Probiotic Supplements: Are They Worth It?
Poper digestion includes the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste. As our understanding of biochemistry increases, the link between gut health and overall health strengthens. A healthy gut microbiome may boost metabolism, reduce inflammation, aid the immune system, and benefit exercise performance. No wonder the biotic supplement market is flourishing.
Probiotic Market Size and Forecast
According to Grand View Research’s January 2022 report, the global probiotic market is valued at over $58 Billion with a forecasted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% for the next eight years. One of the biggest driving factors for the probiotics market is the rising awareness of preventative healthcare measures associated with healthy digestion.
The probiotic market includes functional foods, beverages, and supplements for human consumption and probiotics for animals. This market is ripe for innovation given the variety of demographics and the popularity of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacterial and yeast organisms normally found in the digestive tract.
The umbrella term probiotics also include prebiotics and postbiotics. Due to the variety of organisms involved in the digestive tract and the targeted benefit, numerous niche markets are evolving around age, gender, targeted performance, and pets. Now is a great time to expand your product portfolio into the probiotic market.
Pre, Post, and Probiotics
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed probiotics. Plant-based non-digestible fiber greases the bowels to eliminate waste and provides carbon fuel for the growth and health of beneficial bacteria and yeast. Supplements containing both prebiotics and probiotics are referred to as synbiotics.
Scientists link eight possible benefits to prebiotic dietary fibers.
- Increase in beneficial gut bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli
- Improve the breakdown of food to improve metabolism
- Aid calcium adsorption
- Decrease production of potentially toxic phenols, sulfides, amines, and ammonia from protein fermentation
- Decrease harmful bacteria that enter the body through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Increase microbial diversity to reduce inflammation associated with allergies
- Improve intestinal gut barrier functioning to reduce “leaky gut”.
- Improve overall immune system response and signaling
Postbiotics are waste products from probiotics consuming prebiotics. These wastes take the form of enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids, cell wall fragments, and more.
Studying the impact of various postbiotics on health is relatively new. Research indicates individual postbiotic supplementation may have various benefits.
- The short-chain fatty acid butyrate may help improve immune functioning by stimulating the production of T cells.
- The liquid byproduct and cell wall fragments may benefit immune response by increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
- Butyrate may help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract to help with inflammatory bowel diseases, reducing symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, and pain.
Additional postbiotic research is ongoing and covers topics like allergies, weight loss, heart disease, blood glucose, cancer, and sports performance.
Since gut flora is so individual, some people may not tolerate adding more bacteria to the system with a probiotic. For these individuals, postbiotics may provide a better alternative.
Probiotics are beneficial microscopic bacteria and yeast in the GI tract. They are naturally found in yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
Obviously, pre, pro, and postbiotics are related, and hence, their impact on the digestive tract and overall health are related, too. Probiotic supplementation is better known and studied than either pre or post-biotics. The most common acute use of probiotics is to replace lost beneficial bacteria killed by taking antibiotics.
Other benefits of probiotics besides digestive and immune health are starting to emerge. They may include:
- Improving lipid profiles by assimilating, binding, and coprecipitation of cholesterol
- Improving skin rejuvenation properties in wound healing and eczema to benefit skin barrier functioning
- Helping prevent and treat oral diseases
- Modulating the gut-brain axis to improve stress-related anxiety and depression
Side Effects of Taking Biotics
Unhealthy gut flora is often associated with a buildup of toxins and inflammation, especially in the digestive tract. Biotics support natural means to detox your body. For most people, the downside of taking probiotics is temporary, lasting less than two weeks.
When starting biotic supplementation, many people experience temporary digestive tract issues. These temporary issues include gas, bloating, increased thirst, or constipation. Proper hydration and drinking more water support moving toxins and inflammation out of your system.
In addition, some individuals need to carefully consider the various probiotic strains to find the right fit for them. Some strains cause issues for individuals dealing with:
Some of the Lactobacillus probiotic strains and the streptococcus thermophilus strain are histamine-producing. If a person does not produce enough of the histamine degrading enzyme diamine oxidase, then histamine can be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause an allergic reaction.
