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

Molly McCann, 66, traps a wild calico cat Sunday evening. She works with Operation Catnip, a local organization that cares for Gainesville’s community cat population by spaying or neutering and vaccinating them before releasing them back to their turfs.

Operation Catnip Launches Website, Educates On Trap And Neuter Methods

Gainesville non-profit dedicated to sterilizing and vaccinating stray cats creates a website to help other communities take care of un-owned cats.


The Florida Department of Children and Families recently included a new heat map on their child fatality website. The heat map shows communities in Florida affected by child fatalities.

Rise In Duval County Infant Fatalities Increases Need For Awareness And Transparency

Infant fatalities are on the rise in Duval County, but the Department of Children and Families is strategizing how to bring awareness to parents and caretakers about unsafe sleeping practices. It has made resources and information available to the community about past child fatalities and how to prevent them.


dogpalsy

Community Provides Companion For Cerebral Palsy Child

Olivia Pitts, 3, has lived with cerebral palsy her whole life. Now, her community has pulled together to provide her with a service dog..


Jessica Grobman, born HIV-positive, said she believes better sex education in Florida schools would help children grow up safer and healthier. “If education was just more encouraged, it definitely could be a great outcome,” she said.  Photo courtesy of Jessica Grobman.

HIV Positive Student Advocates Comprehensive Sex Education

Jessica Grobman was born with HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. But it was not until she learned about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in middle school that she began to understand she was different.


FTN-feature

UF Graduate Students Offer Free Therapy To Those In Need

Volunteer graduate students studying clinical health psychology staff the Free Therapy Night clinic at Gainesville Community Ministry. The equal access clinic focuses specifically on mental health.


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