School gastroenteritis is no laughing matter. It means major disruptions on children, families and teachers. A new large scale study of preschool children in Japan compared kids that were fed yoghurt containing lactoferrin to a control group that wasn’t. The study saw a 49% reduction in absent days from school from gastroenteritis.
This is welcome news for consumers and manufacturers. Lactoferrin’s health properties are increasingly being recognised in a positive prevention role, and in broader age groups. This gives supplement manufacturers new possibilities for product innovation and support for realising new market opportunities.
The Preventive effect of Lactoferrin-Containing Yogurt on Gastroenteritis in Nursery School Children.
A randomised prospective study by Tsukahara et al. in 2020 evaluated the efficacy of bLf on gastroenteritis in preschool aged children during the winter season. Pre-school children aged 3-6 years were enrolled in the study and randomised into two groups. 1162 children completed the study. The 578 children in the treatment group were provided 100mg of bLf in yogurt once a day, while the 584 children in the control group received a fruit jelly.
Those children consuming 100mg bLf a day, for at least 3 days a week over a 15 week period demonstrated a significantly lower rate of absent days from school due to vomiting. The study highlights the consumption of 100mg of lactoferrin in yogurt for more than 3 days/week might help alleviate the symptom of vomiting in preschool aged school children during the winter.
Bega Bionutrients is launching Inferrin®, a form of microencapsulated lactoferrin. The microencapsulation can help deliver the benefits of lactoferrin by protecting it from degradation in conditions found in the stomach. Inferrin® opens up new benefits and applications for lactoferrin based products including foods and dietary supplements.
An initial pilot clinical trial on Inferrin® has shown promising results. In a double-blind, randomised, controlled, cross-over trial in healthy males, Inferrin® demonstrated effects on immune markers and the gut microbiome. The study also showed higher levels of lactoferrin in the faecal matter in those consuming Inferrin®. This suggests Inferrin® is indeed surviving degradation in the stomach and influencing the gut microbiome. “We are very excited by these results, and we are already planning to commence a larger scale clinical study later this year to follow up on these results.” said Dr Bradley Coleman, Business Manager of Bega Bionutrients.
“Lactoferrin has been extensively studied and documented for its multiple health benefits in adults and infants. But as a protein, lactoferrin is at risk of being broken down in the mature stomach before it can reach the small intestine, where it is believed much of its activity takes place, said Dr Coleman. ” Understanding this issue, we worked with Australian encapsulation company Progel Pty Ltd and the University of Queensland to develop a form of lactoferrin that is protected through the stomach and released intact in the small intestine. Using Progel™ novel and patented microencapsulation technology, we developed Inferrin – lactoferrin microencapsulated in common food grade materials. Inferrin will open new market opportunities for our customers and supports innovative product applications.
Inferrin is ideal for use in foods and dietary supplements. The unique microencapsulation technology allows Inferrin to use in a wide variety of delivery formats including gels, powders and liquids, as well as the more traditional tablets and capsules.
The installation of the microencapsulation technology at Bega’s Tatura Milk Industries facility in Victoria, Australia strengthens Bega’s product development and production capabilities in specialty ingredients and life-stage nutritionals.
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