Saturday, March 10, 2018

Digestive Health

Digestive Health
Digestion is the process of breaking down food into nutrients, such as vitamins, proteins and fats, so that they are more easily absorbed. The digestive system involves organs (mouth, gullet, stomach, intestines) and glands (salivary glands, liver, gall bladder and pancreas). Digestive problems, e.g. changed or abnormal digestion, encompass a wide range of conditions; they vary in their severity and cause, and may depend on the part of the digestive system involved. Most conditions occur in the intestines. These are often caused by bacteria or are related to food intake (e.g. allergies). Common symptoms include abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, indigestion and heartburn. Severe conditions include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Syndromes (e.g. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers and Celiac disease.

Dietary fibres are the most common alternative, either sold as food supplements or used in functional food. Alongside botanical sources (e.g. algae), a variety of fruits are also popular. Examples include plums, figs, dates and apricots. Additionally, health claims have been authorised for several grain fibres (e.g. rye, oat grain, barley and wheat bran fibres), which producers can include in their marketing.

Obesity | National Geographic

What Is Obesity? | Obesity

Anti-obesity products

Anti-obesity products are marketed as food supplements. An increasing number of food supplements in Europe are being marketed to fight obesity. Consumers are increasingly interested in herbal solutions, especially when they are replacing synthetic products. Product development and innovation is difficult but viable for this segment.
There are several natural anti-obesity alternatives which compete with botanicals:  Supplements or yoghurt drinks containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifido-bacterium BB-12 (bacterial cultures which support the digestive system) are strong competitors in the probiotic market.
--Flaxseed oil (as a supplement) is another popular choice in preventing and treating obesity, and it also helps support the digestive system and, more directly, keeps blood cholesterol levels under control. The oil has significant marketing appeal owing to its high omega-3 fatty acid content.
--Consumers are also using fruits as a weapon in their Armour in the fight against obesity. One such example is the combination of different fruits, such as figs, tamarinds, etc., as a supplement (e.g. in cubes), these being used for their laxative properties.