Digestive health is a category nearly everyone can relate to; whether the occasional upset stomach for some, or for others, the dire need to monitor every bite that enters their mouths. “One in three in the world population is struggling with some form of gut-related symptoms,” said Julie Impérato, marketing manager, Nexira. “Digestive health is the fastest-growing condition-specific category tracked by the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). The category reached US$2.6 billion in 2016 with 13.5 percent growth. Probiotics, beneficial bacterial cultures that colonize in the human gut, are No. 1 in this digestive category, with nearly 60 percent market share.”
Melony Fuller, director of marketing, National Enzyme Co., added, “For many years, digestive health (or lack thereof) has been viewed in its own health silo with products and remedies geared to address specific digestive concerns. In the last few years, though, researchers have begun to realize that what affects our gut (and its complex bacterial balance) also affects our overall health.”
According to Nena Dockery, technical services manager, Stratum Nutrition, “The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the passageway through which the majority of both good and bad substances enter, and through which toxins and waste materials leave the body. Many people simply associate this passageway with the breakdown of food and nutrient absorption into the rest of the body. However, GI tract health has much broader ramifications.”
Antonella Riva, product research manager, Indena S.p.A., explained, “The digestive tract is incredibly sensitive to any change and stress, whether it's in your diet, your sleeping habits or even your mental health. Poor digestion is causing poor nutritional balance, low chronic inflammation and erratic intestinal complaints, e.g., flatulence, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, food intolerance, abdominal pain and cramps. It should always be taken into consideration that we have two other ‘organs’ in our gastrointestinal tract—the enteric nervous system (the brain of the gut) and the microbiota. These complex interactions between unhealthy digestion and bowel can affect several other conditions such as mood, weight, brain and physical performance,” she stated.
To continue reading this article about digestive health and the wide range of clinically studied ingredients available to formulators, check out INSIDER’s Digestive Health Digital Magazine.