Probiotic strain LC40® can reduce gastrointestinal infections in infants born by Ceserean section by up to 73%, a study has found.
Cesarean section disrupts the natural microbiota colonisation process, potentially compromising immune system development. Breastfeeding can reduce this risk, but where it is not possible or sufficient an alternative strategy is to use formula that includes bacteria naturally present in human milk.
LC40 (Limosilactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716) is a probiotic strain isolated from human breast milk. It is part of the Hereditum range offered by Biosearch Life, a Kerry company.
In three previous randomised clinical trials LC40 was found to be effective for preventing infections when administered as an ingredient in formula. In the new study, researchers in Spain analysed their results, focusing specifically on the 173 infants born by C-section.
In this subgroup, incidence of gastrointestinal infections was 73% lower among those receiving LC40 than a control formula. This was higher than the reduction among the total sample (46%). Incidence of respiratory infections was also reduced.
Said Ruth Blanco, Head of Clinical Research, Biosearch Life, a Kerry company: “Infectious diseases are the most common type of illness in infants, and there’s evidence that they’re more common following C-section deliveries. Clinical studies have already shown that the inclusion of LC40 in formula can significantly reduce the risk of infection. The reason this new analysis is so exciting is that it indicates that the effect it offers is even greater in infants delivered by C-section – demonstrating huge potential for formulas that help reduce infection in a group that can be at higher risk.”
The study advises further research to clarify the role of probiotics in balancing the effects of C-Section on immune system maturation. View the full study at: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9301023/