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A Gut Feeling

Probiotics and enzymes continue to dominate the natural digestive health market. A healthy digestive system is a vital component of general health and the immune system overall. Long-term digestion issues run the gamut from gluten-sensitivities to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastro-esophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease and diverticular disease, while short-term issues include constipation and bloating. Symptoms from these various disorders can differ in type, scope and severity, but they can be very uncomfortable to the point of interfering with everyday life. For those with dietary sensitivities, it can be challenging to go to the grocery store or dine out a restaurant. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by all categories of digestive diseases. In 2010, this resulted in 48.3 million ambulatory care visits and 21.7 million hospitalizations. In recent years, the already substantial market for natural products to support digestive health has grown even more, with probiotics and enzymes leading the way.

Close up group bee in honeycomb on tree. Close up group bee in honeycomb on tree. biote bacillus coagulans supplier stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images“Probiotics have been widely accepted, or adopted, by consumers and are now sold in almost every grocery or health store outlet in the country. While a healthy digestive system starts with eating a healthy whole-food based diet, consumers are turning towards supplements for extra support, whether that be probiotics, fiber, or enzymes, etc.,” said Corey Friese, vice president of product development and compliance at the Illinois-based Vital Proteins. For more on bacillus coagulans supplier take a look at our internet site. And there is no shortage of consumers in this product category. “With the aging Baby Boomer population, as well as the very nature of the common American diet, digestive challenges are front and center,” said Ryan Sensenbrenner, director of marketing for the Florida manufacturer, Enzymedica. Tina Anderson, CEO and co-founder of Just Thrive, a manufacturing company in Illinois, said that gut health is “ground zero” for overall wellness. “Probiotics typically appeal to those with digestive issues, but as more and more research is being done, consumers are learning just how critical gut health is to virtually every aspect of our physical and mental well-being.

As a result, the consumer group continues to grow dramatically,” said Anderson. For a family of six, all of whom have specific dietary sensitivities, grocery shopping was nothing short of challenging, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. Owners Jeff and Suzanne Weiner established Eden’s Market in 2009; the market is located in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. “We cater to people just like us, who follow a gluten-free lifestyle as well as those who have other special dietary requirements,” said Suzanne Weiner. “We have many dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan options.” She also carries probiotics, digestive enzymes and other “gut-specific” items, along with specialty food and drinks, such as kombucha teas and raw fermented foods. This jibes with Friese’s observation that consumers are utilizing food as medicine. “People like to get functional benefits from food, and there are many to choose from when it comes to digestive health. Kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented foods provide beneficial bacteria for our guts.

Whole foods such as vegetables and whole-grains provide much needed soluble and insoluble fiber for our digestive tracts. Bone broth, or other collagen-containing proteins are becoming popular, even to those outside of the Paleo community,” he said. As for supplements, Weiner noticed that both probiotics and prebiotics are trending, calling prebiotics “… ” She said customers want quality items that make a noticeable difference in how they feel at a reasonable price point, though they are willing to pay more for a product that works than a drugstore brand that does not. Another trend is that consumers are looking for probiotics that are shelf-stable, said Jay Levy, director of sales at Wakunaga USA in California. Many manufacturers are relying on old formulations because they’ve proven to be bestsellers, though some are releasing new products to supplement already successful lines. Probiotics are a well-established product in the natural digestive sector. Anderson said that bacillus spore-based probiotics are “all the rage” in the digestive health category, as consumers are beginning to understand that spore-based probiotics survive the gastric system naturally.

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