Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an inflammatory disease and is the leading cause of mortality worldwide for preterm babies. Experts believe that an underdeveloped or damaged intestine is the main cause of NEC, instigated by complications including lack of blood or oxygen to the intestine, injury to the intestinal lining or bacterial growth on the intestinal wall.
A new three-strain probiotic blend by Chr. Hansen has shown to help support the intestinal tract for healthy immune and digestive function. Now launched through customer partnerships in the US and in Europe, Chr. Hansen’s new product is already being used in some neonatal intensive care units, fed to babies through a feeding tube.
Says Andrew Scorey, senior vice president for Human Health at Chr. Hansen: “Our purpose is strong, and we are truly excited to make a difference for this vulnerable group – preterm infants. The multi-strain probiotic has been tested in two high quality clinical trials for its efficacy and safety. Using our science and technology to make a positive difference in the world is what we are in business for, which is why we are so happy to bring this first-of-its-kind solution to preterm babies.”
NEC affects 5% of infants born two months early
About 1-2% of all infants are born very preterm or extremely preterm – i.e. two months or earlier than due date – which is some 2.4 million babies globally every year. NEC affects approximately 5% of this group and results in a mortality rate of up to 30%.
This new product contains a blend of three different probiotic strains: BB-12 Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, TH-4 Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis. This blend has been shown to help reduce the risk of NEC by up to 50%, as documented in two clinical trials including a total of more than 1,200 preterm infants born two months or earlier than due date.
Explained senior scientific advisor at Chr. Hansen, Ulla Holmboe Gondolf: “Preterm infants typically have an unbalanced intestinal microbiota making them vulnerable to infections and certain life-threatening diseases. This three-strain probiotic product with different strains and different species has been shown to provide functional advantages for the preterm population,”
Strict production requirements ensure highest quality
Due to the high vulnerability of preterm infants to infections, Chr. Hansen has implemented the strictest of production processes.
Added Scorey: “We always comply with the relevant production and quality standards for the production of all our products. In this case, we have added many more requirements on top of what is stipulated as standard to go the extra mile to ensure the highest quality, safe product for this vulnerable population.”
Chr. Hansen’s extra requirements include extended contaminant testing and stricter requirements regarding both environmental monitoring and cleaning before production to eliminate the risk of contamination.
Finally, the product is packed in single use, sealed packages to help reduce the risk of contamination compared to multi-use containers. For more visit chr-hansen.com
Source: Chr HansenAuthor: COX