The study, “Effect of Daily Bacillus subtilis DE111 Intake on Gastrointestinal Health and Respiratory Infections in Children Attending Day-care” was funded by Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes and published in the Journal of Probiotics and Health.
The IRB-approved, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 81 children 2 to 6 years old. The intervention consisted of daily consumption of a 1.4g quick melt stick pack containing either the commercial probiotic strain B. subtilis DE111 or tapioca maltodextrin (placebo) for 8 weeks. The researchers analyzed the incidence and duration of symptoms of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections after eight weeks and then again after four weeks post-termination.
Results of the study showed that daily consumption of 1 billion CFU of the probiotic strain Bacillus subtilis DE111 supported a healthy gastrointestinal tract with a reduced duration of vomiting, hard stools and overall gastrointestinal discomfort.
The probiotic group showed a reduction in vomiting duration, with two days versus 14 days in the placebo group. The duration of hard stools was also reduced, with the probiotic group experiencing no hard stools, compared to 15 days in the placebo group.
Gastrointestinal infection incidences were also lowered, with the probiotic group landing at 7% and the placebo group at 20%.
When GI infections did occur, the duration lasted 8 days in the DE111 group versus 28 days in the placebo group.
In terms of overall gastrointestinal discomfort, children in the probiotic group reported 18 days of discomfort while those in the placebo group experiences 48 days discomfort.
“In addition to support against Gastrointestinal Infections (GII), probiotics have been shown to support GI comfort. Individual indicators of GI comfort were monitored in this trial. A statistically significant decrease in the incidence of hard stools and a decrease of diarrhea with probiotic intake was seen. When combining symptoms of GI discomfort (diarrhea, hard stool, constipation and bloating), a statistically significant reduction of 62% in the duration of symptoms was observed in the probiotic group. Probiotics have been proposed to promote gut health through regulating gut motility and stool consistency. Indeed, B. subtilis itself has been shown to have a protective effect on constipation and diarrhea in adults,” the report noted.
While the report was mostly positive, the authors did note an important drawback regarding the timing of the intervention. “The peak time for GII typically falls between January and April. As this study was conducted from April to July, the peak season for infections was missed, potentially impacting the incidence of GII and GI symptoms and thus limiting the evaluation of significance of probiotic intake effect. Regardless, despite low incidences of GII, the data strongly suggest a clear trend of protection and maintenance of gut health through the intake of B. subtilis DE111,” explained the authors.
The authors said that the results of the study further support the role of B. subtilis to protect against GI discomfort in preschool aged children. “Taken together, there is an obvious trend where B. subtilis DE111 may have a protective role in the GI tract, supporting the maintenance of overall gut health and preventing the onset of GI disturbances in children.”
The authors concluded, "This study suggests the probiotic B. subtilis DE111 has a beneficial effect in preventing GII and promoting GI health and comfort in young children attending day-care. Additionally, it shows the probiotic is well tolerated and safe to use in children 2-6 years old. Future studies would benefit from interventions, during peak infection season.”
“This is highly encouraging research showing that supplementation with the probiotic DE111 can help support the health of young children in preschool, via the gastrointestinal system,” said John Deaton, vice president of science and technology at Deerland.
Source: Journal of Probiotics and Health
Vol.8 Iss.4 No:225 Study
“Effect of Daily Bacillus subtilis DE111 Intake on Gastrointestinal Health and Respiratory Infections in Children Attending Day-care”
Authors: M. Slivnik et al.