World Digestive Health Day (WDHD), organised by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) in collaboration with the WGO Foundation, is encouraging people to become more aware of the evolving therapies available for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel diseases, affecting more than 300,000 people in the UK and 2.5 million in Europe, with increasing prevalence.
According to the WGO, there are various therapies currently being developed to treat IBD, including dietary supplements to improve the microbiome in the gut.
With two thirds of people saying that digestive health is important to them, it is clear that consumers are becoming more familiar with the gut microbiome and its influence on the body.
Whether they are struggling with conditions such as IBD, or are fit and well, consumers are increasingly interested in food and ingredients that support a healthy digestive system.
There is a wealth of research supporting the beneficial impact of prebiotic chicory root fibres, such as BENEO’s inulin and oligofructose, in promoting good bacteria in the gut and creating a more favourable environment in the large intestine.
These fibres are the preferred nutrients for beneficial gut bacteria and therefore encourage positive modulation of the microbiota composition to take place. In doing so, short-chain fatty acids and other metabolites are formed in the colon that can help to maintain regularity and nourish the cells of the gut wall to support health and decrease the risk for inflammatory processes.
With increasing demand from consumers to feel the benefits of digestive wellness and willingness to try many routes to achieve this, there is both an opportunity and a challenge for us as an industry.
A healthy microbiota is supported by a balanced diet that is rich in fermentable dietary fibre but it can be difficult for some consumers to adjust their diets accordingly.
Further support to encourage a healthy microbiota can be found by simply including prebiotic fibres, such as BENEO’s chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, in the daily diet through fibre-enriched foodstuffs (check the list of ingredients), as well as fruits and vegetables that contain inulin and oligofructose naturally.
Being soluble and having a mild sweet taste, BENEO’s prebiotic fibres can be easily used in various applications including dairy, bakery, cereals, confectionery and beverages.
This presents food manufacturers with the opportunity to help consumers keep their digestive systems healthy, naturally and with ease, without having to make any major changes to their diet or sacrifice on taste or texture.