Frequently answered questions - ProVen Probiotics


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Created by microbiologist Dr Nigel Plummer, ProVen Probiotics was launched following more than 30 years of research and innovation.

ProVen Probiotics’ products contain the unique Lab4 probiotic strains. This group of strains is one of the very few blends of live bacteria that have been rigorously studied over the past 15 years to demonstrate consistent health benefits ranging from allergy prevention in infants to reduction of all symptoms (bloating, pain, discomfort) in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The ProVen Probiotics range has also been developed based upon 30 years of research and development in probiotic bacteria and products. As well as the Lab4 bacteria, the team of scientists behind ProVen Probiotics have identified a process to add other nutrients, such as vitamins and immune enhancing ingredients such as elderberry, to the supplements without destabilising the Lab4 bacteria.

As a result, ProVen Probiotics offers a range of products that include continuously researched live bacteria and key nutrients to support health.

Our proprietary manufacturing processes mean that the live bacteria used in the ProVen Probiotics range are kept stable at all times and can be incorporated into many product formats, including capsules, tablets and powders.

These manufacturing processes also mean that the live bacteria can be combined in a single capsule, tablet or powder with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

The ProVen Probiotics range includes capsules, tablets and powders that combine a variety of ingredients depending upon the need identified for each particular product.

Lab4 is a consortium of probiotic bacteria, which has been developed by Dr Nigel Plummer and his team of scientists at Cultech Ltd in south Wales.

The scientists at Cultech have over 30 years’ experience of the discovery and development of probiotic bacteria and the production of probiotic products. Crucially, the Cultech researchers have spent more than 15 years undertaking clinical research to prove the effectiveness of the Lab4 probiotic strains and this research is ongoing.

There are now three different groups of Lab4 bacteria – Lab4 was developed for adults and children aged four years and over and Lab4B for pregnancy and infants from birth to three years of age. More recently, the company has developed Lab4P, which contains the four core Lab4 strains with Lactobacillus plantarum, an additional strain of live bacteria native to the human digestive tract.

Lactobacillus acidophilus (strain 1), Lactobacillus acidophilus (strain 2), Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis.

Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Lactobacillus acidophilus (strain 1), Lactobacillus acidophilus (strain 2), Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum.

For further information on Lab4 probiotics, please click here.

Lab4 is a blend of four strains of friendly bacteria developed by Dr Nigel Plummer and his team of scientists at Cultech in South Wales and subjected to rigorous research over the last 15 years.

This group of bacteria is supported by extensive clinical research, including the ProChild study, the Swansea Baby Trial, which investigated the effects of probiotics taken during pregnancy and infancy on prevention of allergies in children, and the Sheffield IBS Trial, which found significant improvement in total IBS symptoms in adults taking a high strength ProVen probiotic over eight weeks.

The unique Lab4 blend of probiotics can be found in the ProVen Probiotics’ range of supplements developed with different formulations to suit all ages and lifestyles from pregnancy to 50+.

This is very individual. In our clinical studies with the Lab4 probiotic ingredient we found that many IBS sufferers found relief within two weeks. Similarly, with the Clostridium difficile study the effect was apparent within 2-3 weeks. The latest clinical study was amongst new born babies and is therefore preventative, but results showed that the effects were established within the supplementation window of six months following birth.

Friendly bacteria supplements are categorised as ‘Generally Recognised as Safe’ (GRAS) and ProVen Probiotics’ products have been subject to ongoing clinical research over the past 15 years, providing evidence of their safety.

As we are all individual, some people experience some mild digestive side effects when they first start taking live bacteria supplements. These side effects may include gas, bloating and flatulence and should last no longer than a week. If they are particularly uncomfortable for you, we would recommend reducing the dose and perhaps taking one capsule every other day (or as often as you feel comfortable) until the effects subside.

ProVen Probiotics’ Pregnancy Plus contains an additional fish oil capsule to provide the omega 3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) to support mum and baby in pregnancy.

The omega 3 fish oil in ProVen Pregnancy Plus is derived from tuna and is a highly purified stable fish oil that meets all the requirements of Regulation 1881-2006, which clearly sets the standards in relation to mercury and other heavy metals, PCBs, Dioxins, Furans and PAHs.

In addition to the tests the supplier conducts to ensure their compliance, we also rigorously analyse the oils at an external laboratory before using them in any of our products.

Yes – it’s fine to give your baby the ProVen Probiotics for Breast Fed Babies.

The only difference between the two products is that ProVen Probiotics for Formula Fed Babies has added prebiotics, which are naturally present in breast milk and help the probiotic bacteria to colonise the intestine. The number of live bacteria in both products is the same – 10 billion per serving, as used in the Swansea Baby Trial.

The ProVen Formula Fed product contains two types of prebiotic fibre, GOS (galactooligosaccharides) and FOS (fructooligosaccharides). GOS is derived from the lactose in milk and, although it is unlikely to contain any lactose and does not contain any milk protein, it is derived from milk. FOS is derived from fruit and vegetables.

Some probiotics are enteric coated, which protects the contents of the capsule when passing through the stomach.

At ProVen Probiotics we have the ability to enteric coat, but we choose not to as, in order for the bacteria to start colonising, the enteric coating has to dissolve in the small intestine, the capsule has to be broken down and the contents of the capsule have to be released and activated.

As the small intestine doesn’t have the pummelling action or the acidity of the stomach and the transit time through the small intestine is only 2-4 hours, it is unlikely that the enteric coating will be broken down in time for the probiotics to have an effect.

Instead of enteric coating, the ProVen Probiotics range of products are provided in a variety of formats that are designed to travel through the stomach with food and to disintegrate as they do so, ready for use in the intestines.

The ProVen Probiotics powders and chewable tablets disintegrate immediately and the capsules disintegrate within 30 minutes. When taken alongside food, the bacteria then travel with the food through the stomach acid to the small intestine.

All friendly bacteria strains used in the ProVen products are both vegetarian and vegan. Some of our products contain vitamin D, which is from a vegetarian source, but is not vegan.

Our Lactobacillus & Bifidus for Formula Fed Babies and our Toddler product both contain galactooligosaccharides (GOS), which is derived from the sugar (lactose) in milk. These products are therefore not vegan (and are not considered to be dairy free).

Our Pregnancy Plus and Four Pillars of Nutrition products contain a fish oil softgel alongside the probiotic and multinutrient capsule and are therefore neither vegan nor vegetarian.

The icons on our product pages indicate which products are vegan and vegetarian.

All friendly bacteria strains used in ProVen Probiotics’ products are free from gluten, dairy, soy and nuts.

Two of our products (for Formula Fed Babies and Toddlers) are not considered to be dairy free as they contain galactooligosaccharides (GOS), which is derived from the sugar (lactose) in milk. Whilst GOS does not contain any dairy protein, it is a derivative processed from lactose.

Yes, the friendly bacteria used in all ProVen Probiotics’ products are naturally sourced, fermented and cultured.

No, we do not use any GMOs in our products or manufacturing plant.

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