Biosearch Life, a Spain-based functional ingredient producer, has gained clinical evidence that its probiotic strain Lactobacillus coryniformis CECT5711 K8 can reduce virally transmitted respiratory infections in elderly populations. In two clinical trials, the strain showed it not only protected seniors above 65 years old from Hepatitis A and influenza viruses but also reduced their pain relief consumption by 86 percent.
As COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to human health worldwide, health professionals are also currently in need of special protection that is subject to high levels of stress and at great risk of contagion. “There is no evidence yet of the effect of probiotics on infection by the new coronavirus. However, the fact that Lactobacillus K8 has been shown to improve immune defenses against viruses highlights its potential to improve the overall immune response and may be an ally in situations of increased vulnerability to viral infections,” Mónica Olivares Martín , R&D Direction at Biosearch, tells.
The immunological response to the probiotic takes place in two phases, she explains. First, the pathogen is recognized non-specifically and first containment measures are launched for the pathogen. Meanwhile, the second phase is activated, which recognizes the specific pathogen and efficiently eliminates it.
“Lactobacilli are able to stimulate the first phase of the immune response mainly through cell wall components, such as peptidoglycan and lipotechoic acid, so that if there were contact with a virus, that second phase would be faster and more powerful, triggering the specific response more effectively,” she details.
Boosting immunity with probiotics for the elderly
In its studies, Lactobacillus K8 demonstrated it was especially effective in older populations who are most susceptible to infections. The probiotic treatment was also able to reduce local symptoms related to respiratory infections, such as cough, nasal congestion and sore throat, by 48 percent.
“Stress, seasonal flu or other viruses, travel, lack of sleep, diet and lifestyle are all factors that can compromise the immune system in a healthy population and increase the risk of diseases. Therefore, adults in the above situations can benefit from the effects of this strain,” Beatriz Botija Ródenas, Product Manager Probiotics at Biosearch, also tells.
She further states that the K8 strain was developed as a food supplement in sachets. Company research shows that the strain is “stable over the life cycle” and is a suitable option for fermented products application given its technological and probiotic properties. While the product is already available in the US, Canada and most Asian Pacific countries, the company forecasts it will also be accessible in Europe in the next few weeks.
With almost two decades of probiotics research underneath its belt, Biosearch’s foothold in the functional ingredient sector is ubiquitous, as evidenced by its recent development of a new plant-based docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to help prevent or reduce cognitive impairment associated with aging. The company also launched a three-year project to treat health problems during the preconception stage, pregnancy and lactation.
Last June, Biosearch signed a single agreement with Nestlé to launch MATERNA Opti-Lac in Hong Kong, which stipulates a license agreement to market the patented strain Hereditum Lactobacillus fermentum LC40 41 countries and a second contract for its manufacture and supply.
“The results of clinical trials must be made available to the scientific community, presenting them at conferences or directly to health professionals who are in contact with the population that can benefit from improved immunity. We continue working with this strain to increase the scientific knowledge about the capabilities of this probiotic strain,” the company representatives conclude.