HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+ | HOWARU® | Clinically-Mastered Probiotics

HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+

HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+

HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+

HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+ is IFF’s new probiotics product specially for women’s health. Containing L. acidophilus La-14® and L. rhamnosus HN001™, it can support the immune system health of mothers and their babies, make mothers happier and calmer, and help to maintain vaginal health.

The primary aim of this human clinical study was to evaluate whether probiotic supplementation in pregnant mothers with L. rhamnosus HN001™ during breastfeeding can reduce the rates of infant eczema and allergy. Also important, the  secondary aims of the study considered the effects on postnatal depression and anxiety and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GFDM) in the mother. [1]

Pregnant women received daily probiotic supplements of L. rhamnosus HN001™ (6 x 109 CFU) from 5 weeks pre-term to 6 months post-term if breastfeeding. The probiotic was administered in capsules to mothers and as a powder diluted in milk or sprinkled on top of the infant’s food until 2 years of age.

Immune System Benefits for the Pregnant Mother and Fetus

At the age of 2, the results demonstrated a significant reduction in the cumulative prevalence of eczema in the group supplemented with L. rhamnosus HN001™. Using clinical diagnosis criteria, the prevalence of eczema decreased by 49% (p=0.01) at 2 years of age and, importantly, the effect of L. rhamnosus HN001™ on decreasing the prevalence of eczema persisted until 6 years of age, when the cumulative prevalence was found to be 44% lower (p=0.01). In the follow-up study at 6 years of age it was found that supplementation with L. rhamnosus HN001™ decreased the cumulative prevalence of positive skin-prick tests by 31% (p=0.04). Furthermore, at 4 years of age the relative risk of rhinoconjunctivits (rhinitis and red eyes) was found to be 62 % lower in the probiotic group (p=0.01). [2] (For further information see HOWARU® Protect Earlylife).

Helps Reduce PND and Anxiety

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of HN001™on postnatal mood was conducted in 423 women in New Zealand. Women were recruited at 14-16 weeks gestation, randomized to receive either placebo or HN001™daily from enrolment until 6 months postpartum if breastfeeding, and invited to fill out a questionnaire that considered their psychological well-being 1-2 months after birth. [3]

Mothers in the probiotic treatment group reported significantly lower depression scores (HN001 mean = 7·7 (SD = 5·4), placebo 9·0 (6·0); effect size -1·2, (95% CI -2·3, -0·1), p = 0·037) and anxiety scores (HN001 12·0 (4·0), placebo 13·0 (4·0); effect size -1·0 (-1·9, -0·2), p = 0·014) than those in the placebo group. Rates of clinically relevant anxiety on screening (score > 15) were significantly lower in the HN001 treated mothers。

Helps Reduce the Occurrence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

The clinical study published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that L. rhamnosus HN001™ supplementation may reduce the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) by 68%, especially bringing benefits to those with higher risk of developing GDM during pregnancy due to higher maternal age (>35 y) at conception or previous GDM diagnosis.
A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled parallel trial was conducted in New Zealand (NZ) (Wellington and Auckland). Pregnant women with a personal or partner history of atopic disease were randomised at 14–16 weeks’ gestation to receive HN001 (6×109 colony-forming units) (n 212) or placebo (n 211) daily. GDM at 24–30 weeks was assessed using the definition of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) and NZ definition. All analyses were intention-to-treat. [4]
The result showed that there was a trend towards lower relative rates (RR) of GDM (IADPSG definition) in the HN001 group. HN001 was associated with lower rates of GDM in women aged ≥35 years (RR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·81, P=0·009) and women with a history of GDM (RR 0·00; 95 % CI 0·00, 0·66, P=0·004). Using the NZ definition, GDM prevalence was significantly lower in the HN001 group reduced by 68% (2.1%), compared with placebo group (6.5%).

Helps Balance Vaginal Microbiota

It has been shown that after a 14-day dietary supplementation with HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+ containing L. rhamnosus HN001™ and L. acidohphilus La-14® plus lactoferrin, there is colonization of the vagina of healthy women with these microbes and that the colonization persists at least 1 week after intervention compared to the placebo. Vaginal pH remained in the healthy range throughout the study. The probiotics (5 x 109 CFU) were taken twice daily. [5]

Another human clinical study showed that HOWARU® Protect Prenatal+ is correlated with the restoration of moderate vaginosis and an improvement in symptoms of abnormal vaginal microbiota, compared to the placebo group. [6]


  1. Barthow C et al., (2016) BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 16,133
  2. Wickens KL et al., (2008) J Allergy Clin Immuno 122:788-794; (2012) Clin Exp Allergy 42 1071-1079; (2013) Clin Exp Allergy 43(9):1048-1057
  3. F. Slykerman et al, EBioMedicine 24 (2017) 159–165
  4. Wickens, et al, British Journal of Nutrition (2017), volume 117, issue 6, p804-813
  5. De Alberti D et al., (2015) Arch Gynecol Obstet 292(4):861-867
  6. Russo R et al.,(2018) Arch Gynecol Obstet 298 (1):138-145