Probiotics were first introduced to Americans in 2003 as a functional ingredient in dairy products, breakfast cereals and snacks. Although Americans were initially skeptical about ingesting live bacteria, the huge benefits far superseded any reservations, causing probiotics sales to Probiotics quickly grow. In 2008, the probiotics sector was valued at over $1.5 billion-a significant growth of 160 percent, in accordance with DataMonitor, a global business information provider.
Most people taking a probiotic supplement/drink achieve this for the sole purpose of supporting digestive health. Probiotics raise the colonization of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and limit the proliferation of pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria.1 An optimal intestinal microflora is believed not only to improve digestion, but promote health and wellness and boost immunity aswell.
Because of the growing proof research supporting its benefits, consumer fascination with probiotics products and supplements continues to rise.2-9
Probiotics Offer More than Digestive Health Support
Unknown to many, probiotics offer health benefits that go beyond the scope of supporting digestive health. Recent investigations show that specific strains of probiotics may be used to treat specific conditions. Here’s a list of benefits that have well-documented scientific support:
A well-balanced intestinal microflora can help to regulate healthy cholesterol levels.10
Probiotics, as part of a normal healthy diet, may help to aid the immune system and mitigate illnesses. Probiotics may stimulate certain immune cells. This could help prevent stomach and respiratory infections in children in addition to skin infections.11
The usage of probiotics in uro-vaginal infections is well-supported by clinical trials and research.12
Probiotics enable you to promote teeth’s health preventing tooth decay, particularly in children. Although this concept is relatively new, scientific support indicates probiotics therapy may hold another in oral health.13
Probiotics may also be prescribed to treat conditions that have baffled conventional science, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, certain allergies and skin infections.14
Mix of Probiotics with Other Ingredients
Products which contain probiotics and a combination of other ingredients are gathering popularity since they offer wider benefits for health.
Probiotics with Prebiotics15 The synbiotic mix of probiotics with prebiotics proliferates the growth of healthy microflora. Prebiotics are insoluble fiber, such as Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, which reach the colon in a reasonably undigested state. It is in the colon that probiotics prey on prebiotics by way of a fermentation process that takes place in the colon. In this process, by-products called short-term fatty acids (SFA) are produced. SFAs help maintain vital functions of your body and produce certain B vitamins.
Probiotics with Enzymes16 Probiotics can be combined with enzymes that help break down food substances into simpler forms to enhance nutrient digestion. Although there is some debate over probiotics and enzymes should be taken together and it presents some challenges in manufacturing aswell, there’s still scope for a probiotics and enzymes product that has been well-formulated and manufactured using advanced technology.
Probiotics with Multi-Vitamins17 Combining probiotics with a multi-vitamin is popular but poses challenges in manufacturing as a result of sensitive nature of probiotics. Probiotics are sensitive to light, moisture, heat, oxygen.
How Probiotics Manufacturers Can Provide Retailers with Reliable Probiotics Supplements
The biggest challenge that probiotics manufacturers face is keeping the bacteria alive through the blending process while ensuring stability during shelf life. When coupled with other ingredients that are equally sensitive, such as for example enzymes, extreme care ought to be taken to make sure that the manufacturing and packaging process happen in a dry environment. Any moisture may activate the enzymes and destroy the probiotics.