The digestive health category continues to thrive, no thanks to people’s busy schedules, poor eating habits, high-stress lifestyles and Big Ag’s use of gut-busting pesticides like glyphosate that is being shown to change gut microbiota abundance and composition and perhaps lead to celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
The digestive health category has nearly tripled in size in the last decade to reach US$2.96 billion in 2018, with sales predicted to reach $3.9 billion by 2021, according to Nutrition Business Journal.
Several botanicals have a traditional history of use supporting gut health, like peppermint, ginger and dandelion. And the bitters category of dietary supplements has gained steam in the last year or two. These are herbal tinctures that can enhance the entire process of digestion, absorption and elimination. Their sudden popularity is indicative of the many ways consumers are looking to address digestive issues.
“In my clinical practice,” said David Winson, a renowned herbalist, author and founder of the Herbalist & Alchemist line of herbal therapeutic supplements that includes bitters, “I regularly see people with significant digestive issues. I would say 60 percent of the people I have seen over the past 39 years have one or more gastrointestinal [GI] issue such as chronic dyspepsia, constipation, diarrhea, too much stomach acid, too little stomach acid, GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease], SIBO [small intestine bacterial overgrowth], IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] and other GI problems.”
Supplements give consumers a way to address this delicate issue in the comfort of their own kitchens. Here are leading ingredients that can help formulators stay on trend and provide relief to the burgeoning class of people with various types of digestive upset.
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