Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, September 2013

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pre-and probiotics Probiotics: Under Strain! Probiotic suppliers hope to capitalize on the creation of more sophisticated products. By Lisa schofieLd 48 magenta cyan yellow black body functions," says Deaton. "While probiotics are typically associated with digestive health, the microbiome concept demonstrates the importance of these organisms across many diferent areas and functions of the body, such as immunity and infammatory response in the ear, nose, and throat." Nena Dockery, technical support manager for Stratum Nutrition (St. Charles, MO), and Michael Shahani, chief operating ofcer for Nebraska Cultures Inc. (Walnut Creek, CA), also point to microbiome research as triggering innovation in strain specifcity. Prior to 2010, Dockery says, there were just a few probiotic manufacturers who emphasized the importance of bacterial strains, and most probiotics were marketed based upon genus and species alone. "Increasingly, more probiotic developers are emphasizing that their unique strains of bacterial species are responsible for health benefts. Without knowing the strain, there is no guarantee of efcacy, but the genomes of most of these novel strains can now be mapped and published." Tis advanced research is also afecting regulations. According to Michael Bush, vice president of business development for Ganeden Biotech (Mayfeld Heights, OH), companies previously used data from similar strains to support claims. But diferent strains within the same species can exert very diferent efects when consumed. "For this reason, the industry and regulators have been shifting to require data on each individual strain to demonstrate safety and efcacy," he says. Prebiotics, which act as food for probiotics, are also now understood as having important specifcities. While the concept of synbiot- ics—combining pre- and probiotics—is just beginning to have true signifcance, Dockery says, "We now understand that prebiotics are very selective in the bacteria they feed, leading to a synergic efect with certain combinations of prebiotics and probiotics." As one example, Dockery says, an in vitro study was performed on gold and green kiwifruit oligosaccharides to determine their efects on Bifidobacrterium longum. According to the authors of the study, gold and green kiwifruit increased counts of Bifidobacterium species by their own unique levels, in addition to selectively infuencing colon cancer cells. Even kiwis have prebiotic potential. In a review of pre-, pro-, and synbiotics, Stig Bengmark of University College London emphasizes that probiotics and prebiotic plant fbers have shown their own particular abilities to infuence the immune system. Te fnal factor in efcacy is how the benefcial bacteria are delivered to their home sites. Anurag Pande, PhD, vice president of scientifc afairs for Sabinsa Corp. (East september 2013 ■ gilas/; imo/ D o probiotics have the ability to do it all? To address all key health areas? According to many prebiotic and probiotic experts within the industry, the answer is yes. If there is one word to defne the rapidly increasing pre- and probiotic market, it is "specifcity." Te availability of numerous bacterial strains is leading to direct and exciting condition-specifc applications, burgeoning the potential market for pre- and probiotics far beyond its roots in digestive and immune support. Consumers are driving demand for these ingredients, and according to Transparency Market Research, the global probiotics market is expected to increase by approximately 6.8% each year through 2018. Tis amounts to a projected growth from $27.9 billion in 2011 to $44.9 billion in 2018. Much recent activity in the prebiotic and probiotic realm has been inspired by the Human Microbiome Project, a herculean biological research project initiated by the National Institutes of Health. Te aim of the project is, according to its website, "to characterize the microbial communities found at several diferent sites on the human body, including nasal passages, oral cavities, skin, gastrointestinal tract, and urogenital tract, and to analyze the role of these microbes in human health and disease." Understanding the importance of the microbiome in human health has been a major factor in the advancement of probiotic research, says John Deaton, vice president of technology at Deerland Enzymes (Kennesaw, GA). "Te microbiome is the collection of all microorganisms that play a role in how the NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ES315775_NO1309_048.pgs 09.04.2013 04:20 UBM

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