Meiji upgrades Lactobacillus yoghurt and beverage to claim uric acid-suppressing ability

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Meiji is relaunching its PA-3 yogurt and PA-3 beverage as Food with Functional Claims.
Meiji is relaunching its PA-3 yogurt and PA-3 beverage as Food with Functional Claims.

Related tags Meiji Lactobacillus Yogurt Beverages

Meiji is relaunching two products, a yogurt and a beverage drink containing Lactobacillus, as Foods with Function Claims (FFC) in Japan.

The two products, Meiji Probio Yogurt PA-3 and Meiji Probio Yogurt PA-3 Drink, claim to suppress rising uric acid levels, with 5.6 billion units of Lactobacillus gasseri​ PA-3 as their active ingredient.

PA-3 reduces uric acid levels by metabolising purine, a precursor to uric acid.

“This time, in order to inform more customers of their unique functions as lactic acid bacteria (PA-3 lactic acid bacteria​ suppresses the rise in uric acid levels), a notification of functional labelling food was submitted and accepted,”​ the firm said.

The two products which were first launched in April 2015,​ are targeted at males between 30 and 60 years old, and the new versions will be available for sale from May 27. The recommended dosage is one tub or one bottle of the yogurt drink per day.

Japan has about 600k to 1m people suffering from gout, according to a study presented to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare last year.

The study also stated that the present challenges in addressing the prevalence of gout include non-treatment due to existing complications in patients and prevention and control of complications that may occur during treatment.

To address the prevalence of gout, FANCL also launched a capsule supplement for reducing uric acid levels​, also approved as a FFC last month.

On the other hand, the FFC system in Japan is into its fourth year this year, with 1,785 products gaining approval.

The system is said to have benefitted large corporations in terms of sales revenue, with Fancl as a classic example.

Product trial

According to product trials, PA-3 lactobacillus is able to bring down uric acid levels in two weeks’ time.

Fourteen males with serum uric acid levels of 4.0 to 7.0 mg/dL were recruited into the trial.

They were then divided into two groups, with one group consuming the yogurt containing PA-3 lactobacillus and the other a placebo group. Both groups were required to take in 498g of purine daily. 

Their serum uric acid levels were then measured during the 30th​, 60th​, 90th​, and 150th​ minute interval after consumption.

It was found that after two weeks, the group which consumed PA-3 lactobacillius saw their uric acid level decrease, with steeper decline at the 30th​ and 60th​ minute. 

For example, the uric acid level dropped from 0.8 to less than 0.6 at the 30th​ minute and from 1.0 to slightly more than 0.8 at the 60th​ minute.

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