Bayer HealthCare Pairs Prebiotics, Probiotics for Digestive Health

Bayer Consumer Care, a division of Bayer HealthCare LLC), is calling its new Phillips...-brand Colon Health Probiotic + Fiber a 'two-in-one' supplement that combines three probiotic strains and inulin prebiotic fiber to maintain the digestive system...s 'natural balance' and help defend against digestive disturbances, including against occasional diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating.

The brand considers the supplement a two-step approach to digestive health. The first step uses inulin, a soluble prebiotic fiber, to support regularity as well as the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Step two is a proprietary three-strain blend of probiotics Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium longum that promotes the colon...s natural balance and that the company calls among 'the most common and studied bacteria, each supporting a different area of the digestive tract.'

(Lactobacillus gasseri supports nutrient absorption and lactose digestion; Bifidobacterium bifidum guards against intestinal disturbances; and Bifidobacterium longum supports digestive and immune health.)

The once-daily supplement comes in a 'flavor-free, grit-free' powder that can be added to most foods and beverages without changing their texture, says the company.

'The more than 70 million Americans who suffer from occasional digestive upsets can now take extra comfort in a convenient, two-in-one probiotic plus fiber supplement that potentially alleviates the need for multiple products and steps to relief,' says the company.

As part of its digestive-health line, Phillips... also offers its Colon Health Probiotic Caps, which features the three strains in the new Probiotic + Fiber supplement, but not the added inulin.

'Because it does not get digested, fiber adds bulk to the stool and supports regularity; however, not all fibers are prebiotic fibers,' says Dr. Anish Sheth, assistant professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine, on behalf of Bayer.

'The prebiotic inulin has the additional benefit of serving as '˜food for probiotics,... helping them grow and work more effectively,' added Sheth. 'Probiotic supplements containing prebiotic fiber are an innovative option, because they combine two key components for digestive health. This could be especially helpful for people who suffer from occasional irregularity.'

'The colon is at the heart of the digestive system, and keeping it balanced is essential to good digestive and overall health,' says Sheth. 'More often than not, undesirable digestive issues occur when the number of '˜good... bacteria is depleted by poor diet or stress. Many of my patients are surprised to learn that prevention can be as simple as taking a daily probiotic.'