Gut Microbiota: Embracing the Prebiotic Trend
According to the Innova Consumer Trends Report 2023, the paramount focus on enhanced health and wellbeing ranks highest among consumer spending priorities, driven by the aspiration to “feel well.”
Consumers worldwide recognize health as the top priority for innovation in the food and beverage industry. A study reveals that 75% adults ranking digestive health as high on their list of health priorities1.
Furthermore, over 50% of consumers demonstrate a high interest in fiber as a functional ingredient, and 31% have increased their fiber intake in the past year, as reported by Innova Market Insights.
In their preventive approach to wellbeing, three quarters of prebiotic consumers use prebiotics daily, as part of an everyday healthy diet rather than when they specifically feel the need to address a health problem (FMCG Gurus). The main areas consumers wish to address with prebiotic products are immune health and digestive health.
The rising demand for supplements, combined with changing perceptions of the health benefits of fiber and an expanding health-conscious consumer population, is expected to drive the prebiotic market in the upcoming years.
Are you an R&D developer or a product marketer seeking inspiration for new product development with a gut health claim? Look no further! Explore Nexira’s natural ingredients, sustainably sourced, and backed by scientific studies: Organic acacia prebiotic fiber acting on overall health and grape polyphenol prebiotic, showcasing activity with Akkermansia muciniphila, the shining star of the gut flora.
The gut Microbiota: a living ecosystem
Microbiota modulation has emerged as a captivating and groundbreaking area of study within in the field of human health and wellness. The term “microbiome” refers to the trillions of microorganisms residing in and on our bodies, playing a crucial role in various physiological functions.
The human microbiome forms a diverse ecosystem that includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms peacefully inhabiting both the interior and exterior of the human body. These microorganisms can be found in the lungs, skin, urogenital tract, and gastrointestinal tract, with the largest microbial community (approximately 100 trillion of bacteria) residing in the large intestine, commonly referred to as the gut microbiota.
Primarily located in the large intestine, these microorganisms actively participate in the fermentation process, breaking down resistant compounds like fibers. Certain strains of Bifidobacteria, commonly referred to as “good bacteria,” contribute positively to gut and overall health. However, the microbiome can be unfavorably impacted by factors such as an inadequate diet, physical and emotional stress, and various diseases.
As fiber serves as a crucial substrate for Bifidobacteria, diets lacking sufficient fiber or lacking diversity in fiber sources can lead to imbalances in the microbiome. The Western diet typically provides only half the recommended amount of fiber outlined in dietary guidelines, creating what is known as the fiber gap. This deficiency is considered one of the factors contributing to a decline in gut microbiota diversity.
The gut microbiome is one of the most extensively studied. It plays a vital role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and the synthesis of certain vitamins. Modulating the microbiome intentionally, through methods like dietary changes, probiotics, prebiotics, or synbiotic supplements, aims to maintain a balanced and diverse microbiome supporting overall health.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics
Instead of depending on the delivery of live probiotics to the large intestine, prebiotics play a role in fostering the growth of existing Bifidobacteria. A deeper understanding of the interactions between prebiotics and probiotics has led to the development of synbiotic. These formulations focus on simultaneously providing live probiotic strains along with prebiotic fibers, offering at least two significant advantages. They enhance the survival and implantation of live microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, and they selectively stimulate the growth and activity of one or more health-promoting bacteria.
Prebiotics present an appealing solution by nurturing the growth of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in the gut. Supplementing with prebiotic fibers provides an alternative and potentially complementary approach to positively alter the microbiome.
Is acacia a prebiotic fiber?
While all prebiotics are fibers, not all fibers have prebiotic properties, requiring the ability to pass through the digestive tract without being affected by digestive enzymes and so reach the large intestine intact for fermentation. Significant quantities of fibers are inherently found in various foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains…. However, as it is difficult to adopt a healthy diet, products may help consumers to increase their fiber intakes.
The use of fiber components in supplements and sports nutrition products is on the rise worldwide. Throughout the period spanning July 2022 to June 2023, supplements emerged as the leading subcategory for fiber ingredients, constituting 65% of the market. In the top ingredients, acacia fiber represented +5% of the launches (Nutrition Insights).
Acacia fiber stands out as one of the increasingly used prebiotic fibers in the food industry. It serves as a substrate for the growth of Bifidobacteria, contributing to its popularity and effectiveness in promoting gut health.
inavea pure acacia: A natural and organic prebiotic fiber
With more than 40 years of research in gut and microbiome, Nexira continues to expand its expertise and has recently released a new trial on human showing for the first time the benefit of its acacia prebiotic fiber on transit modulation and its extreme tolerability on sensitive people with IBS.
inavea™ PURE ACACIA is an all-natural, organic, and Non-GMO Project verified dietary fiber sourced from carefully selected acacia trees, with a carbon reduced footprint.
inavea™ PURE ACACIA offers the value of high digestive tolerance for fiber enrichment and prebiotic effect in a large array of applications.
inavea™ PURE ACACIA is a 100% dietary soluble fiber easy-to-use in a large array of applications, from supplements in powder to functional food and beverage such as trendy carbonates, functional alt-dairy or convenient bars, which open the field of innovation and new concepts.
New advancements and studies shown that polyphenols with microbial-modulating activity can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon and influence the metabolic capacity of the gut microbiota.
Beyond fiber: Polyphenols emerge as potent prebiotic for gut health
Polyphenols are now officially recognized as prebiotics by ISAPP*. Combining its expertise in microbiome (through prebiotic acacia fiber) and its unique sourcing and process on grapes, Nexira has launched VinOgrape™ Plus, a natural grape extract rich in powerful antioxidant compounds (OPC and anthocyanins). In recent in vivo studies, VinOgrape™ Plus has its proven prebiotic effect by significantly modulating the gut microbiome profile and increase the diversity index compared to control.
VinOgrape™ Plus has also significantly increased the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, suggesting a beneficial and active role in metabolic disorder as well as weight control.
Akkermansia muciniphila is a prominent member of gut microbiota. It is a mucin-degrading bacterium isolated from human feces. Akkermansia muciniphila has been proven to play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut barrier, regulating immunity and preventing metabolic disorders. According to Innova Market Insights, Akkermansia-related patent activity has experienced a steady rise, with a notable positive CAGR of +29%.
Nexira has also observed a beneficial impact on glycemia, a diabetic parameter induced by metabolic disorder in High Fat high Sucrose in vivo model. Ultimately, VinOgrape™ Plus owns the ability to favor the production of metabolites of interests by microbiota such as Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), notably acetate.
If you are interested in this topic area, please join us at Probiota Europe 2024 in Milan, from February 7-9, for a deeper exploration of this dynamic field. Probiota 2024 will bring together industry-leading speakers to delve into topics surrounding prebiotics, probiotics, and the microbiome, offering insights into the latest trends and developments. Nexira is a gold sponsor of this event and Damien Guillemet, Nexira’s Scientific Director will host a round table discussion about how to consider diversity index and responder rate in microbiome modulation. “When considering microbiome modulation in humans, it is crucial to take two key factors into account: diversity index and the proportion of non-responders. The responder rate could represent a challenge for demonstrating significance and substantiating health benefits. Is this consideration of interest for pre- and probiotics and should it be further investigated?”.
As we delve into the intricacies of the microbiome, it becomes evident that prebiotics are a force to be reckoned with, wielding the power to shape our health from within. By embracing the concept of “Powering the Microbiome” through the inclusion of prebiotics in consumer’s diet, we unlock a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond digestive health.
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