This is the first time the two companies are coming together to formulate and launch probiotics supplements in the city-state.
The products are launched under the Probi banner via a licensing of the name to DKSH.
Known as Probi Iron+ and Probi Bone Health, the two capsule products are sold in Watsons, Shopee, and Redmart. Each product is sold at SGD$49.90 (US$35.67).
Probi Iron+ contains the patented bacteria strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V), iron, folic acid, and vitamin. It is said to support body’s absorption of iron.
“It is mostly women who are in need of iron supplementation throughout the different life stages of going through the menstruation cycle and pregnancy. However, the usual iron supplements produce quite a few side effects that are not pleasant to the gut.
“What has been proven on this particular probiotic is actually by administrating the probiotic together with a small amount of iron, the actual absorption of iron from both food as well as the small supplementation provided from this product, could improve the iron levels in the consumers.
“This then means that you could have a smaller intake of added iron apart from what you are eating and still have good iron stores in your body. It tackles the issue of iron deficiency in a slightly different way,” Tom Rönnlund, CEO of the Sweden-based Probi told NutraIngredients-Asia in an interview.
Findings published in Plos One showed that supplementation of the probiotics together with a meal with high iron bioavailability could enhance the absorption of iron
Probi Bone Health, on the other hand, is formulated with a blend of three probiotic strains, namely Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9, Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 19, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2, and vitamin D.
Findings published in The Lancet Rheumatology showed that supplementation of the probiotic blend daily for a year could protect against lumbar spine bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women.
Gut health market is saturated
Rönnlund added that the collaboration with DKSH sought to find new opportunities for probiotics beyond the area of gut health.
“In particular, for the Singapore market, probiotics are quite saturated in the gut health area. It is the most common product area for probiotics.
“But our customer was seeking for competitive areas where perhaps the competitive pressure or presence of other probiotics was not as big as other areas,” he pointed out.
With new scientific data emerging, psychobiotics – probiotics that modulate the gut-brain axis have entered the consumer market. Other examples include probiotics for the skin, muscle, liver, and metabolic health.
For Probi, aside from iron absorption and bone health, the company has also formulated probiotics for immune and gut health.
The collaboration also looked at market data when deciding which health areas to tackle and the demand for bone health supplements has stood out.
“Market data also shows bone health has an interest from the consumers and their willingness to invest in personal health before and after menopause, as well as iron supplement market.
“Market areas are growing quite well for these two areas. Based on this information, the customers saw an opportunity to enter that space with proven scientifically researched properly concepts,” he said.
Probi is also currently running human clinical trials in Asia-Pacific, where it would look at the area of gut health in China and bone health in Australia.