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India calls for probiotic research for women-children

By Shane Starling , 17-Jun-2011

India is investing in probiotic research
India is investing in probiotic research

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is calling on researchers to submit projects investigating probiotic benefits in women and children, and has set an August 15 submission deadline.

The ICMR outlined a number of potential study areas including immunity/gastrointestinal research, the ability of probiotics to battle HIV in breastfeeding, its role in antibiotic therapy and more.

With antiobiotics use rising rapidly in India, the group was keen to further research into potential probiotic benefits in the area.

Antibiotic resistance is a burgeoning problem in India,” it said.

“Due to the availability of over-the-counter antibiotics and improper and rampant use, antibiotic resistance in the Indian population has sky rocketed. Probiotics can be studied and used as alternative and/or adjunctive therapy to conventional antibiotic therapy in various infectious disease states.”

Other study areas included:


  • Study of gut flora using molecular techniques and pyrosequencing.
  • Examine cytokine profiles of stool versus serum.
  • Studies in the field (village/community).


Another proposed area of research focused on the role of regional diet differences on the performance of probiotics in the gut.

“Randomised studies using the same strain should address diet (vegetarian, vs. non-vegetarian – northern Indian wheat/chapatti eaters vs. southern Indian rice eaters) as a major confounding factor in colonisation of probiotics strains.”

More information can be found here.

Growing fast

India’s probiotics market has been highlighted by researcher Frost & Sullivan as a “major growth market of the future”, with annual growth of 22.6 per cent until 2015.

The presence of major probiotics suppliers and product makers such as Danisco , Chr Hansen , Yakult and Danone is accelerating growth in probiotic dairy products which remain in their infancy.

The India n market remains minute by European standards with F&S estimating its worth at a mere 20.6m Indian rupees (€320,000) in 2009, but it should push through the €1m mark around 2013-2014 and be worth €1.3m in 2015.

Probiotech, Milan, June 23-24

For the latest developments with real market relevance in pre- and probiotic science, formulation, markets and marketing places are still available at Probiotech in Milan, Italy, on June 23-24.

Leading academics, analysts, regulatory and industry experts will share their know-how in areas like probiotic films, animal feed, genonomics, pharma formulations.

Click here for more information about the two-day programme.

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