Not all bacteria are bad; some, in fact, They are vital for gut health and people in general, especially those who are in probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics.
Bad probiotics They are found in foods such as kimchi and some yogurts, as well as in many dietary supplements, and have become one of the most profitable market segments for the food industry.
Many times confused with prebioticsProbiotics improve bowel function, reduce cholesterol and help better synthesis of vitamins and minerals.
According to this report, due to the sudden impact of Covid-19:
- People’s eating habits have changed.
- Consumers have become more aware of what they consume on a daily basis.
- The market is seeing an increase in demand for products that ensure immune health.
- The digestive health supplement category has grown exponentially.
What are probiotics and how do they help gut health?
Growing consumer concern about intestinal problems such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and inflammatory diseases are also factors driving the growth potential of the functional food segment worldwide, but what exactly are probiotics?
Probiotics are mainly live microorganisms bacteria and yeasts, which when consumed in appropriate amounts provide health benefits. Among its main advantages are:
- Improve the health of the digestive system
- Strengthen the immune system
- Relieve some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Reduce the frequency of urinary infections
- They establish the balance of intestinal microbiota
The importance of prebiotics
Although some people often confuse them with probiotics, prebiotics are not live microorganisms, but dietary fibers that promote growth and probiotic activity in the intestinal microbiota. Simply put, they are food for beneficial bacteria found naturally in some food or in the form of over-the-counter nutritional supplements.
Various studies have found that prebiotics are associated with regulation intestinal inflammation, relieves constipation and supports the overall health of the digestive system. This is why, like probiotics, these types of products have seen a significant increase in recent years.
According to a report by Grand View Research, a market research firm, the prebiotics market is expected to grow 15% per year between 2022 and 2030.
The possibility of functional food
Probiotics and prebiotics are classified as functional food, because they contain ingredients that have health benefits.
Although it is common to find them mainly in dairy products such as yogurt, milk or cheese, some specific needs have prompted the development of non-dairy probiotics, such as:
- an increasing number of people who are lactose intolerant
- increase in problems with dyslipidemia and vegetarianism
The demand for probiotics and prebiotics has made them an area of opportunity for functional food companies and developers; However, their incorporation into products or food supplements requires compliance with different and critical criteria.
In addition, in terms of challenges, the main challenge for the development of non-dairy probiotics and prebiotics is related to the advancement of techniques and technological developments that allow them to remain functionally active during and after packaging.