Quest launches probiotic to tackle IBS

Related tags Probiotic bacteria Irritable bowel syndrome

UK vitamin distributor Quest is launching what it believes is the
first probiotic that has been scientifically shown to target IBS
symptoms, a condition that affects a third of the UK population at
one time during their lifetime, reports Dominique Patton.

The probiotic bacteria Lp299v was developed by the Swedish firm Probi, which licensed rights to the strain's use in supplements to Institut Rosell in 2003.

The French-Canadian company said today that it has signed an agreement with Quest for its exclusive use in the UK market. The Quest product will be available in healthfood stores and for professional therapists, using the trademark Quest Lp299v.

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, characterized by abdominal pain, bloating and irregular bowel function. It affects an estimated 10-20 per cent of the western world population.

The UK's Digestive Disease Foundation says the disease affects a third of the UK population at one time or another, and about one in 10 people suffer symptoms bad enough to go to a doctor.

While researchers have long believed that probiotic bacteria could benefit gut disorders, few strains yet have the scientific evidence to demonstrate a real reduction in the symptoms of the disease over the long-term.

Peter Gouge, nutritionist at Quest, told "This is the only probiotic bacteria that specifically targets IBS that we are aware of."

The product will also be the first containing the bacteria to reach the European market. It was introduced to the US market in March 2005

Valérie Delahaye-Sarraute, marketing director of Institut Rosell, added: "We see good progress in our negotiations regarding other territories. We are selective in our search for distributors, but we foresee additional distribution agreements and launches to be carried out during this year."

Lp299v's mode of action and benefits in IBS patients are documented on a new website​ set up for the product launch.

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