Kirin Brewery Co Ld
24 March 2005
March 24, 2005
Research into Health-promoting Lactic Acid Bacteria - 4
Effectiveness of Lactobacillus KW
against Atopic Dermatitis
Animal studies show greater symptomatic improvement than with Lactobacillus GG; improvement with humans also confirmed
Tokyo, March 24, 2005-Kirin Brewery Company Limited (Kirin) today announced further outcomes of ongoing research into
the health-promoting properties of Lactobacillus paracasei KW3110 (hereafter Lactobacillus KW), a lactobacteria with
high efficacy against allergies. The research is being carried out at the Central Laboratory for Key Technology in
Kanazawa ward, Yokohama City.
Building on research presented in 2004 that demonstrated the effectiveness of Lactobacillus KW1 against atopic
dermatitis using an animal model susceptible to atopic dermatitis, results of the most recent animal model study showed
that Lactobacillus KW was effective at both preventing the occurrence of atopic dermatitis and producing symptomatic
improvement in existing atopic dermatitis. The study also showed that Lactobacillus KW was more effective than
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (hereafter LGG), a different strain of lactobacillus that has already been shown to act
against similar skin conditions2. Moreover, a clinical trial involving patients with atopic dermatitis suggested that
Lactobacillus KW was also effective in humans.
1 As presented to the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry (JSBBA) in March 2004
2 A group in Finland has published studies showing the effectiveness of LGG in preventing and treating atopic
dermatitis in infants. These studies are widely known in Europe and other places.
The results of the animal model research will be presented on March 30, 2005 to the JSBBA. The results of the clinical
trial on humans will be presented on June 3, 2005 at a spring clinical conference being held by the Japanese Society of
Comparative research on more than 100 strains of lactic acid bacteria owned by Kirin Group has shown that Lactobacillus
KW has the highest anti-allergy properties. Allergies are related to lymphocytes known as Th1 and Th2. Examination of
the blood of people suffering from allergies has shown an imbalance of these two lymphocytes, with Th2 becoming
dominant. Because Lactobacillus KW has the property of improving the balance of Th1 and Th2. it does not just relieve
the symptoms of illness but improves allergic predisposition and Kirin's studies have so far demonstrated this
For the research announced today, animals susceptible to atopic dermatitis were divided into three groups. One group
was provided with a regular diet, one group was given Lactobacillus KW with its diet as a preventative, and one group
was given Lactobacillus KW after the onset of atopic dermatitis. Subsequent observation confirmed that symptoms of
atopic dermatitis were suppressed in both the pre- and post-onset groups. Next, in trials that compared Lactobacillus
KW to LGG, it was shown that Lactobacillus KW controlled symptoms to a greater degree than LGG. The trials therefore
demonstrated that Lactobacillus KW was effective against atopic dermatitis both preventatively and after onset, and
that the effect of Lactobacillus KW was greater than that of LGG.
In a further study, 84 people with symptoms of atopic dermatitis were divided into two groups. One group was provided
with Lactobacillus KW and the control group was given a placebo. Observation over 12 weeks showed a significant
improvement in symptoms such as itchiness and skin rash in the group receiving Lactobacillus KW. Comparison with the
placebo control group showed a higher degree of improvement in itchiness. The results suggest that Lactobacillus KW
functions to control atopic dermatitis not only in animals but also in humans.
Kirin is carrying out a wide range of health-related research on food products, particularly in the area of alcohol
beverages. The results of research into Lactobacillus KW will be utilized throughout the Group, and research into the
health-promoting properties of lactic acid bacteria will continue.
Outline of research methodology and results
1. Characteristics of Lactobacillus KW
The beneficial effects of microbial components of lactic acid bacteria on the body are known as 'biogenics'. Since the
effects are not caused by living bacteria but by a component of bacteria, diverse applications using heat-treated
(dead) bacteria are expected.
Comparative research on more than 100 strains of lactic acid bacteria owned by Kirin Group has confirmed that
Lactobacillus KW has the highest biogenic effects in improving Th1/Th2 imbalance. Lactobacillus KW is recognized for
its role in improving hay fever and other conditions, as well as for its effect on atopic dermatitis.
2. Main research results
Animal model study 1
(1) Animals susceptible to atopic dermatitis (NC/Nga mice) were divided into three groups: one group was fed normally;
one group was given Lactobacillus KW preventatively at approximately 10mg per day; and one group was given
Lactobacillus KW only after developing atopic dermatitis. Inflammation on the animals' ears and heads was observed
(2) The preventatively dosed group showed a significant suppression of symptomatic progression compared to the group
receiving regular feed.
(3) The group dosed after onset also showed a significant suppression of symptomatic progression.
Animal model study 2
(1) NC/Nga mice were divided into three groups: one group was fed normally; one group received approximately 10mg of
Lactobacillus KW per day; and one group received approximately 10mg of LGG per day. Scores were monitored as per
animal model study 1 above.
(2) A significant suppression of the progression of atopic dermatitis was observed in both groups receiving lactic acid
bacteria, but a significantly greater effect was observed in the group receiving Lactobacillus KW. The inhibitory
effect observed in the KW group was significantly greater than that in the LGG group.
Clinical trial on patients with atopic dermatitis
(1) 84 people with light or moderate atopic dermatitis were divided into two groups. One group received Lactobacillus
KW (the KW group), and one group received a placebo powder (the control group). Blood samples were taken and
clinical symptoms were assessed by a doctor every four weeks.
(2) The KW group showed significant improvement in measures such as degree of itchiness, impact on quality of life,
skin condition, and affected skin area. The KW group demonstrated a particular improvement in degree of itchiness
and daily quality of life compared to the control group.
(3) The results of this study suggest that Lactobacillus KW is effective at controlling the progression of atopic
dermatitis not only in animals but also in humans.
This information is provided by RNS
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