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Research Shows LGG Found in Culturelle May Have Protective Effects in the Intestine; Experts Comment on Probiotic Benefits for Colon Health.

OMAHA, Neb. -- According to the American Cancer Society, last year an estimated 145,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed, making it the third most common cause of cancer in both men and women. Experts are encouraged by animal and laboratory research, however, which indicates a leading probiotic, Culturelle(R), with its patented strain Lactobacillus GG (LGG), may help prevent lesions that can lead to some forms of colon cancer.

Although mortality rates have declined in recent years due to early detection, colorectal cancer still accounts for 10 percent of all cancer deaths. In the early stages, colorectal cancer causes no symptoms, making screening important as a primary prevention strategy. Rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits and abdominal pain may signal advanced disease.

The primary risk factor is age, with more than 90 percent of all cases being diagnosed in those over 50. A family history of colon cancer, polyps and inflammatory bowel disease as well as smoking, alcohol consumption and inactivity have also been associated with the development of colorectal cancer.

In addition to heredity and dietary influences common in Western societies that contribute to a high risk of colon cancer, the intestinal bacteria may have a role by causing metabolic activation of procarcinogens in the lumen of the large bowel. According to Drs. Barry Goldin and Sherwood Gorbach, professors at Tufts University School of Medicine who first identified LGG in 1985, probiotics such as Culturelle have protective effects in the intestine(a). In research done by Dr. Goldin, LGG has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on precancerous lesions in animal models(b). Laboratory studies have also shown that LGG binds aflatoxin B(1), a known food-borne carcinogen(c).

"Culturelle contains the patented probiotic LGG which promotes the growth of other beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which is an essential factor to good health," Gorbach said. "This bacterial strain is what makes Culturelle unique," Gorbach explained. "Many other Lactobacillus strains do not adhere to the intestinal lining. Additionally, LGG has been proven to better withstand stomach acid and bile. Just as important," Gorbach continued, "no other probiotic has been more thoroughly tested in clinical trials. Culturelle offers consumers an exclusive level of confidence."


Dr. Mark Pochapin, a gastroenterologist and director of the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, has conducted trials with the probiotic LGG found in Culturelle. "I recommend probiotics for a variety of gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile colitis," Pochapin said. He added, "The animal and laboratory research in colon cancer prevention is exciting and I hope future studies will be forthcoming to validate the benefits in humans."

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, American Cancer Society and scientific evidence suggest that limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, adopting a physically active lifestyle and eating a variety of healthy foods can modify the risk of cancer at all stages of development. Probiotics, including LGG found in Culturelle, are a healthy addition to the diet that may enhance the body's natural defenses.

Culturelle is available in retail locations nationwide. For retail locations and more information about Culturelle, visit or call 1-888-828-4242.

About Culturelle and ConAgra Functional Foods

Culturelle probiotic dietary supplement containing Lactobacillus GG is manufactured by ConAgra Functional Foods, a division of ConAgra Foods, Inc., a diversified international food company and the manufacturers of Healthy Choice foods and more than 20 other well-known food brands.

(a) GORBACH, SL. 2000. Probiotics and gastrointestinal health. Am J. Gastroenterol. 95 (1 Suppl): S 2-4.

(b) GOLDIN, B.R., GUALTIERI, L.J., and MOORE, R.P. 1996. The effect of Lactobacillus GG on the initiation and promotion of dimethylhydrazine-induced intestinal tumors in the rat. Nutr. Cancer. 25: 197-204.

(c) LAHTINEN, S.J., HASKARD, C.A., OUWEHAND, A.C., SALMINEN, S.J., and AHOKAS, J.T. 2004. Binding of aflatoxin B(1) to cell wall components of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG. Food Addit. Contam. 21(2):158-64.
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Date:Mar 2, 2005
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