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Irritable
Bowel
Syndrome
- Overview
- Details of an independent study
carried out by University College
London to establish if 8 leading
probiotics are effective as they claim
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+ Irritable Bowel Syndrome 2

1 in 5 households contain someone with IBS

Despite the high prevalence of IBS, recent research


reveals that the condition is extremely poorly
managed

Sufferers try an average of 5 products each


month but around half are still left battling the
symptoms long-term

These people are in persistent pain - they need to


know if a product is effective

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+ IBS Sufferers 3

Lack of understanding about


internal organs leads to the use
of wrong products

IBS is multi-faceted -
predominately only single
symptom products available

Many brands do not


understand the IBS sufferer
leading to broken promises
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+ The Probiotic Market 4

The probiotic market is worth $32


billion globally thought to rise to
$42 billion by 2016

60% of UK households regularly


purchase them

A wide variety of probiotics on the


market that claim to work

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+ Probiotic consumers 5

Prevention Treatment
Those with no Those with
functional GI chronic,
disorder or debilitating
diagnosed disorders
health such as IBS
condition

View
Want to offset probiotics as Looking for a
Often
negative side a form of safe and
dissatisfied
effects relating daily effective way
with
to poor diet insurance to relieve
conventional
and lifestyle against ill symptoms
treatments
health long-term

5
+ Probiotic efficacy 6

In order to be The European Food


Seductive marketing Safety
effective, a probiotic campaigns often
product has to Authority (EFSA)
include claimed have previously
reach the gut in research and data
good condition rejected health
to support this, but claims relating to
AND do something have limited facts
beneficial when it probiotics, due to a
available lack of robust
reaches there
scientific evidence

Many claim to
Most
work" or
manufacturers
survive", but
have avoided
they all use
comparisons
different strains,
with realistic
tests and
tests
conditions

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+ So do they work? 7

In a bid to help address this confusion,


scientists at University College London (UCL)
have independently conducted one of the first
studies comparing some of the leading
probiotic brands available in the UK. The study
investigated which of these popular products
actually arrive, survive and thrive in the gut
environment - enabling them to do as they
claim.

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+ So do they work? 8

Scientists at
Do they contain University College
the claimed Do they possess London (UCL)
number of viable the robustness independently
organisms to transit through conducted compared
stated on the to the gut? leading probiotic
label? brands to find out the
truth

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UCL SCHOOL OF PHARMACY

Independent Research Carried


Out By Dr Simon Gaisford
UCL School of Pharmacy
Study aims
To compare 8 commercial probiotic brands:

1.Actimel 5. Probio7

2.Align 6. Yakult

3.Symprove 7. VSL#3

4.Biobalance 8. Bio-kult

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To subject the products to three
challenge tests to assess if the bacteria:

ARRIVED
In a live state

SURVIVED
Stomach acid transit

THRIVED
In the target area of the gut

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1. Enumeration Test
Were the claimed number
of bacteria recoverable?

2. Tolerance Test
Do the bacteria survive
exposure to gastric Juices?

3. Real-time Growth Test


Are the bacteria able to
grow after exposure to
gastric juices?

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Did the bacteria arrive?

Results showed that not all probiotic


products deliver state content of live
bacteria

Freeze-dried products lose many of their


bacteria as they attempt to recover to an
active state

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Only dairy-based (Actimel, Yakult) or water-
based (Symprove) probiotics delivered
100% or more than the claimed content

Arrived
Delivers at least 75%
of the amount claimed
for the product

Symprove

Yakult

Actimel

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Did the bacteria survive?

PGF (Porcine Gastric Fluid) was demonstrated to


be the best simulation of human gastric fluid

The initial acid shock after only 5 minutes was


dramatic on almost all products, with some
showing almost complete collapse.

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Only two products survived stomach transit
time (120 minutes), with one of these
continuing to decline

Only one product seems stable

Survived
After exposure, are the
surviving bacteria still
concentrated enough?

Symprove VSL#3
Did the bacteria thrive?

A product must be able to grow quickly, to


establish a strong colony before travelling too far
along the gut and being ejected from the system

After only a 30 minute exposure to gastric acid,


the products showed very different abilities to
grow

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Only three products showed signs of
strong growth within 10 hours. Others
showed very slow, or even no growth

Thrived
Colony starts growing
strongly within 10
hours to hit the target
areas in the gut

VSL3
Actimel

Symprove

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Summary
To be successful
probiotic product needs
to beat all three
challenge tests

Safely arrive,
survive stomach
acids, and thrive in
the target area of the
gut

Only one product met


all three challenges -
with several products
failing all three
challenges

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Overall results

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The big probiotic scam

There is a lack of truly independent and comparable


probiotic data

Many popular products do not deliver what they promise and


are not robust enough for the human GI tract

The vast majority of UK consumers are wasting millions on


bacteria that simply die in the stomach

Live liquid bacteria offers new hope for long-term sufferers by


outperforming all other probiotic drinks and supplements tested

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Is your probiotic dead or alive?

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