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Gut Instinct: The Microbiome as Key to Health and Wellness

Gut Instinct: The Microbiome as Key to Health and Wellness

18 Dec 2017 Ann D'Adamo
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in Health & Wellness, Food & Beverage

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Most consumers have heard about the benefits of probiotics, the “good” bacteria that resides in your digestive system. Naturally found in fermented foods, such as yogurt and super-trendy kombucha, consumers can now find probiotic-fortified foods, probiotic skin care, and of course, probiotic supplements. Aside from its effects on metabolism and gut health, the microbiome, not just gut bacteria, plays a larger role within the human body and has long-ranging effects on hypertension and depression, researchers have found. From a marketing perspective, analysts predict the worldwide human microbiome market will be $2.2 billion in 2020, spurred by therapeutics and diagnostics.

Health and Wellness Trends: Beyond Bacteria

Although most consumers are aware of probiotics, only 40% regularly take probiotic supplements as part of their routine. This offers marketers an opportunity to highlight the benefits of these products in content and discuss exciting new discoveries that better define probiotics’ role in optimizing wellness. Beyond probiotics, educating consumers of the role that prebiotics, amino acids, and healthy gut fungi play in the microbiome can help consumers understand how these microorganisms affect their overall health.

Beauty and Bacteria

Topical products from brands like Tula Probiotic Skincare, Biomilk, and Mother Dirt include probiotic bacteria, which calm redness, reduce inflammation, and restore skin’s natural balance. Even big brands, such as Clinique and Burt’s Bees, include probiotic technology some of their makeup and skin care lines. Researchers believe that probiotic skin care may be the next wave of acne and eczema treatments—instead of using anti-bacterial agents to kill acne-causing bacteria, these topical products will introduce beneficial bacteria that researchers say strengthen the skin’s natural defenses and form a protective shield on the skin’s surface.

Diagnostic Diets

Researchers have linked the gut microbiome to everything from high blood pressure to neurodegeneration. While still learning how gut bacteria affects our health, they have identified foods that can positively influence the growth of healthy gut flora. As awareness about the microbiome spreads beyond wellness communities, expect more interest in personalized diets tailored to an individual’s microbiome to trend in 2018. It’s estimated that 8% of the U.S. population suffers from chronic digestive diseases, and 43% have intermittent digestive disorders, there’s a significant opportunity to develop products and services that can help naturally resolve these issues.

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Mintel Vitamins & Supplements U.S. November 2017, Cision Human Microbiome Market to be worth US $3.2 billion by 2024: Rising Investments by Angel Investors and VC Firms Drive Growth April 2017

Health & Wellness Food & Beverage

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