Allergies or Intolerances
Biotics, especially probiotic supplements, can contain dairy, lactose, soy, egg, and yeast. If you have an allergy, read the ingredients list on the label. There are so many biotic supplements on the market. If you keep looking, you are sure to find one that is right for you.
Amines in probiotic-rich foods may trigger headaches. Amines excite the central nervous system and may spark a headache for sensitive people. Keeping a food journal and noting headaches associated with eating yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut can pinpoint problem foods if you are susceptible. Probiotic supplements may not cause the same issues.
High Risk of Infection
If you are immune-compromised, had an extended hospitalization, venous catheter, or had recent surgery, ask a medical professional if a probiotic supplement is right for you. The chance of infection from probiotics is low, but it may happen in rare cases.
Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics Specifically for Women
- Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Recent studies indicate a remarkable difference between urinary tract microbes of healthy individuals and individuals who experience frequent UTIs. Though further clinical studies are warranted, existing research indicates probiotics may reduce the risks of some urinary diseases and support relieving UTI symptoms.
- Treat Vaginal Yeast Infections: A probiotic blend of Lactobacillus rhamnosus SD5675 and Lactobacillus acidophilus LMG S-29159 was clinically shown to reduce the reoccurrence of vaginal yeast infections.
- Improve Fertility: Studies indicate the probiotic Lactobacillus is a biomarker for female reproductive health. Further research is warranted for probiotics to support fertility.
- Reduce Preterm Delivery associated with vaginitis and cervical inflammation. Some small studies indicate possible benefits of supplementation with a supernatant of lactobacilli. Larger studies are warranted.
Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics Specifically for Men
- Improve Fertility: A 2020 study found probiotic supplementation (500 mg daily) may significantly increase sperm concentration and movement in infertile males. It also reduced markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Support Prostate Health:
- An enlarged or inflamed prostate is often associated with frequent UTIs because it blocks urine flow, resulting in a buildup of harmful bacteria. Ongoing research links oral microbiota, periodontal disease, and inflamed prostate. Probiotic treatment may inhibit periodontal inflammation and therefore impact prostate health.
- Prostate cancer is often treated with hormone therapy. However, researchers are starting to shed light on the involvement of the gut microbiome in supporting or hindering that treatment. The microbe Prevotella stercorea found abundantly in the gut microbiome of those who follow a vegetarian or Mediterranean diet shows favorable clinical possibilities.
- Raise Testosterone Levels: Probiotic supplementation may improve pituitary gland functioning to stimulate testosterone production. Further study is warranted. Past studies indicate a correlation between a healthy gut microbiome and reduced inflammation and improved testicular functioning.
Building a Biotic Supplement
Biotics cover a complicated and diverse range of microbiota. Determining a target function and audience is essential to building an effective biotic supplement. Competent research and development (R&D) teams guide product development to meet your brand’s target audiences, including the right biotic strains and blends, functions, and supplement forms.
Due to the live nature of probiotics, detailed attention to storage, shipping, and manufacturing maintains the integrity and functionality of functional foods and supplements. High temperatures and humidity reduce the viability and activity of the microbiota. However, some strains may be heartier than others. Hence, contracting with an experienced probiotic manufacturer ensures the integrity of your product.
Welcome to Origin Nutraceutical. We are a full-service supplement manufacturer operating under good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification from National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International.
Our R&D team works closely with clients to develop the right supplement for your target audience and ensure all conditions are met to provide a viable probiotic supplement. We maintain cool temperatures at each stage of manufacturing probiotics. We store probiotic raw materials and final products at refrigeration temperatures.
Origin knows customer service is the origin of success. Contact us today to get your product into the emerging biotics market.
By: Jae O. Haroldsen
The content of Origin Nutraceutical’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Origin Nutraceutical is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Origin Nutraceutical products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Origin Nutraceutical gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content.
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