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Probiotics, fiber, enzymes and other natural ingredients boost digestive health by increasing beneficial bacteria, breaking down nutrients and supporting the mucosal lining. Research has shown that eating foods or supplements with these digestive health ingredients may help reduce diarrhea, constipation and vomiting.
April 25, 2016
Three square meals per day has turned into eat a little here, eat a little there. In fact, nearly all Americans (94%) snack at least once a day, and half (50%) of adults snack two to three times per day, according to a July 2015 report from Mintel. This means consumers are pretty much always consuming, and digestive systems are in heavy use.
American consumers often turn to supplements and functional foods that help them ease digestion, especially since research has shown the gut is linked to many more aspects of human health.
Probiotics have been well established as digestive health aids, both in research and consumers’ minds. For instance, daily consumption of many different probiotic strains has been studied, and results show they may increase beneficial bacteria in the human gut, limit the recurrence of colitis, reduce diarrhea and help decrease symptoms of lactose indigestion.
Fiber in all forms—soluble, insoluble and prebiotic—helps aid digestive health by improving food transit time and creating a cozy environment for healthy bacteria. Enzyme supplementation helps breakdown food into its basic and useful components to allow for better digestion. Gluten- and lactose intolerance are two major digestion issues enzyme supplementation can address.
Combining pre- and probiotics to boost gut health is so common that there’s a term—synbioitcs—that’s widely used in the supplement industry. But synbiotics aren’t the only combination products that can boost digestive health. A mixture of the mineral zinc and the amino acid L-carnosine can support the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and combining plant-based ingredients can also help improve digestive health.
These digestive health ingredients can be incorporated into foods and supplements to promote consumer health, but formulators must tread carefully. Probiotics are live bacteria that can die if exposed to oxygen, light and heat. Similarly, enzymes can be denatured if not protected. Adding too much fiber incorrectly to a food item can render it unpalatable, and combination products must be appropriately balanced.
VP of Content, Informa
• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.
• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.
• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.
Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.
In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!
Arizona State University
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