In May 2020, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences in collaboration with the National Marketing Institute surveyed 3,000 consumers to identify the position of probiotics in the current market. This survey found that probiotic usage had increased majorly during the pandemic. Results showed that the number of consumers using probiotics had increased by 108% in China and by 66% in the US. So, what has accounted for this increase? Jennifer Montgomery, AMCAS marketing lead at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences has stated that this increase may be due to general understanding and awareness that gut health influences all aspects of the body.
Growing traction for probiotics and their benefits to other aspects of the body can be seen in the clinical studies registered, for instance from the 250 clinical studies conducted regarding probiotics between January and September 2020 only 28% looked at gut health. George Paraskevakos, executive director at International Probiotics Association informs us that the rest of the studies “were divided between metabolic syndrome and other conditions, such as necrotizing enterocolitis, skin health, mental health, and women’s health—all of which are areas generating more studies and interest from health professionals and consumers alike.”
One benefit of probiotics that may not be commonly known is that it improves our mental health, as the gut and mind are in fact related, a partnership that is referred to as the gut-brain axis. A study was recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Stress, where probiotic strains from a probiotic company called HOWARU was used. In this study it was reported that five weeks supplementation per day of the probiotic was found by the participants to contribute to reductions in perceived stress levels when compared to participants who took a placebo. In fact, the strain combinations of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been at the head of mood-related research for years. Life Nutrition’s Advanced Probiotics uses 8 different widely studied strains supplied by HOWARU, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, the former being the top most widely studied probiotic.