There are about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria naturally living in the intestinal tract of a healthy human being.1 Different strains populate different areas of the intestinal tract and studies have linked various probiotic strains to specific health benefits. For years, scientists have believed that these bacteria are essential for healthy digestion and for supporting a strong immune system. However, more recently, high-quality scientific studies have reported that select probiotic strains may help reduce the risk of premature birth and the complications that may result from babies being born pre-term. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that the probiotic strains, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, may help protect against a severe complication of pre-term birth known as necrotizing enterocolitis.2

In the same journal, findings from a separate study, conducted at the Norwegian Institute of PublicProbiotic Supplement Manufacturer(51492) Health, reported that a regular intake of milk-based probiotic products by pregnant women was linked to an 18 percent reduction in the risk of premature delivery. The study analyzed data from 18,888 pregnant women, correlating the incidence of premature birth with probiotic consumption. In other words, the study reported that, when compared with women who did not use probiotics, women who consumed the highest amounts of probiotics were 18 percent less likely to experience premature deliveries.3 

A study recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition has also highlighted the benefits of certain products for women and their children. The study reported that the combination of canola oil-based food products with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 resulted in an increase in the total ALA and the total omega-3 content of breast milk. Additionally, this combination was found to result in higher levels of immune system modulating compounds.4

More research still needs to be conducted on probiotics to determine their true impact on health during pregnancy and infancy. However, based on preliminary research, there is encouraging evidence to suggest that probiotics may indeed confer a range of health benefits, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.5

More Probiotics Health Benefits
Probiotics establish a healthy microflora in the intestinal tract, thereby enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients.6 Since each strain provides a different benefit, the effects of probiotics on human health cannot be generalized. Still, some benefits include:

  1. Alleviating rotavirus-induced or antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
  2. Alleviating complaints due to lactose intolerance.
  3. Reducing gastro-intestinal complaints in healthy people.
  4. Preventing the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the intestinal tract.
  5. Alleviating symptoms of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease.
  6. Alleviating allergies in infants.
  7. Preventing common cold, influenza and other infectious respiratory tract diseases.
  8. Supports urogenital health and may help prevent infections.
  9. Improvement of mouth flora and prevention of dental caries.

Dietary fibers, called prebiotics, stimulate the growth and activity of probiotic bacteria alreadyProbiotic Supplement Manufacturer(51491) found in the colon. Therefore, prebiotics have a natural, positive impact on intestinal microflora. The combination of probiotics with prebiotics, called synbiotics, has well-established effects on lipid metabolism, stimulation of mineral absorption and also exhibits immune-modulatory properties.7

Supplement business owners interested in producing high-quality probiotic supplements should contact an experienced nutraceutical manufacturer who can help provide customers with strategic probiotic formulas for modifying intestinal flora and achieving therapeutic benefits.

Probiotics Strains and New Developments
Common probiotic strains used in supplement manufacturing include Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. reuteri, bifidobacteria and certain strains of L. casei or the L. acidophilus group, particularly used in fermented milk products.9-10

Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG and Saccharomyces boulardii are two strains which have theProbiotic Supplement Manufacturer(51493) greatest number of proven benefits.8 A limited number of studies show that a mixture of probiotics appears to be more effective against a wide range of end results than single strains. Sixteen studies compared the effect of a mixture with that of its component strains. In 12 cases out of 15(75 percent), the mixture was found to be more effective.11 

Probiotic usage is likely to extend beyond gut, dental and immune health in the coming years. Extensive scientific research continues to release evidence on new probiotic strains and their applications for improving conditions such as allergies, management of cholesterol, alleviating symptoms of inflammatory diseases and its possible role in the prevention of colon cancer.12-15

Probiotic Manufacturing Trends
Probiotic manufacturers are aware that trends are moving beyond yogurt to delivering a diverse range of probiotic products which include foods, beverages and probiotic supplements. Food applications for probiotics include yogurts, kefir and cultured drinks, with yogurt products representing the largest share of sales (36.6 percent). Other emerging foods include probiotic cheese, nutrition bars, breakfast cereal and infant formula. According to BCC Research, probiotic foods have the largest share in the market, worth $13.8 billion in 2008. The second largest share, probiotic supplements, was worth $1.2 billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $1.7 billion in 2013. Probioitics supplements can be delivered in the form of capsules, tablets and powders, with capsules accounting for the largest share of sales (75 percent).16

Major Growth Factors
Increasing consumer awareness of probiotic health benefits and the easy availability of probiotic products are the major factors propelling the growth of the global probiotics market, according to a report from Markets and Markets, a global market research and consulting company based in Texas. In the United States, the market for probiotics is growing quickly because of the appealing benefits of probiotic dietary supplements.17

According to Global Industry Analysis, a global market research company based in California, the global probiotics market is forecast to cross $28.8 billion in revenues by 2015. The report, “Probiotics: A Global Strategic Business Report,” predicts that the market is set to witness an impressive growth because consumers are more health-conscious and are switching to preventive healthcare due to rising healthcare costs. Increasing scientific evidence from research as well as the enhanced efficiency of ingredients is encouraging consumers to take advantage of the health benefits associated with specific strains of probiotics.18

Probiotics Supplement Manufacturing
Gut microflora plays a critical role in health and disease. Since the viability of bacteria is a major concern in probiotics manufacturing, it is important to choose a vitamin manufacturer you can rely on for maintaining stringent quality assurance procedures for probiotic compounds and provide accurate labeling for your probiotic products.


  1. Gut Flora in Health and Disease, Lancet, 2003;361(9356):512-519.
  2. Efficacy of Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei oral supplementation on necrotizing enterocolitis in very-low-birth-weight preterm infants: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011, Volume 93, Pages 81-86.
  3. Probiotics for pregnant women and preterm neonates, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011, Volume 93, Pages 3-4.
  4. Intake of probiotic food and risk of spontaneous preterm delivery, European Journal of Nutrition. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s00394-011-0209-0
  5. Probiotics and dietary counselling targeting maternal dietary fat intake modifies breast milk fatty acids and cytokines, Writing in Pediatrics (doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2548).
  6. Prophylactic and therapeutic uses of probiotics: a review, J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Feb;101(2):229-38; quiz 239-41.
  7. Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics, Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2008;111:1-66.
  8. Clinical indications for probiotics: an overview, Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Feb 1;46 Suppl 2:S96-100; discussion S144-51.
  9. Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics, Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2008;111:1-66. PMID: 18461293.
  10. The use of probiotics in gastrointestinal disease, Can J Gastroenterol. 2001 Dec;15(12):817-22.
  11. Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains? Eur J Nutr. 2011 Feb;50(1):1-17. Epub 2011 Jan 13. PMID: 21229254.
  12. The role of probiotic cultures in the prevention of colon cancer, The Journal of Nutrition 130 (2S Suppl): 410S–414S. PMID 10721916.
  13. Long term consumption of fermented dairy products over 6 months increases HDL cholesterol, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 56: 843–849.
  14. Potential uses of probiotics in clinical practice, Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 16 (4): 658–72. doi:10.1128/CMR.16.4.658-672.2003. PMC 207122. PMID 14557292.
  15. The role of probiotic cultures in the prevention of colon cancer, The Journal of Nutrition 130 (2S Suppl): 410S–414S. PMID 10721916.
  16. Probiotic Market- Advanced Technologies and Global Market (2009 - 2014), September 2009
  17. Probiotics: A Global Strategic Business Report, September 2010,
  18. The Probiotics Market: Ingredients, Supplements, Foods (FOD35B) from BCC Research, June 2008,