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GPA works to defend the meaning of “prebiotic” even as new ingredient technology muddies the water

GPA works to defend the meaning of “prebiotic” even as new ingredient technology muddies the water

Gut health has been a hot topic of research in recent years. This has seen a large number of studies on nutritional components and their impact on gut health, many of which fall outside the traditional carbohydrate/dietary fiber sources of prebiotic ingredients.

Many ingredients are flying the prebiotic flag now

For example, a recent review of botanical ingredients used to treat bowel disorders was cited in traditional European medicine settings Turmeric, Ginger and Rosemary Ingredientsas existence “Potential altering effects of the gut microbiome.”

Another recent study came out and Baldness called turmeric as a “prebiotic compound.”Another study published just this week listed curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol, naringenin, and epigallocatechin 3-gallate as all of which have anti-inflammatory and microbiome regulatory effects that could be beneficial for IBS patients.

With so many ingredients being studied in this regard, and the wide variety of foods in which these ingredients can be found, the question becomes: Can anything you eat be considered a prebiotic?

GPA strives to set boundaries

Lynn Monhet, executive director of the World Prebiotic Association, which lists Deerland, ADM, Ardent Mills and Church & Dwight as members, said dilution of the message is a concern for this group. Monheit said the GPA has been working on identifying and defending turf for the category, so consumers aren’t overwhelmed to the point where they tune out the message.

Monheit said that the GPA is not necessarily averse to extending the class definition to include new components, as long as those components have data to justify what is being said about them.


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