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Medical ice cream trial underway

09 Nov, 2009

Source: Various sources

An ice cream, developed to prevent some of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, is currently being tested.

Early studies have shown that milk fat and the bioactive milk fraction lactoferrin can protect the lining of the intestine.

Called ReCharge, the ice cream is being tested in a phase II trial in the clinic. Researchers believe it will help combat chemotherapy induced diarrhoea and may reduce weight loss and immune system damage caused by chemotherapy.

Scientists worked with the food company Tip Top to incorporate a particular milk fat and dairy protein into an ice cream that was pleasant to eat.

The dairy components were screened for their health effects by Associate Professor Geoff Krissansen.

“Earlier trials in the laboratory found that weight loss and damage to the gut lining were significantly reduced by the active ingredients. There were also marked improvements to the immune system and blood markers,” he says.

ReCharge is being trialled at oncology centres throughout New Zealand. Trial participants are required to eat a 100 gram tub of strawberry ice cream each day.

The outcome of the trial is expected to be known in 12 months time.

The innovative ice cream was developed by Lactopharma, a joint venture between Fonterra and The University of Auckland.

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