Subscribe and receive the latest updates on trends, data, events and more.
Join 57,000+ members of the natural products community.
April 20, 2011
Pro (“for”) biotic (From the Greek For “life”)
What they are
Live micro-organisms that benefit the host
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacillus coagulans, Probiotic yeast
FAO definition: "live micro-organisms administered in adequate amounts which confer a beneficial health effect on the host"
Where they’re found
Fermenting milk and yogurt, kefir, buttermilk or karnemelk
Vegetarian sources: Pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, doenjang, kimchi, sauerkraut, soy sauce
Human gut and breast milk
Food or medicine?
Introduced in 1907 by Russian Nobel laureate Eli Metchnikoff
Health benefits were first documented in 1000 BCE in Ayurvedic treatise by Charaka Samhita
Everybody needs them – they’re tied to gut and immune cell functions
Not all bugs are the same: strain, condition specific, dose specific
Potential to correct gut issues, but biomarkers are still a sticky matter
Formulated and marketed as medical foods
Currently, no approved health claims for probiotics
Confused by highly proprietary and scientific mumbo jumbo
Proliferation of brands – everyone’s naming their bugs
Vulnerability to heat and harsh chemicals restricts application in prepared meals manufacture
Encapsulants protect but also lower bioavailability
Cost major deterrent for food firms
The global H1N1 pandemic acted as a major catalyst
Consumers believe daily dose is good for you
Babies need them so does everyone else including animals
Biotherapeutic effects counteract ills of highly processed foods
Spells palpable RELIEF for gut-health issues
Consumer movies such as Microwarriors and “Germs with a Positive Attitude” popular on YouTube
Probiotics manage good/bad balance of the ~1014 (100,000,000,000,000) bacterial cells in the human body
Modulate gastrointestinal health particularly diarrhea, colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome
Protect immune function at all ages; several scientific studies underway
Studies show cholesterol reduction and protection against cardiovascular disease
Delay or prevent inflammatory deterioration
Allergy preventive action and a multitude of benefits may soon translate into clinical effects
The probiotic paradox: Dead or Alive – probiotics are biological response modifiers and good for you!
Handbook of Prebiotics and Probiotics Ingredients, SS Cho and ET Finocchiaro, CRC Press; U.S. Probiotics
Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., is a principal at Corvus Blue, a Chicago-based food science and nutrition firm that specializes in competitive intelligence and expert witness services. Contact her at [email protected] or 312-951-5810.
You May Also Like
NCN report analyzes investment slowdown, explores opportunitiesMar 2, 2024
Free AF launches AF Sparkling Rosé with Afterglow™ – press releaseMar 1, 2024
Top Trends at Expo West 2024 – slideshowMar 1, 2024
Natural Products Expo West offers investors a wealth of eventsMar 1, 2024