June 22/Copenhagen, Denmark/Press Release -- A collaborative study by Danisco and Fonterra Co-operative Group on the effects of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019™ on colonic transit time (CTT) and digestive symptoms has just been published in theScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology*. The results of this study found

that daily consumption of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019™ (also known as HOWARU® Bifido and DR10™) decreases CTT and improves functional gastrointestinal symptoms in otherwise healthy adults.

"Gastrointestinal disorders are both common and complex. The results of this study will help us to validate the roles and benefits of consuming probiotics in patients with mild gastrointestinal disorders,” said Dr. Pramod Gopal, principal research scientist, Digestive and Immune Health, Fonterra Research Centre.

Poor gastrointestinal health and its complications are often linked to variances in CTT -- the time it takes food to be swallowed, digested, absorbed and excreted. Functional gastrointestinal symptoms can affect the quality of daily life and include pain, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation. In addition, published studies independent of this study, indicate that slow CTT and functional GI symptoms may be associated with an increased risk of gallstones, and possibly bowel and breast cancer1. Probiotic consumption may benefit people with mild gastrointestinal disorders by improving slow CTT2 and reducing associated GI symptoms3. According to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidelines for digestive health claims; transit time, frequency of bowel movements and stool bulk are appropriate outcome measurements for claims on bowel function.**

Study Design

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was designed to evaluate the impact of consumption of two doses of B. lactis HN019™ on CTT and digestive symptoms in healthy adults.

The trial enrolled 100 patients, aged 25 to 65 years old with mild gastrointestinal symptoms. The subjects were randomized to ingest B. lactis HN019™ at daily doses of 1010 CFU (High; n=33), 109 CFU (Low; n= 33), or placebo (n=34) for 14 days. CTT was assessed by x-ray on days zero and 14 following six days of ingestion of capsules containing radio-opaque markers. Frequency of upper gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, regurgitation, abdominal pain and gurgling) and lower gastrointestinal symptoms (such as flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea and irregular bowel movements) were recorded before and after supplementation using a Likert scale.

Key Findings

The average CTT decreased in the high (28 hour reduction) and low (19 hour reduction) groups, but not with the placebo group. Of the nine gastrointestinal symptoms investigated, the high group improved in eight, the low group improved in seven and the placebo group improved in only two symptoms. Food consumption habits were similar among the three groups over the 14-day study period.

Researchers concluded that daily B. lactis HN019™ supplementation is well-tolerated, decreases CTT according to the dose taken and improves functional gastrointestinal symptoms in otherwise healthy adults. No adverse events were reported in any group. The clinical trial was conducted by Sprim Advanced Life Sciences, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.

*The HN019™ and colonic transit time trial conducted in Houston, Texas, is now published ahead of print and publicly available ahead online at the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.


** http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1984.pdf


1. Lewis S.J. and K.W. Heaton. “The Metabolic Consequences of Slow Colonic Transit.” American Journal of Gastroenterology 1999;94:2010

2. Marteau, et al., (2002) “B. animalis DN 173010 Shortens the CTT in Healthy Women: a Double Blind RCT Aliment,” Pharmocol Ther 16:587

3. Meance S., et al., (2003) “Recent Advances in Use of Functional Foods: Effect of B. Animalis DN173010 Strain on Gut Transit Time in Elderly,” Micro Health & Dis. 15:15


From the June 29, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.