Do your customers know the benefits of probiotics- by hkksew3563rd

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									?Probiotics is one of the fastest growing functional foods worldwide.

According to Frost & Sullivan1, the US probiotics market is predicted to triple in
value by the year 2010 rising to a $394 million industry. Most market experts agree
that a further boost to the industry of probiotics could be provided by instilling
consumer confidence through sufficient scientific research and an adequate awareness
of the health benefits of probiotics.

"Increasing consumer awareness and education was the first real step toward
removing the U.S. societal stigma associated with talking about intestinal and
digestive health," points outTerri Rexroat, global product manager, lactic cultures,
Cargill Texturizing Solutions, Minneapolis.

Obviously, probiotics manufacturers should consider educating their customers about
the usefulness of probiotics for health. Informed consumer awareness will lead to
increase in the sale of probiotics.

What are Probiotics?
Probiotics was defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO) in 2001 as "live microorganisms administered in adequate amounts
which confer a beneficial health effect on the host". Probiotics are mostly small
single-celled organisms present in your gastro-intestinal system. The word probiotics
comes from the two Latin words pro and biota, which combined mean "for life".

It is estimated that a 100 trillion microorganisms inhabit a normal, healthy digestive
system. These represent more than 500 different species.

The Role of Probiotics in Health
Interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies
have established that probiotics therapy can:Help treat symptoms of gastrointestinal
disturbances such as traveler's diarrhea, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel
syndrome.2,3Help to delay the development of allergies in children.4Help to maintain
urogential health, especially in women. Probiotic treatment helps to restore the
balance of microflora and may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, yeast
infection, and urinary tract infection.5Enhance the immune function.6Help decrease
Helicobacter pylori colonization of the stomach which could lead to gastric ulcers and
various stomach inflammations. H. pylori is the major cause of chronic gastritis, and a
risk factor for peptic ulcer and gastric cancer.7Help to support liver health.8Help
maintain gastrointestinal microflora necessary for proper absorption of
nutrients.9Different strains, species and genera of bacteria may have different effects.
These should be recognized when considering the health effects of any probiotics.

How Probiotics Work in the Body
Micro-organisms present in the gastrointestinal tract are both good and bad and have
the potential to harm the body or to impart health benefit. Most microorganisms live
in the lower small intestine and the colon where conditions are perfect for their
survival and reproduction.

The role of probiotics in the large intestine (colon) is to:Help complete the digestion
process of food that has not been digested in the small intestine. This is usually fiber
(prebiotics) which is resistant to the action of enzymes in the small intestine. It can
also include lactose in lactose intolerant people.Help to regulate the absorption or
excretion of water and minerals through the colonic lining and the elimination food
wastes or feces.Both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria help to lower the pH levels of the
intestinal contents. This creates a less desirable environment for harmful bacteria to
survive.Lactobacilli and Bifidobactreria act upon fibers producing nutrients, called
short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), along with B vitamins and immune factors, which are
necessary to maintain general health.Help produce nutrients that regulate the levels of
cholesterol and glucose in the body.Providing a Rational Basis for Choosing a
Probiotic Supplement.
Probiotics are generally considered safe as they are already present in the digestive
system.

Probiotics are available as dietary supplements in the form of capsules, tablets and
powders. They can also be combined with other nutrients in health products. There are
innumerable probiotic products to choose from. However, Frost & Sullivan report that,
"consumers have no rational basis for their choice of product".

Probiotics supplement manufacturers should:Provide as much scientific basis as
possible for the use of probiotics on the label and in enclosing literature. The label
should show the levels, strains or, species of the bacteria. Probiotics supplement
manufacturers should supply instructions for storage on the label informing the
customer that proper storage will keep the probiotics alive and efficacious.Provide
third party validation of the levels of the bacteria and their viability.This would help
customers to have more confidence in your product.Increase consumer awareness of
the need and role of probiotics in health. Most people do not get enough probiotics
through their natural diet. In addition, antibiotics, illness or a diet that is high in sugars
and processed foods can disturb the body's balance of good bacteria over harmful
ones.
Educate your customers to know that probiotics supplements can help maintain the
microflora balance in the intestines, strengthen the immune system, help absorb
nutrients and manufacture certain nutrients like Vitamin B12 and KThe best probiotics
to use in your Probiotics Supplement are ones that have been the most studied and
researched. Customers are less likely to buy strains of bacteria they have not heard of.
The        most       common          are       bacteria         from         two        major
groups:LactobacillusBifidobacteriumA good contract manufacturer can help provide
useful information for producing a probiotics supplement that can build awareness
and instill product confidence in the consumer.
References:/fsc/ixid13616. Functional foods in the USA -- emphasis on probiotic
foodsTo show beneficial to diarrhea, IBS, colon cancer. Probiotics and their potential
health claims. Nutr Rev. 2006 Jun;64(6):265-74. PMID: 16808112

								
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