Digestive Health

Artificial sweeteners cause “toxic effects” on gut microbes, study says

03 Oct 2018 --- Artificial sweeteners have again come in the spotlight after a paper published in Molecules claimed that US FDA-approved artificial sweeteners and sports supplements were found to be toxic to digestive gut microbes. In response, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) reiterates that all approved low-calorie sweeteners are among the “most thoroughly researched ingredients worldwide,” and put forward that the in vitro testing conditions could have caused some reactions that would not be seen with real-life exposure conditions.

Detoxwater launches highly-concentrated aloe vera supplement shot

28 Sep 2018 --- Detoxwater, the prebiotic aloe-infused water brand, has launched an aloe supplement shot, coined Veralixir, which contains 1.7 fluid ounces of highly-concentrated aloe vera extract. Detoxwater recommends taking Veralixir once per day before or after a meal to promote digestive health, skin elasticity, nutrient absorption and immune health. The supplement contains clinically-proven ACTIValoe and is touted as being vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Probiotics for pharma: Optibiotix launches heart health supplement range

26 Sep 2018 --- OptiBiotix Health has launched a new cholesterol management range, coined CholBiome, that harnesses probiotics for heart health. The range uses OptiBiotix’s patented probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum (LPLDL), which the company recently enabled to be developed as a biotherapeutic pharmaceutical product for the first time following a deal with an unnamed US-based pharmaceutical company.

UK yogurt sugar content often well above recommended threshold, survey finds

21 Sep 2018 --- Many yogurts sold in UK supermarkets contain high levels of sugar, a survey published in BMJ has highlighted. Researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Surrey analyzed the product information of 921 yogurts and found that organic yogurts and those marketed towards children, in particular, had high levels of sugar. Fewer than 9 percent of products surveyed contained less than the 5 g of sugar per 100 grams threshold required to be classed “low sugar” and carry a green “traffic light” nutritional label in the UK. As such, reformulation for the reduction of free sugars in yogurts is warranted.

Early life microbiome health may have lasting effect on ability to fight disease, study finds

19 Sep 2018 --- The first bacteria introduced into the gut during infanthood may have a lasting impact on an individual’s long-term ability to fight chronic disease, findings from the University of Alberta have suggested. The findings could pave the way for treatments that could adjust microbiomes in infants right after birth to help ward off serious chronic diseases. Poor gut health has been linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, neurological disorders, autism and allergies.

Coca-Cola enters kombucha category with acquisition of Australia's MOJO brand

19 Sep 2018 --- The Coca-Cola Company has acquired kombucha maker Organic & Raw Trading Co., which makes the MOJO brand of naturally fermented, live culture, organic kombucha drinks. Kombucha is a fast growing beverage category, boosted by growing consumer interest in natural and gut-boosting refreshments. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. This is the first time Coca-Cola has acquired full ownership of a brand in the kombucha category, signaling its intent to offer healthy beverages for all occasions.

Rise Kombucha rides functional beverage growth with US expansion 

18 Sep 2018 --- Rise Kombucha, the first Canadian kombucha company, is expanding beyond its Montreal roots and venturing into the US. Rise Kombucha crafts an “authentic, raw and unpasteurized” kombucha using high-quality ingredients. The Canadian company's first American distribution points are to be Vermont and New York City.

Household cleaners can alter infant microbiota and increase obesity risk, study suggests

17 Sep 2018 --- Commonly used household cleaners could be making children overweight by altering their gut microbiota, a Canadian study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has found.

Researchers identify new tool to detect fatty liver disease before damage occurs

14 Sep 2018 --- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) currently affects approximately one in four people, including children, worldwide. But thanks to a team of researchers from Westmead Institute for Medical Research, a new test may soon be available to predict advanced fibrosis in people with NAFLD.

Labeling probiotics as useless is irresponsible, says IPA exec

11 Sep 2018 --- Claiming that probiotics are useless is not only senseless but also irresponsible. This is according to George Paraskevakos, Executive Director of the International Probiotics Association (IPA), responding to a study that claims probiotics might not be as effective as many think. There are myriad studies underlining the efficacy of probiotics, he says, with platforms now far extending beyond the traditional area of gastrointestinal (GI) health and research moving toward treatment, rather than prevention objectives.

Mundipharma to globally commercialize kiwifruit gut health supplement

07 Sep 2018 --- Pharmaceutical company Mundipharma has closed an asset purchase agreement with Vital Food Processors Limited, an agricultural science company founded in New Zealand, for the global rights to commercialize Zyactinase – a clinically-proven gastrointestinal consumer health product. Zyactinase is a freeze-dried extract of Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) that has been developed as a constipation relief product as well as for long-term gut health. It contains a protease complex, fiber, pectin and fructo-oligosaccharides that stimulates increased bowel movements.

