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Evidence-Based Probiotics and Digestive Health: What You Need To Know

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The global probiotics market has grown tremendously in the last few years, especially in the supplement form. In 2021, the probiotics industry was worth>48 billion dollars, with a 22% increase in probiotic supplements from 2019 to 2021. This increasing use of probiotic supplements is due to the evidence that probiotics support GI health. Further, clinical research has demonstrated the efficacy of probiotics in treating conditions such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, abdominal pain in children, and infant colic, to name a few. 

Reacting to the increase in consumer demand and growth in the industry, researchers are developing novel probiotic strains quickly while considering the impact of processing, storage, gastrointestinal survivability, and functionality of the cells. A key consideration during formulation is compatibility with other ingredients. Probiotic strains may be encapsulated to ensure survivability in the GI tract during processing and for application when added to different food matrices such as powders, bars, gummies, infant formula, and pet food. 

The most widely used probiotic strains belong to two main genera, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, due to their abundance in the human gut and GRAS status. Species of other genera, such as Bacillus, Saccharomyces, and Streptococcus, are also used as probiotic supplements.

Irrespective of probiotics with multiple strains or single strains, in capsule, powder, or as an additive in a food matrix, the level claimed on the label needs verification. Mérieux NutriSciences offers this verification in CFUs or AFUs and has experience with various probiotic strains and their applications. Our services also include testing for contaminants to ensure the safety of probiotics for human consumption.

To qualify as probiotics, strains must be viable and have a health benefit when consumed. Clinical studies help identify the minimal and optimal doses that probiotics exert on a favorable outcome. Biofortis, Mérieux NutriScience’s sister company, offers clinical research testing to demonstrate GI survivability and health benefit claim studies. 

Our Mérieux NutriScience laboratory and Biofortis Research clinical trial services will support you through your product lifecycle and beyond, ensuring a high-quality probiotic formulation supported by data. 

We are eager to help!


References

  1. International Probiotics Association Europe. Global and European probiotic market insights 2018-2021. IPAEurope website. https://www.ipaeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Market-data-probiotics-2018-2021.pdf

  2. Probiotics in Disease Prevention and Treatment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6656559/

  3. The Development of High-Quality Multispecies Probiotic Formulations: From Bench to Market. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468868/

  4. Encapsulated probiotic cells: Relevant techniques, natural sources as encapsulating materials and food applications – A narrative review https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996920307079#:~:text=Several%20techniques%20are%20currently%20available,%2C%20%26%20Tzia%2C%202020 

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