So, do I endorse all of the companies who sponsored FNCE? Well, honestly, no. I know that these companies provide a lot of funding for great causes, but I don’t necessarily advocate their products. I’m all for innovation: I think that product development is a fantastic frontier. But at the same time, I’m just a little wary of highly processed products with a lot of additives and artificial sugars. This is pretty controversial right now amongst members of the ADA. What are your thoughts about sponsorship?
One of the best sessions I attended at FNCE was on probiotics and prebiotics. This is a hot topic: globally, the retail sales of products containing probiotics or prebiotics = $15.4 billion!
probiotics: live microorganisms that have the potential to confer a health benefit on the host
prebiotics: food for beneficial bacteria; selectively stimulate the growth of one or a limited number of bacterial species in the colon; examples: agave, inulin, FOS, chicory root
[intestinal cells from one of my lab experiments at Ohio State]
- both good and potentially harmful bacteria live in the gut [called gut microflora]
- the gut microflora break down vitamins and ferment fibers and carbohydrates that are not digested in the upper GI tract, which supports a healthy intestinal barrier, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, and contributes to regularity.
- probiotics increase the number of good bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestine. They may help the immune system and assist in maintaining barrier function.
- prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestinal tract and may enhance the effect of probiotic bacteria; may also increase the absorption of certain minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) and may help reduce risk factors related to colorectal diseases.
Are you tongue tied yet? Stay tuned for a bacteria lesson part 2, where I’ll talk about specific products and what you should be looking for when purchasing and using them.
Also, I’m getting ready for a pretty big post after a certain Foodbuzz sponsored event this Saturday, so stay tuned.