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More Americans are Embracing "Friendly Bacteria"

Americans are becoming more aware of the digestive benefits of probiotics, resulting in a large increase in consumption of the "friendly bacteria," says a new report by Datamonitor.

According to their global report on probiotics, the US market went from $952.1 million in 2003 to $1,526.7 million in 2008, a 35% increase.

The US market is clearly growing fast, however, it still lags behind Europe where consumers have had more time to accept and understand the many benefits of these "friendly bacteria."

Last year, a survey by Opinion Research Corporation revealed that 85% of Americans know "little to nothing" about probiotics.

This tide appears to be turning as more people begin consuming probiotics and consumers become less skeptical about associated health claims. It seems the more consumers use these products, the more they believe in their benefits.

The report by Datamonitor found that 38% of consumers trusted foods and beverages which make digestive health claims, while 47% were undecided.

On the other hand, only 14% of Americans found probiotic product claims to be untrustworthy.

Women were more likely to trust probiotic health claims then men.  This may be due to the fact that women tend to have more digestive health problems than men, and therefore would be more likely to have tried products containing probiotics.

Probiotics have been shown to have far ranging benefits beyond digestive health including boosting the immune system and aiding in weight loss.

A good way to boost good bacteria levels inside your body is by consuming more foods like yogurt and cultured milk. You can also incorporate a quality probiotic supplement into your diet.

The best products have several different bacteria strains (different strains have different benefits) and several billion bacteria cells. Also make sure that the product you choose is packaged to block light, air, and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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