DENMARK – In November 2019, Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen launched a new three-strain probiotic blend that can help support the health and development of intestines in preterm babies.

Chr. Hansen’s new multi-strain probiotic blend contains a blend of three different probiotic strains: BB-12 Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, TH-4 Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis.

This new probiotic blend was also shown to reduce risk of Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an inflammatory disease and the leading cause of mortality worldwide for preterm babies, by 50%.

Available through customer partnerships in the US and in Europe, this product is already being used in several neonatal intensive care units.

A new Position Paper by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) now recommends the probiotic strains included in the blend by Chr. Hansen.

The working group recommends that “if all safety conditions are met, the panel conditionally recommends using the combination of Bifidobacterium infantis, Bb-02 (DSM 33361), Bifidobacterium, BB-12 and Streptococcus thermophilus, TH-4 at a dose of 3.0 to 3.5 x 108 CFU (of each strain) as it might reduce NEC stage 2 or 3”.

The recommendation was published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, on February 11, 2020. 

“With this new position statement, our three-strain probiotic blend has received a strong external validation by a highly recognized pediatric society,” says Christian Barker, EVP, Health & Nutrition, Chr. Hansen.

“We are proud to deliver a probiotic solution with strong evidence on reducing one of the most serious conditions among preterm infants and we hope that with this external validation, the probiotic solution may aid an even greater number of preterm infants across the globe.

“We could not have asked for a finer endorsement of our product, which represents Chr. Hansen’s strongholds in terms of innovation, next level quality and safety and not least our overall purpose.”

Studies show that about 1-2% of all infants are born very preterm or extremely preterm – that is two months or earlier than due date – which is equivalent to about 2.4 million babies globally every year.

Further studies show that Necrotizing enterocolitis affects approximately 5% of this group and results in a mortality rate of up to 30%.