by Marion Nestle
Feb 19 2024

Industry-sponsored study of the week: a menstruation supplement

The study:  Lactobacillus paragasseri OLL2809 Improves Premenstrual Psychological Symptoms in Healthy Women: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrients. 2023; 15(23):4985.

Methods: “This study employed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group design to assess the efficacy of continuous ingestion of OLL2809 [the supplement] for managing menstrual symptoms in healthy women.”

Conclusion: “This study suggests that the consumption of OLL2809 over three menstrual cycles in healthy women can alleviate premenstrual ‘decline in activity’ and ‘irritability’, thereby indicating the potential of OLL2809 to enhance women’s QOL [Quality of Life].

Conflicts of Interest:  All authors are employees of Meiji Co., Ltd. The company funded this research. All authors are the inventors of pending patent (Japanese Patent Application No. 2023-182470).

Comment: The supplement is a bacterial probiotic.  The authors are employed by its maker and hold a patent for it, which they fully disclose.  Just as a reminder, industry-funded studies tend to come out with results favoring the sponsor’s interest, as is certainly the case here.

I need to say something about the journal, Nutrients, since many of the studies I post on industry-funded Mondays appear in that journal.  It charges authors €2900 (about $3300) to publish their articles.  It’s an open-access journal, so all authors have to pay to publish their articles.  More rigorous journals do not usually require page charges from authors unless they want open access.  Nutrients gives me the impression of pay to play.