First probiotic with health claim

17 Mar 2017

According to Dutch probiotic researcher and manufacturer Winclove Probiotics, its upgraded Propionibacterium freudenreichii W200 contains enough vitamin B12 to make an EFSA approved health claim.

First probiotic with health claim

The first probiotic with a European health claim is now a fact, according to Dutch probiotic researcher and manufacturer Winclove Probiotics. Winclove’s upgraded Propionibacterium freudenreichii W200 is said to contain adequate amounts of vitamin B12 to make an EFSA approved health claim.

“Stringent probiotic regulations drive the market to innovation,” said Marco van Es, Director Business Development at Winclove. “We have succeeded in optimizing the fermentation process of Propionibacterium freudenreichii W200 in such a way that it now produces substantial amounts of vitamin B12. It is the first probiotic in Europe that allows EFSA approved health claims. W200 opens up new opportunities for dietary supplement marketers to promote the health benefits of probiotics to health care professionals and consumers.”

With the upgraded Propionibacterium freudenreichii W200 the following 8 EFSA health claims can be made, according to the company:

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to normal psychological function

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to normal red blood cell formation

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal function of the immune system

+ Vitamin B12 contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

+ Vitamin B12 has a role in the process of cell division

According to the WHO probiotics are defined as “live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host". Although this definition is widely adopted, European national regulatory authorities forbid the use of the word “probiotic” since it embeds a nonvalidated health claim. So far, EFSA has rejected all submitted health claims for probiotics. The upgraded Propionibacterium freudenreichii W200 would be the first strain with an approved health claim, implying the first probiotic that can truly be called a probiotic, Winclove said.

Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin also called cobalamin, is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body and is only produced through a bacterial fermentation-synthesis, the company notes. Propionibacteria are already known for producing vitamin B12, however in small amounts, it says.

Winclove notes that it has over 25 years of experience in researching, developing and manufacturing evidence-based probiotics.