With over 30 years’ experience in probiotics, coupled with continual research and new product development, Lab4 Probiotics is one of the world’s most respected producers of probiotics. The company is owned and managed by Dr Nigel Plummer, a world-renowned expert in the field of probiotics. Dr Plummer produced his first human probiotic in 1994, having previously worked in the field of animal probiotics.
Lab4, the strain of bacteria used in our products has been developed over 20 years by Dr Nigel Plummer. A 20-strong team of scientists and researchers has spent the last 15 years undertaking clinical research into the effectiveness of the Lab4 probiotic strains. The Lab4 probiotic that is in the PRP probiotic products have been used in research relating to allergy, common illnesses and specific digestive complaints and are designed to be used in pregnancy, through infancy, childhood and into adulthood.
What Are The Benefits Of Lab4 Probiotics?
More and more research is being carried out each year as the benefits of probiotics are tested. Current research shows that probiotics could have benefits for;
– Digestion and absorption
– Mental health conditions
– Immune function
– Traveller’s diarrhoea
There are a number of mechanisms by which probiotics have been suggested to improve health.
They can directly modulate our immune system and can boost immune cells including natural killer cells, the IgA-producing cells as well as T lymphocytes.
They have an antimicrobial action. They produce antimicrobial substances and also compete with pathogens to adhere to the lining of our digestive system.
They can improve the intestinal barrier. Within our digestive tract, the lining of cells is held together by structural proteins. This barrier prevents certain substances and compounds from entering our circulation. Probiotics can enhance this barrier, as well as increase the mucosal layer which covers it.
Probiotics can also increase the amount of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in our digestive system. These have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body.
Are they All The Same
If you look at the label of a probiotic product you will see the name of the bacterial strain that the product uses. For example, in our probiotic products we use the strains:
– Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL 60
– Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL 21
– Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis CUL 34
– Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL 20
The names are made up of the bacteria genus (e.g. Lactobacillus), species (e.g. acidophilus) and strain (e.g. CUL 60). While some bacterial strains can have similar mechanisms and health benefits (particularly if they are the same species), some of the benefits have been shown to be strain specific.
Have the Lab4 Strains Been Used In Research?
Lab4 is the proprietary group of probiotic bacteria, which was developed by Dr Nigel Plummer and his team of scientists at Cultech Ltd and has been used in probiotics products around the world for the past 10 years.
There are now 12 clinical studies supporting the use of Lab4 probiotics for a variety of functions in adults, children and babies. Carried out over the past 15 years, these studies have shown the benefit of the Lab4 and Lab4b consortia in supporting digestive health, immune health, performance and mood and cognition.
Specifically, the studies have shown the impact of probiotics on early immune system development, immunity in children, alongside antibiotics and in helping to prevent antibiotic resistance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), athletic performance, anxiety and attention.
Throughout these trials and 15 years of use in products, Lab4 probiotics bacteria have been shown to be completely safe. This is further supported by The Swansea Baby Trial which involved both pregnant ladies and newborn babies. The approval of the Lab4b probiotics for use in this large trial with these two potentially vulnerable populations is a testament to the efficacy of this group of bacteria. Take a look at the Lab4 study timeline for more information.
Are There Any Other Benefits?
More recent research has also shown the Lab4 strains can also have a positive impact on sports performance.
- When runners supplemented with Lab4 probiotics for 4 weeks and asked to run to exhaustion in the heat, they were able to run for ~15% longer compared to when they had taken the placebo (Shing et al., 2014)
- In ironman triathletes, participants supplemented with probiotics or placebo for 12 weeks. Those taking probiotics had a 10% quicker overall race time than those on the placebo – although this did not reach statistical significance. Those taking probiotics also suffered from fewer and less severe gut symptoms (e.g. bloating, urge to defecate, nausea, etc.) during training compared to the placebo group. (Roberts et al., 2016)
- Runners competing in the Marathon des Sables (often called the toughest race on the planet) had an overall race time that was 12% quicker after supplementing with Lab4 probiotics compared to placebo (Marshall et al.m 2017)
Yet to be published research has also shown that Lab4 can have benefits to athletes who consume carbohydrate drinks during exercise, as well as improve performance in marathon runners.
If you are taking any prescribed medication or have any medical conditions ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist BEFORE taking vitamins or supplements. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If pregnant or lactating, ALWAYS consult your doctor before use. Or if you have any queries about any supplement ALWAYS consult a QUALIFIED medical professional.
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