HealthDay News — Intake of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v (Lp) from early pregnancy is safe, attenuates the loss of iron stores, and improves iron status in healthy pregnant women, according to a study published online April 21 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Ulrika Axling, PhD, from Probi AB in Lund, Sweden, and colleagues randomly assigned 326 women to receive either Lp, the study product containing the probiotic strain combined with a low dose of iron, ascorbic acid, and folic acid (161 participants), or placebo (165 participants) twice daily from gestational week 10 to 12 until the end of pregnancy or until the potential start of iron therapy.

The researchers found that intake of Lp attenuated the decrease in serum ferritin from baseline to week 28 and week 35 and resulted in reduced prevalence of iron deficiency (59 vs 78%) and iron deficiency anemia (7.4 vs 21%) at week 35. Beneficial effects of Lp intake were also seen for the soluble transferrin receptor and total body iron at week 35. The groups had similar outcomes with respect to adverse events, gestational length, and birthweight.

“Intake of the probiotic strain Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v together with a low dose of iron, folic acid, and ascorbic acid is safe and improves iron status in healthy pregnant women,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Probi AB (a research and B2B probiotics company), which funded the study.

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