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Probiotics provide supplement and beverage product differentiation

Science is now connecting the microbiome to health benefits far beyond the traditional gut and immune health. Here’s how you can apply science to catapult your brand to the top.

Todd Runestad

November 11, 2020

1 Min Read
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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.

To read this article in its entirety, check out The probiotics era – digital magazine.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for NaturalProductsInsider.com and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for NewHope.com, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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