Meiji presented findings from two of its studies at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry held from March 14 to 17.
Lactobacillus paragasseri OLL2716 is a type of lactic acid bacteria that belongs to the Lactobacillus genus. The strain’s ability to attach to gastric epithelial cells and its resistance to acid, among other characteristics, was first discovered by Meiji in 1999.
The first study was a randomised, double-blinded and placebo-controlled trial involving 174 adults who experienced postprandial pain (upper-middle stomach pain after eating).
The participants were assigned to two groups — the OLL2716 group and placebo group, which respectively took yoghurt containing the OLL2716 strain and yoghurt without the OLL2716 strain every day for 12 weeks.
Evaluation was done based on upper gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life factors reported by participants in a questionnaire.
It was found that stomach pain symptoms in the OLL2716 group significantly improved at six weeks and 12 weeks, compared to the placebo group.
In addition, the “feeling of stress due to stomach upset”, including irritation and general effects on wellness, markedly decreased in the OLL2716 group after six weeks of intervention.
“These results suggested that ingestion of the OLL2716 strain not only improves physical discomfort associated with stomach upset, but also reduces mental stress, contributing to overall health and well-being,” said the researchers.
Past studies on the OLL2716 strain have demonstrated its benefits in alleviating postprandial symptoms in people with functional dyspepsia — a condition where symptoms of an upset stomach, such as a heavy feeling or pain in the gastric pit, are persistent, although no particular abnormality is seen even through an endoscope.
In healthy adults, the OLL2716 strain could reportedly reduce delay in gastric emptying time, or the time it takes for time to move out of the stomach and into the small intestine. Gastric motility function is important for the proper processing of an ingested meal.
“Furthermore, it is generally known that when mental stress disturbs the balance of the autonomic nervous system, and the sympathetic nervous system becomes dominant, gastric motility and gastric acid secretion decrease.”
Another study also discovered that continuous intake of the OLL2716 strain played a part in activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s relaxation response after periods of stress and helps maintain life-sustaining processes like digestion.
“These evidence showed that the OLL2716 strain could mitigate stomach-related problems by acting on the autonomic nervous system and regulating the function of the stomach,” the researchers added.
Promoting ghrelin secretion
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone secreted in the stomach. Its main function is to regulate growth hormone secretion and food intake, as well as promote gastric acid secretion and gastrointestinal motility.
To investigate the effect of the OLL2716 strain on ghrelin production, Meiji carried out a separate study involving gastric cells.
When culture supernatants containing OLL2716 strain cells and metabolites were added to the MKN45 cell line (derived from gastric adenocarcinoma), ghrelin mRNA expression levels, which provide insights on how a cell is functioning, significantly increased.
This supports the hypothesis that the mechanism of action of the OLL2716 strain may elevate ghrelin secretion in the stomach.
“We will continue to conduct research that addresses health issues faced by our customers, and disseminate useful information to contribute to building healthy bodies and minds,” the firm concluded.