View Post

Pro Probiotic/ Prebiotic Labeling

In # 7: Gut health, Leftovers by Brandon1 Comment

The definition of a probiotic is live microorganisms when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host. The definition of a prebiotic is a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit. The underlying theme here is that probiotics and prebiotics provide adequate health benefits for people. This is not in question. What is in question is the stringency of the FDA and ESFA when it comes to food labeling of health benefits. The biggest issue with these companies is the intensity in which the health claim needs to be stated. What benefits consumers is the knowledge that there is a benefit to consuming a certain food and that the claim is true.   The FDA and ESFA are right in which there should be very stringent tests on how the probiotic and or prebiotic represent the health claim. The best thing for consumers is that what they read on a label is true. The issue is that what they read doesn’t have to be scientific literature. The ESFA would force companies to …

View Post

Gut Health

In # 7: Gut health, Leftovers by Yixin0 Comments

There are trillions of microorganisms living in the intestinal tract, and these microorganisms gradually reach the balance of species and quantity in the process of reproduction, which is closely related to the normal metabolism of the organism. Studies have shown that the structure and composition of intestinal microbiota affect the host’s immune function, gastrointestinal development, nutrient processing and other important physiological activities. Once the intestinal flora is out of order, a variety of metabolic diseases will follow. So nowadays, the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to intestinal health are hotly debated. Well, are they really good for intestinal health or being promoted too much by food companies? Probiotics, the concept originated in the Greek, is “for life”. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the WHO have defined probiotics which is a kind of beneficial bacteria that can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria to maintain the balance of intestinal flora. Prebiotics and probiotics can affect the balance of intestinal flora, but they are different in essence: prebiotics are carbohydrates without biological activity, promote the growth and breeding of probiotics, which indirectly play a …

View Post

Health Claims on Food Labels should remain under strict guidelines

In # 7: Gut health by Thanh0 Comments

Health benefits from food products have always been topics that have drawn a lot of attention.  Society is reaching to  higher and higher medical standards, education, and technology, thus people now care a lot more about their diet and what is in their food that helps promote their health. Probiotics and prebiotics have been proved through so many scientific studies that they contribute benefits to  gut health. However, only a few health claims for probiotics and prebiotics have been approved in the United States or Europe. The reason for this is the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have a really high bar on regulating the health claim labels, and they have not been convinced enough by the data from probiotics and prebiotics studies. Consumers nowadays care so much about the labels on their foods, but they do not have time or interest on researching or reading a whole bunch of studies about what health benefits the food ingredients bring. Plus, no one can stand in front of the food shelf for  hours …

View Post

Keep it Equal

In # 7: Gut health by Casey1 Comment

It is important that the bar is lowered for gut health claims on packaging. Even with the strict regulations that are in place now, there are instances of unnecessary labeling. As we discussed in class, companies are putting words on packaging for mainly marketing reasons. Most of the words do not have any value or significance to the nutritional value of the product, they are words that the company solely put on the package for marketing purposes. Consumers are seeking out products with “100% Natural,” “Immune Support,” and, among others, “Antioxidants.” The consumers do not do their research and do not know what they are actually buying. If these companies are allowed to put these claims on packaging, gut health companies should be allowed to put their health claims on their packaging. What consumers do not realize is that some of these words they are seeking out have no meaning when it comes to the nutritional value of the product they are buying. They consume these products because they think that they are healthier than foods without the claim. Some …

View Post

Should a Consumer’s Choice Guided by Government or Health Professionals?

In # 7: Gut health by Vanessa0 Comments

My mom has instilled in me that gut health is important since I was young. We constantly had Yakult, yogurt, and Dannon’s Danimals available at home. All these products are readily available at any store or supermarket. However, I think it’s in the best interest of the general consumer to not make general health claims about gut health on products that contain synbiotics, probiotics, or prebiotics. As we saw in class, in these studies concerning probiotics and prebiotics, the body’s reaction varies from person to person. While everyone has similar needs and composition of bacteria is alike, it’s not exactly the same. I believe that a health claim should be applicable to a large portion of the population, such as “this product contains whole wheat and therefore is healthy for your heart”. While probiotics and prebiotics have the potential to make a person’s gut health improve, the reaction to these products is so dependent upon the person, a general claim would not be in the interest of the general public. To allow companies to make even broad assertions that this …

View Post

Help Support the Probiotics and Prebiotics

In # 7: Gut health by Sydney0 Comments

The FDA says there has to be a standard for probiotics and prebiotics to be a health claim, though it’s unattainable. Acccording to the FDA evidence supporting the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics is not sufficient enough to have these products approved. There are thousands of microbiota that live in your gut, which are affected by your diet. Some microbiota are healthy, others are not. These microbiota are proven to be associated with body weight, including obesity. What if you were told there was a possible solution to help you have more good microbes than bad? These microbes would help you maintain a healthy body weight and increased metabolism. Addition of probiotics and prebiotics to your diet could do just that for you. Evidence supports the use of these supplements to help improve gut microbiota, which is a known factor in bodyweight. Just as a diet works, you can’t just take the supplement pills and see improvements, and the supplement pills are not guaranteed for everyone. The same goes for the use of probiotics and prebiotics. Your diet will always …

