Given that stress, poor eating habits, aging and lifestyle changes are the leading causes of mild to moderate gastrointestinal issues, it is no wonder consumers are turning to over-the-counter products in record numbers these days.
In the past, digestive troubles were mainly linked to mature adults due to their aging gastrointestinal tract and side effects experienced from medications. Now, the highest self-reported incidence is mainly among millennials between the ages of 25 and 42 years old. More than three-quarters of these consumers said they experience digestive issues anywhere from daily to three times a week.
The microbiota gut-brain axis continues to be a particular area of focus at ADM Protexin, with research ongoing into how the composition of the gut’s bacteria may influence mental health, cognition and neurodegeneration. The company recently introduced Bio-Kult Boosted, a combination of 14 strains of bacteria at a minimum concentration of 8 billion live microorganisms per capsule, plus vitamin B12, which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, normal psychological function, and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Much of the growth in the digestive aid category is coming from consumers who are adding probiotics to their daily routine and experiencing meaningful benefits, said Probulin’s Mitchell. He said this interest is fueling researchers to explore additional applications and delivery forms. His company, for instance, has developed a topical probiotic extract that supports skin health. “We are nearing the point that a probiotic could someday become an essential nutrient with an assigned RDA value,” Mitchell said. “Research certainly supports the use of probiotics and how important they are.”