Fazer Mills launches “first convenient” enzyme solution for low-FODMAP baking

06 Sep 2018 --- Finnish miller and oat producer Fazer Mills has developed an enzyme-based solution that the company says provides a low-FODMAP feature for wheat and rye baking. The company touts the patented LOFO enzyme, incorporated into Fazer LOFO improver, as the world’s first convenient low-FODMAP baking solution.

1 in 4 adults physically inactive and at risk of disease, says WHO

05 Sep 2018 --- More than one in four adults globally – amounting to 1.4 billion people – are physically not active enough, with inactivity levels reaching one in three adults in some countries, new data published in The Lancet Global Health show. Policies to increase the physical activity levels of populations need to be prioritized and scaled up urgently to stave off the risk of poor health, note the involved World Health Organization experts. Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and different types of cancer. It has also been linked to improved mental health, quality of life and well-being. Moreover, it helps prevent hypertension and obesity.

Gut bacteria and caloric restriction hold potential for obesity-fighting drug, mouse study says

31 Aug 2018 --- Mice with a lower calorie intake live longer and are both healthier and leaner, research has generally determined, and now, a study may have found the reason for this positive effect. The researchers identified that much of it is down to gut microbial communities and how they affect the immune system. The researchers hope that their work, published in Cell Metabolism, may one day make it possible to treat obese people with a drug that simulates caloric restriction, following the team uncovering compounds that can mimic caloric restriction.

Waste not, want not: Food scientists in Singapore create gut-friendly drink from soy by-product

28 Aug 2018 --- Food scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a refreshing drink that contains live probiotics, dietary fiber, free isoflavones and amino acids from okara – the residue from the production of soy milk and tofu, which is usually discarded. The researchers say that by encapsulating these nutrients in a beverage, they can be easily absorbed into the body and promote gut health. The researchers have filed a patent for their novel technique and are also looking to collaborate with industry partners to introduce the drink to consumers.

Vegetables matter: Kale, cabbage and broccoli linked to reduced risk of colon cancer, study finds

21 Aug 2018 --- Chemicals produced by vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli could help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer, a new study from the Francis Crick Institute has found. The research, published in Immunity, shows that mice fed on a diet rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C) – which is produced when we digest cruciferous vegetables – were protected from gut inflammation and colon cancer. While the benefits of eating vegetables are well known, so far, many of the underlying mechanisms remained elusive.

ADM strengthens gut health strategy with US$235m Probiotics International acquisition

16 Aug 2018 --- Adding to a list of microbiome strategy investments, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has completed its acquisition of Probiotics International Limited (PIL) – known under its umbrella brand Protexin – in a US$235 million deal.

Baobab resurgence? Things are looking up for the “upside down” tree

14 Aug 2018 --- The baobab superfruit has been enjoying an NPD resurgence, boosted by renewed interest in the digestive health and low GI space, as well its strong potential for use in the sports nutrition market. The superfood – which is touted as offering low GI appeal, a high dietary fiber content and for being rich in vitamin C – has seen annual growth of 53 percent, according to Innova Market Insights data. Speaking to NutritionInsight, Henry Johnson, baobab specialist at EcoProducts, details the growing array of applications for the superfood, as well as the economic ripening of the environment for market growth for baobab.

Microbe colonization study could inspire better probiotics, claim researchers

13 Aug 2018 --- A novel approach to identify the genes that may be important to help microbes live successfully in the human gut has been identified by a study published in PLOS Computational Biology. The approach utilizes a technique called phylogenetic linear modeling, which has often been used in ecology, but rarely in genomics. The researchers hope that the findings could be important for the development of new therapies to maintain or improve gut health, such as the design of better probiotics.

GOS holds dietary fiber potential: FrieslandCampina eyes new applications

13 Aug 2018 --- FrieslandCampina is targeting the dietary fiber opportunity for its Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS). The move comes in response to the recent FDA green light on specific dietary fibers which presents new market opportunities and application areas. “There is a lot of interest in clean, green and label-friendly ingredients and fiber is one that they are looking for, but in good tasting applications. This really means a lot more flexibility for formulators to offer something that has both prebiotic and fiber benefits,” Sarah Staley of FrieslandCampina tells NutritionInsight on the topic of GOS as a trending prebiotic fiber.

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