Probiotics are the flagship ingredient of the 21st century consumer awakening around the importance of gut health to the overall health of a person—which, as research continues to validate, is about much more than the myriad of symptoms around digestive upset or even immune health.
As the human microbiome is increasingly investigated, researchers are finding it to at the very least influence various hitherto unimaginable health areas. This has given rise to the gut-brain axis and the gut-bone axis, with benefits as wide-ranging as mood and chronic fatigue to cavities and obesity.
Suppliers and researchers are beginning to come to the realization that specific bacterial strains are the way forward in order to make consistent and truthful statements. And in today’s probiotics world, specific strains matched up with clinical trial results are offering distinct benefits for consumers.
Superior probiotic supplements today match a prebiotic fiber—inulin, fructo-olgosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) or the like. Research has demonstrated that combining a prebiotic with a probiotic—making a synbiotic—enhances the establishment and competitiveness of beneficial bacteria better than just a probiotic alone.
Probiotics are poised to continue their growth thanks to the emerging acknowledgement of the importance of not just beneficial bacteria in the intestines but the larger microbiome. The number of genes in all the microbes in a person’s microbiome is 100 times the number of genes in the human genome.
Because of the positive consumer acclaim around probiotics, the friendly bacteria can easily provide an efficacious base of support for innovative product formulations and formats.
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