Monday, January 22, 2007

Prepare for a Surge in Bacteria-laden Foods

You may not have noticed (I didn't), but Dannon has a hit on its hands with the "Activia" line of yogurt products. According to a feature at the New York Times, Activia products boast a live bacteria that aids in regularity. Sales have surpassed $100 million in the United States alone (a sister product has been available in Europe since 1987).

Live bacteria in food products are referred to as "probacteria." And since Dannon's got a winner with Activia, look for more probiotic labels on foods at a grocery store near you. "I know marketers will start looking to put it on everything," one expert told the Times.

Probiotics may help manage allergies, soothe digestive problems, reduce the risk of some cancer, lower blood pressure and cut the duration of your next cold.

Is this just another food fad, the likes of oat bran, low-carb or juicers? Probably. At least, it's too soon to tell. The right tests have not been done on probiotics. Another expert otld the times, "it's early in terms of research."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.