If you’re contemplating adding a probiotic line to your wellness brand, that’s a rather business-savvy move. By 2023, the global probiotics market is expected to reach $69.3 million, which makes it a compelling addition to your lineup. You can avoid the hassle by simply branding products from a probiotic manufacturer, but there are three things you should investigate first.
While there are over 100 Trillion gut bacteria cells in a healthy person’s gastrointestinal system, they don’t all function in the same way. This is fine if you intend to offer a general catch-all probiotic for basic wellness that will include at least ten different probiotic strains. However, if you are planning a complimentary probiotic product to match a suite of other supplements for a specific issue, research known efficacies carefully.
The interaction between probiotics and the GI system is so complex that it may take decades before the scientific community amasses enough data to state the various effects of probiotics with confidence. Still, some clear indications have already emerged. Preliminary research shows each strain acts as a specialist, and the benefit of one strain is unlikely to be provided by a different strain.
For example, Lactobacillus Plantarum and Saccharomyces Boulardii are two specific strains that have been found to be highly-effective for treating chronic diarrhea or illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. If you want to market a product for skin health, you might choose to focus on Lactobacillus reuteri instead. A good probiotic supplement to add to your Rheumatoid arthritis wellness lineup might include Bacillus coagulans, which may help reduce pain and increase mobility.
For those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, certain strains such as Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus acidophilus may not do much to help and may even trigger certain side effects. Check with your probiotic manufacturer on production methods, including whether other formulations might contain these strains, and label accordingly.
Patients with compromised immune systems or those taking immunosuppressants could potentially develop secondary infections like Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth when using probiotics. If your wellness brand has products that might be of interest to this demographic, be sure to include appropriate warnings on the label. Probiotic use in infants, though not studied extensively, is growing in popularity. Regardless, the best practice is to include appropriate warnings on your label nonetheless.
Retailers and consumers are typically looking for a shelf life of 2 years, so discuss the best production and delivery methods for extended shelf life with your manufacturer. After shelf life, the next biggest issue is bodily absorption and natural destruction of probiotic cultures by stomach acid. Products which deliver cultures in delayed-release capsules that can potentially bypass the stomach are generally considered to be more effective than quick-release capsules for this reason.
Scientists are working to get around this issue, and a helpful alternative is the inclusion of prebiotics in your product. Including prebiotics like chicory root, burdock root, or garlic in your delivery system can have direct health benefits while also protecting probiotic cultures as they make their way into the GI system.
Buzz has been increasing about soil-based products, and staying abreast of these types of trends will have an impact on your brand’s popularity and longevity. The general argument is that prior to the rise of processed foods, people had a closer connection to food that came out of the ground and were less obsessed with washing and bleaching food before consumption.
Extensive research and testing still needs to be done to determine the safety and efficacy of strains, manufacturing processes, and delivery methods, but if you stay abreast of industry developments, both your wellness business and your customers can thrive with the addition of probiotics.
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