Probiotics with your Pizza?! | Carson Tahoe Health

Food companies are adding probiotics to granola, baking mixes, juice, and even water!

This summer, expect more of the ‘healthy bugs’ in your food. Probiotics once appeared mostly in yogurt. Now, new cereals, snacks and beverages from Kraut Krisps to Gut Punches and Wellness Waters are featuring the microorganisms touted to help digestive and immune systems function. Some of these items will offer deliver active cultures 10 times more effectively than yogurt. Over the last 5 years, the number of food products in the U.S. making a probiotic-related claim has nearly tripled to more than 500.

What’s more, new strains of probiotics don’t require refrigeration. These newer spore-forming strains produce coated cell structures that help extend probiotics’ shelf life. Still, most probiotics can’t survive heat, processing or air exposure and often degrade with time.

The new food introductions reflect the growing knowledge of the proven benefits of probiotics on gut health. For example, a 2014 study published in the journal Vaccine looked at 500 hospital patients who were suffering from antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Those patients who received the highest doses of probiotics showed the most symptom relief compared with those patients who got more moderate doses or none at all.

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