About GAPThe Global Alliance for Probiotics (GAP) is an unincorporated association founded by seven companies who are leaders in the probiotics industry. Its members are manufacturers of probiotics - Chr Hansen, Danisco, Lallemand and Probi – and manufacturers of probiotic food products - Danone, Yakult and Valio. GAP was formed at the end of 2011.
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Benefits of Probiotics for Respiratory Tract Infections Demonstrated in New Systematic Review
A GAP-funded review collating the work of dozens of researchers across the world, published this week in the renowned British Journal of Nutrition, reveals that consuming probiotics can decrease the duration of common upper respiratory tract infections (RTI) by up to a day. The results of this review once again demonstrate the health benefits of probiotics.
The systematic review examined studies that provided healthy adults and children with probiotics (specifically Lactobacillus and/or Bifidobacterium strains present in yoghurt or dietary supplements) or a placebo and tracked symptoms once a RTI was experienced. Combining the data from these studies demonstrated that those participants who consumed probiotics had significantly fewer days of illness per person, shorter illness episodes, and fewer days absent from daycare, school or work than participants who had taken a placebo. Importantly, the majority of these studies were considered to be well-conducted, so that their results – and hence the conclusions of the meta-analysis – are likely to be reliable.
The paper’s lead author, Dr. Sarah King, affiliated with York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) in the UK, commented, “The core of nutrition science is to advise on the construction of a diet that helps maintain health and reduce risk of disease. This paper shows that with the addition of live lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to your diet, the duration of upper respiratory tract infections (e.g. colds) could be shortened. Combined with results from a 2011 meta-analysis published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, which demonstrated that probiotics can reduce the incidence of upper RTIs, the implications of these findings are significant, and could translate into cost savings and quality of life improvements.”
Such systematic review assessments are widely accepted by many regulatory and policy-making bodies worldwide as the best means to weigh evidence for a given intervention. This review on probiotics provides strong evidence for the value of probiotics as part of a healthy diet.
The review was conducted by YHEC, an independent research consortium, committed to rigorous research standards. The study was funded by the Global Alliance for Probiotics, which seeks to better understand the strength of evidence of probiotic interventions, and supports scientific projects to this end.
The paper is available here as an open access publication.
ILSI Europe Monograph on Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota
The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI Europe) has published a Monograph on Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota.
The Monograph is available here.
European Parliament Workshop – Report
The report from the European Parliament workshop, held on 19 February 2013, is available here.