shown by Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001™ are extremely encouraging and are particularly relevant in New Zealand which has one of the highest incidence rates of eczema in the world."
Professor Julian Crane, one of the study's authors, said the study supports the theory that the placement of beneficial bacterial cultures in the diet may allow more control over infant conditions such as eczema even after supplementation has ceased.
The study was funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council and Fonterra.
Further research on the probiotic, looking into its effect after six years is slated to be released early 2013.
Fresh 'n Fruity contains live acidophilus and bifidus cultures. It can be used as a breakfast, snack option or as an accompaniment to fruit desserts and cakes, and to make smoothies.