View Post

The bar should be lowered

In # 7: Gut health by Tyler0 Comments

With more information and more discoveries about health coming to light everyday more issues arise. One of those major issues associated with gut health and the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics is the regulations of labelling products with such claims. Labeling has been an issue for some time now, that’s nothing new. Companies have been told what they can and can’t put on their products since I’ve at least been alive. I believe these guidelines and regulations are necessary but also at the same time need to be more relaxed. I feel the bar is set way too high. There are a lot of products out there that do have solid evidence that backs these claims that pro and prebiotics in some way benefit you. Regardless of this evidence these companies are still struggling to get the right to label their products with such claims. They should be able to present the benefits of their product if there is scientific evidence claiming such things. Numerous people benefit from such foods and companies should be able to tell consumers about those …

View Post

Everyone Could Use Some Probiotics

In # 7: Gut health by Therese1 Comment

Health claims on food labels all must be evaluated by the FDA and must be supported by significant scientific evidence in order to be approved for use. The argument is centered around what should be considered “significant.” While it is fairly easy to understand that the FDA sets its guidelines in order to protect consumers, I believe that they may be missing out on some really great health benefits because the FDA’s standards are too high. Probiotics have been shown in a number of studies to provide great benefits. Digestive issues, such as allergies, sensitivities, and diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, C. Diff., and Ulcerative Colitis seem to be increasingly more common. This is due to a number of factors, such as decreased breast feeding or more frequent deliveries by cesarean section vs. natural births. Breastfeeding and natural delivery both provide infants with vital bacteria that will affect their gut microbiota for the rest of their lives. If they are not allowed these bacteria, they could have digestive issues. These issues could contribute to obesity, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain …

View Post

Lower the bar, for the good of the consumers

In # 7: Gut health, Assigned Posts by Alexis0 Comments

To begin, I think it is very important to have high standards for things that we are putting into our bodies. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to things of that nature. However, we know that probiotics and prebiotics are good for our gut health as well as health overall, and that taking them will lead to positive results. Since this is the case, I think that it would be a good idea to make the standards slightly more lax, so that consumers can get the valuable information a health claim would provide. I think making the standards so high that scientists in the industry think they are unattainable is a bit extreme. I don’t think lowering them a ton is the answer, but I do think that lowering them enough allow a health claim would do more good than harm. If probiotics and prebiotics aren’t quite as good as what people think they are, then I think we would have stopped using them by now. If they do really improve one’s health …

View Post

ONE thing that should be lowered

In # 7: Gut health by Chuan0 Comments

Health has long been a heated issue for them who are able to indulge themselves in luxury gourmets. With more discoveries on food products affecting our bodily systems, more problems have also popped up as a form of distrust, and one of them is the gut health. For long have the gut health issue been a taboo, but as an issue concerning everyone, it should be discussed more than ever. The regulatory agencies should not hide and forget about the problems that have surfaced from this topic, but confront them, then only can the public rest assured, knowing what they eat won’t kill them, but actually help them in ways they cannot begin to imagine. With these problems in hand, people who didn’t have the sufficient amount of knowledge on the context have their faith in those ‘healthy’ food products shaven away bit by bit. To tend to this problem, everyone should be educated, the criteria for gut health claims should be lowered, but only to the point that these food products can still be regulated, overseen by the health …

View Post

Let Them Make Claims!

In # 7: Gut health by Trace0 Comments

Prebiotics and Probiotics have been around for a while, over 100 years in the case of the latter. And they have been beneficial to numerous people who have utilized them. I personally believe that the requirements for labeling of health benefits be relaxed a little bit. I am not saying that any company should be able to come up with one of these products, do some minor testing, and slap a “Good for You” sticker on their product, but I think that the ones that have gone through a decent amount of testing with significant positive results should be able to inform the customers of their benefits. Customers can be very impulsive, as well as lazy when it comes to buying products, and very few are going to go through the extensive research on each individual type of pro/pre biotic to determine if it is actually healthy or beneficial to them, they want to just look at a package, read some brief facts about it, and quickly decide what will be best. With the strict regulations that are currently in …

View Post

The Bar of Gut Health Claim Should Remain High or Not?

In # 7: Gut health by Danyan0 Comments

In the current age, the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics for gut health are being hotly debated. Since this is a favorite topic, we are encouraged to think broadly and to state our views or opinions on this subject. Thus, the issue of health claims for probiotic products is also highly controversial in America and Europe. Some experts suggested that the standard for a gut health claim should be relaxed by regulatory agencies because the bar is too high at present. However, the other insisted that government should use strict scientific standards to prove health benefits of probiotics and look out for ordinary consumers. From my perspective, I think the criteria for a gut health claim should remain high to serve the consumer’s interest best. When we walk in the market, we can realize the probiotic products are not limited to dairy foods such as yogurts or ice cream at present. Along with the fever of consuming probiotic, probiotic products extend to every kind of food product including fruit-based beverages, nutrition bars, breakfast cereal, snacks, etc. Based on the data …

View Post

Gut Health in America

In # 7: Gut health by Jade3 Comments

The criteria for a gut health claim should be 100% relaxed. There is scientific data out there that proves that gut health plays a role in a lot of different diseases, and outcomes that effect lifestyle. But, in all reality it is not entirely surprising. There are health claims all around the world that say that fats are bad and that they need to be avoided. It is a common claim that trans fats are bad for you, which is true. But it is also believed that saturated fats are bad for you, and they are not. There are healthy saturated fats out there that should be consumed on a regular basis are very healthy yet big industries and agencies chose to ignore these facts. Fats could be a more controversial topic, it is kind of a tough sell to claim that fats are good and there could be a lot more behind that topic that I am unaware of. However, prebiotics and probiotics do nothing but benefit the body. I don’t understand why it wouldn’t suffice for a simple …