Monday, September 21, 2009

Danone's latest sexy health claim (sarcasm alert).

Somehow I don't think you'll be seeing this one on the side of your Activia anytime soon, but not because it isn't true.

If you remember a while back I observed that if Danone's Activia health claims were really as robust as they like to present them, that perhaps they wouldn't have withdrawn them from consideration in the EU where the rules of proving your claim to be true are much, much more stringent.

Well Danone's resubmitted a claim all right, but it's not the claim that Activia helps keep you regular, instead it's,

Fermented milk that contains the probiotic Lactobacillus casei, reduces the presence of Clostridium difficile toxins in the gut, associated with the incidence of acute diarrhoea.”

And very possibly true as Danone funded a double blind, placebo controlled trial involving 135 hospitalized patients taking antibiotics and found that only 12% of the probiotic group contracted diarrhoea associated with antibiotic use compared with 34% of the controls.

So once again I've got to wonder aloud - if their evidence regarding their Activia health claims were as robust as those referred to above, why did they withdraw them from consideration in the EU and why haven't they been resubmitted?

Hickson, M., D'Souza, A., Muthu, N., Rogers, T., Want, S., Rajkumar, C., & Bulpitt, C. (2007). Use of probiotic Lactobacillus preparation to prevent diarrhoea associated with antibiotics: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial BMJ, 335 (7610), 80-80 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.39231.599815.55