Lallemand Health Solutions (LHS) announced that its key probiotic blend LACIDOFIL® (L. rhamnosus R0011 and L. helveticus R0052) has been elected for a large-scale paediatric clinical study in around 900 children with gastroenteritis in five hospitals across Canada. Gastroenteritis is one of the leading causes of children’s hospital visits and previous clinical studies have shown efficacy of LACIDOFIL® to help reduce both the duration and severity of acute gastroenteritis in children (Foster et al., 2011). The probiotic’s extensive documentation has already gained the product several health claims from the Canadian regulatory authorities (NHPD), including: “Helps to reduce the risk of antibiotic associated diarrhea AAD (in children and adolescents from 2 to 18 years of age)”, or “Restoring and maintaining intestinal flora” (Claim NPN 80020017).
The new multicentric randomized, placebo-controlled study, entitled: “Impact of Emergency Department Probiotic Treatment of Pediatric Gastroenteritis: Randomized Controlled Trial” has been instigated by lead investigator Dr. Stephen Freedman of the University of Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, following a pilot study. The aim of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of LACIDOFIL® in the treatment of acute gastroenteritis in children admitted to the emergency department. Enrolment for this three-year study will start in Canada this fall and approximately 900 children are expected to enter the study. Five Hospitals are involved: the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, the CHU Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital Centre in Montreal, The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. This study is supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Due to the significant burden of acute gastroenteritis, the study has already received ample interest from the media and public in Canada. Dr. Freedman says “The goal of the study is to see if the child’s life is made better, especially during the first week after the emergency room visit. If we can do anything to get children back to school and shorten that two week period of illness, it will help ordinary families.”