Dietary supplement containing Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 on sale in Australia

The University of Tartu’s patented strain of lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 gains more and more popularity in the world. Food supplements containing ME-3 have so far been sold in 12 countries; in April a new supplement made it to the Australian market. Scientists are looking for new areas of use for the friendly bacteria.

Reaching the Australian market is an important landmark for UT scientists, because it shows that the strain has been sufficiently investigated to conform to regulatory requirements. The new dietary supplement is unique with its only active ingredient being the UT-patented probiotic strain Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, in Estonia also known as the “Hellus” bacterium. “Due to complicated customs regulations, ME-3 was sold to the Spectrumceuticals company as raw material and not as a finished product. Their first product – BioOne™ – contains 8 million Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 bacteria in one capsule. The main purpose of this probiotic product is supporting the digestive system,” said Professor Marika Mikelsaar, one of the discoverers of ME-3.

Prof. Marika Mikelsaar said, “ME-3 was initially known as a microbe providing protection against infection and oxidative stress. Also we knew some of its most important qualities that ensured such protection. Today, microbiologists and biochemists have cooperated and as a result, found nearly ten new mechanisms of action, through which ME-3 works in the organism under different conditions.”

Pursuant to the new discovered qualities, scientists are trying to find new areas of application for the bacterium. “At the moment I can just say that we want to enter, for example, the Japanese and the Chinese market with a completely novel product and use ME-3 also for maintaining skin beauty,” said Mikelsaar. 

Thanks to the scientists’ dedicated research, the bacterium L. fermentum ME-3, patented in Estonia, Russia, Europe and the USA, is now sold in dairy products in the Baltic countries, and as Reg’Activ Cholesterol dietary supplement, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and improves the lipid profile, in Estonia and 9 more countries.

In the USA, Canada, and Central and South America, three different ME-3-containing food supplements are sold, which are directed to strengthening heart activity, immune response and the body’s resistance, and facilitating toxin release from the liver.

Researchers of the University of Tartu discovered the strain of lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 in 1995. Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 bacteria are unique for their combined antimicrobial and antioxidative effect. Therefore, they destroy harmful microbes and have a positive effect on the human body.

Additional information: Jane Luht, UT Technology Transfer Manager, 529 7956, jane.luht@ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp@ut.ee
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