DanActive is a chilled, probiotic-cultured dairy drink that contains 10 billion live Lactobacillus casei Immunitas cultures, the patented L. casei strain DN-114 001, that are being clinically studied to show the effectiveness of strengthening the body's immune system. These living microorganisms can remain active in the gastrointestinal system to help regulate the functioning of the digestive tract.
Although the study of probiotics is still in its infancy, DanActive is currently studying the effects of probiotics on antibiotic-associated and infectious diarrhea in children and adults. It is also being researched to show the benefits of consumption in elderly men and women, college level students, and people who are extremely active. The shelf life and proper storage of probiotic products is very important. If they are not kept at the recommended temperature or are not consumed in a timely manner, the live cultures will die and have no effect at all. There is no concrete or credible proof that the bacteria actually colonize in the digestive tract.
Gas, Bloating and Diarrhea
Although the regular use of probiotics has been shown to reduce a number of stomach related problems, some users have reported cases of bloating, gas, cramping and lower abdominal pain during the first days of use. In certain users, an excess of drainage and diarrhea has been observed resulting from the introduction of new cultures directly competing with naturally occurring bacterial flora and fauna in the digestive tract. This can cause dehydration.
Unhealthy Metabolic Activities
Using probiotics introduces colonies of live bacteria into the body, which could be potentially harmful. Studies have been done to demonstrate the effect of the product creating a level of natural resistance. In people with underlying health conditions, there is the possibility that usage may lead to an increased susceptibility to contracting infections and diseases and, in some instances, the immune system can be overstimulated.
Effects with Crohn's Disease
Many doctors use probiotics to help treat Crohn's disease, but in a double-blind study performed by leading scholar Fergus Shanahan of the National University of Ireland, probiotics were an ineffective treatment method. Patients with severe pancreatitis also have an increased risk of death with its usage.
A class action suit was filed for false advertisement in Gamelas v. Danone Co. Inc. alleging that the claimed health benefits have never been clinically proven. While Dannon maintains innocence and is standing by its claims of the benefits of DanActive, a proposed settlement of $35 million was reached in 2010.