Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the world, and it is estimated that about 30 percent of Swedish women suffer from iron deficiency. Accordingly, it is vital to increase both iron intake and the absorption of iron from food.
In a recently concluded meal study, it was shown that the intake of one of Probi’s bacterial strains, Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843, can increase the absorption of iron, which could lead to a reduction in the risk of iron deficiency. Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843 (LP299V®) is included in ProViva, GoodBelly and Probi Digestis® and has earlier shown to reduce gastrointestinal problems.
Iron deficiency and low iron values are common conditions in children, young people and women of child-bearing age, in both the western world and in developing countries. This could lead to iron deficiency anaemia, with impaired cognition and, as a result, a weaker immune system. Menstruating women have a considerable need of iron and usually an insufficient intake of iron and/or a low capacity to absorb iron from food. Iron deficiency causes the body to increase its absorption of iron but the increase is often insufficient to alleviate the deficiency, whereby products that can increase iron absorption are needed. Another alternative for individuals with iron deficiency is to take drugs with a high iron content. However, these frequently have side effects in the form of gastrointestinal problems.
The study was conducted by a research group led by Lena Hulthén, professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Gothenburg. Women between the ages of 21 and 40 were given meals with or without a capsule containing freeze-dried Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843. The absorption of iron was measured by the meals being marked with two different stable iron isotopes.
The results showed that the absorption of iron from the meals containing Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843 was 30 percent higher than the absorption rate from the meals without probiotic bacterium (significant difference). The conclusion of the study is that the intake of freeze-dried Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843 in a capsule can significantly improve iron absorption in women of child-bearing age.