WUFT News

Demand For ‘Good Bacteria’ Expected To Continue Increasing

By on October 30th, 2013
DanActive is one of many foods products to use probiotics. Probiotics are bacterial supplements that help digestive issues.

mj ecker / Flickr

DanActive is one of many food products to use probiotics. Probiotics are bacterial supplements that help with digestive issues.

Chances are you’ve seen “good bacteria” on store shelves.

They’re known as probiotics and are part of the multi-billion-dollar industry of health supplements.

Probiotics are similar to the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the human gut, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. These bacteria reduce harmful organisms in the intestine and stimulate the body’s immune system.

The probiotic supplements are often marketed as helping to prevent and treat digestive problems.

“(People are) starting to understand that it can be a very inexpensive and an easy fix,” said Wesley Cooke, an assistant manager at Sunflower Health Foods.

Demand worldwide is expected to reach almost $45 billion by 2018, according to a report by Transparency Market Research.

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has been conducting research on probiotics.

“The proven research benefits of probiotics are not as bona fide as we would want them to be,” said Tyler Culpepper, a postdoctoral associate at UF. “There are lots of studies that show some conflicting things, but fortunately there are some things that are pretty well-represented and replicated.”

The proven benefits involve gastrointestinal health, and newer research is exploring possible benefits to immune health, weight maintenance and managing cholesterol, Culpepper said.

Probiotics, however, come in many strains and can affect people differently. Culpepper added that even the most reliable benefit of improving gastrointestinal symptoms may not work for everyone.

“Though it’s promising that probiotics are beneficial, we still need to lock in some of the mechanisms by which they work and try to find a way to tailor-make a probiotic cocktail for each individual person, so that they receive the maximum benefit,” Culpepper said.


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

Hannah Peterson

UF Student Survives Cancer, Goes On To Medical School

After surviving cancer, Gainesville native Hanna Peterson is attending the College of Medicine at UF. She hopes to use her personal experience to help her compassionately deal with patients.


IMG_2752

Parents Use Social Media To Share Experiences With Health Providers

After accusations of a Jacksonville dentist’s mistreatment of patients, some parents have turned to Facebook to voice concerns about dentists who will not allow them to accompany their child during procedures. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports there are no set policies mandating access during treatment.


Shane Owens

Woman Launches Facebook Page For Those Facing Medical Difficulties

Carly Strange was born with her intestines outside her body. To help others not feel alone, she created the Facebook page “The Many Faces of a Survivor.”


HIV Bill Establishes New Patient Screening Routine

Florida House Bill 321 is bringing HIV testing out of the shadows.  Signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott on June 10 and put into effect on July 1, HB 321 streamlines the process of HIV testing in medical settings and establishes it […]


By leppyone (Nine-banded Armadillo) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Armadillos May Be Cause for Rising Leprosy Rates in Florida

Florida health officials are warning people to stay away from armadillos as they may be the cause of recent leprosy cases in the state. There have been nine cases reported in the last seven months, but none have been reported in Alachua.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments