More than a feeling, gut health is key to overall health and wellbeing
A gut feeling. Gut response. It takes guts.
Idioms referring to the gut have been commonplace for years, acknowledging a connection between the gut and the brain. Current understanding of the gut’s role in achieving overall health and wellbeing is evolving, with the term “gut microbiome” used and recognized routinely around the world.
Research suggests a connection between a disrupted gut microbiome and serious health issues including visceral fat accumulation, insulin spikes, digestive issues, inflammation and autoimmune and mental health disorders. Prevention may include eating foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains that encourage a healthy gut, a message that 57 percent of U.S. consumers have taken to heart. (Mintel, 2021.)
Food and drink companies are obliging this trend with product launches designed to support a healthy gut microbiome, ranging from basics like yogurt and yogurt drinks – the Chobani Probiotic Lemon Ginger Plant-Based Drink is an example– to the unexpected: Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies, which include tigernuts, a source of prebiotic fiber. Mintel includes the cookies as an example of “fun and familiar” food products that support gut health.
Food companies are also involved in microbiome research, according to IFT (The Institute of Food Technologists) in a January 2020 issue of Food Technology magazine. “Nestlé in November 2019 announced that it entered into a partnership with the University of California–San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation to further increase the understanding of the microbiome’s impact on human health and to accelerate the development of innovative nutritional solutions promoting health and wellbeing. Over many years, Nestlé has studied the gut microbiome and its evolving composition throughout different life stages, from birth to aging, in humans and companion animals. This research has been used to develop products that help maintain healthy digestion and well-being for different populations. The current portfolio includes products that contain probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics to improve digestion.”
Fiber is considered a key component of a gut-healthy diet. Considered a dietary fiber, resistant starch is a carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and undergoes fermentation in the large intestine. As the fibers ferment, they act as a prebiotic and promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Fibersym® RW, an RS4- type Resistant Wheat Starch, was shown to promote digestive health by increasing colonic fermentation and short-chain fatty acid production that contribute to “positive modulation of colonic microflora,” according to the Fibersym technical guide. It promotes distinct compositional alterations within the human gut microbiota resulting in increased population of beneficial bacteria.
Fibersym’s role in digestive health further achieved important recognition as Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™. Low FODMAP diets have been found to prevent abdominal discomfort and to help people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.)
For more on Fibersym’s physiological benefits and its functional qualities that benefit food product development, visit: https://www.mgpingredients.com/food-ingredients/products/line/fibersym/fibersym-rw.html.