Nutritional Outlook has pegged probiotics as one of 2015's ingredients to watch. Check back daily as we release new predictions.
If the National Institutes of Health’s ongoing Human Microbiome Project has anything to say about it, our gut microbiota may one day be linked to a whole host of bodily effects. And that sounds just fine to probiotic manufacturers.
As researchers seek to characterize the human microbiome and understand how microbial communities interact in order to explore how changes in the microbiome correspond with disease, probiotic companies are hopeful that probiotic supplements may one day be able to play a larger role in supporting other facets of health beyond those best known. Already, newer interest areas include heart health, brain and mood health, diabetes, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, weight management, and muscle function. In 2014, more of those studies made their way to us, such as one in December by supplier Ganeden Biotech (Cleveland). Results from one pilot study suggest that pairing the Ganeden BC30 Bacillus coagulans strain with protein may help athletes improve muscle recovery and improve muscle power following resistance training, possibly by aiding amino acid absorption.
In the ongoing quest for the European Union’s first-ever probiotic health claim, probiotic suppliers are working on strengthening their scientific portfolios and learning from petitions past about just what the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA; Parma, Italy) is looking for in a petition. Other countries are meanwhile approving health claims. Last year, Korea approved its first probiotic health claim for Chr. Hansen’s (Horsholm, Denmark) Urex RC-14 and GR-1 Probio-Tech bacterial strains for women’s vaginal health. Also last year, Dupont Nutrition & Health (Cophenhagen) won Europe’s first probiotic health claim-in Switzerland-for its Howaru Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 strain for supporting digestive health.
Even without an approved health claim in the EU, global probiotic sales are “healthy,” says market researcher Markets and Markets, predicting a CAGR of 6% from 2014 to 2019 to reach more than $1.7 billion. Consumers and probiotic stakeholders look forward to what new science and regulatory approvals could bring.
2015 Ingredients to Watch
Photo © iStockphoto.com/iLex