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Nestlé files patent for pregnancy probiotic

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Allergies in childhood can be the first step of an allergic cascade leading to multiple allergies later in life,' says Nestlé
'Allergies in childhood can be the first step of an allergic cascade leading to multiple allergies later in life,' says Nestlé

Related tags: Allergy, Allergies

Nestlé has filed a patent for probiotics to be taken during pregnancy and lactation, which it says help reduce the risk of allergies for the infant. 

Filed by Nestlé’s research arm, Nestec, the international patent referred to two combinations of probiotics: Lactobacillus Rhamnosus​ and Bifidobacterium Longum​ and Lactobacillus paracasei​ and Bifidobacterium Longum​. 

The firm cited a study with 241 pregnant women it said showed the reduced risk of eczema in infants after a 24-month follow-up of the nutritional intervention. 

Allergic sensitisation


It said the concept of allergic sensitisation - becoming sensitive or hypersensitive – in childhood was “critical and of highest interest”​ in the development of an allergic phenotype or atopy, meaning one’s genetic tendency to develop allergies. 

“Hence allergies in childhood can be the first step of an allergic cascade leading to multiple allergies later in life, a situation commonly referred to as ‘The Atopic March’.”

Preventing the onset of or attenuating the severity of food hypersensitivity could be crucial in slowing down this process, Nestlé wrote.

“In this context the management of allergic episodes and moreover prevention of allergies are, in childhood and infancy, of the highest importance.”

The new epidemic

It said the invention responded to a rapid increase in allergies over the last few decades, with over a third of the world’s population suffering from an allergy, which it called “the new epidemic challenge of the industrialised countries”​.

While the reason for this increase was unclear, it said: “Environmental factors such as lifestyle, pollution, decreasing family size, and reduction of microbial stimulation of the immune system in early life stage as a consequence of an improved hygienic situation seem to play an important role also.”

The dose 

It laid out several dose options for pregnant women, ranging from a two-week period at least two months or preferably four months before delivery to the full duration of the pregnancy. This could continue for one to two months after delivery or preferably up to six months after. 

The oral probiotics could be delivered via foods, drinks, food supplements or pharmaceuticals at a daily, every-other-day or weekly dose.

In April the company published a patent for cocoa polyphenols​ as a treatment and prevention for eosinophilic esophagitis – an allergic reaction of the esophagus.

Source: WIPOPublication No. WO/2015/090349

Published: 25 June, 2015 Filed: 16 December, 2013

“Probiotic nutritional intervention during pregnancy and optionally lactation to reduce risk of allergy in infants”

Authors: Nestec – Florence Rochat and Olivier Corticchiato

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