We created these probiotic statistics to elaborate on how our microbiome is influenced by our diet, exercise habits, lifestyle, and exposure to different environmental factors.
Our body has both “good” and “bad” bacteria, and their interaction and balance may determine how we feel and whether or not we will contract a disease. So, if we’re to reap the benefits of bacteria, we need to sustain the “good” ones and suppress the “bad” ones.
The following article contains a plethora of facts about probiotics that can support our gut, maintain good immunity, and achieve excellent physical health.
Top 10 Probiotic Facts and Stats
- The human microbiome consists of over 100 trillion microorganisms and may weigh up to 5 pounds
- Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the best probiotics for health
- Kefir is a good food source of multiple probiotics
- Probiotics slow down gut transit time by 12.4 hours and increase the number of bowel movements by 1.3 times per week
- Probiotics can help in dealing with COVID-19
- Lactobacillus strains can restore vaginal flora
- Overall, it is better to obtain probiotics through supplements than through food
- A safe way to introduce children to probiotics is through food and drinks that contain them
- Probiotics may not be as innocent as they seem
- The probiotics market is poised to hit $75.9 billion by 2027
Probiotics: Definition and Concept
This section of the article deals with the origins of probiotics and their place in the modern world. We present some fascinating facts about the nature of probiotics and other scientific concepts around them. They should give you a deeper understanding of probiotics and their place in our lives.
1. Ilya Metchnikoff introduced the term “probiotics” around the year 1990.
Metchnikoff observed the health benefits of consuming yogurt made by Bulgarian shepherds, when he described the first probiotic facts.
2. The WHO established the modern definition of probiotics in 2001.
The term denotes “live microorganisms that may comprise different bacterial strains, which, when consumed in suitable amounts, deliberate a health effect on the host.”
3. The human microbiome consists of over 100 trillion microorganisms and may weigh up to 5 pounds.
(University of Washington)
The beneficial microbes in the human body, such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, outnumber human cells ten to one, and we wouldn’t see any probiotic supplement benefits without them.
4. The number of genes in the human microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome.
(University of Washington)
The majority of the representatives of the microbiome live in the gut, particularly in the large intestine.
5. Gut flora is also called the “forgotten organ.”
Some scientists consider the intestinal microbiota a separate organ because of the intensiveness of its metabolic activities.
Different Types of Probiotics
This section of the article deals with statistics and facts on the different types of probiotics out there. You’ll learn about these probiotics and how they can benefit your health. Also, some entries treat individual probiotics according to the health benefits they offer.
6. Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the best probiotics for health.
Acidophilus probiotic benefits deserve a separate mention for some unique health advantages they provide.
This probiotic is very effective against cholesterol and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
It also helps fight vaginal infections due to its heavy presence in the vagina and its ability to produce lactic acid, which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
7. According to probiotic facts, probiotic strains are genetic subtypes of microorganism species.
Usually, you’ll find the abbreviation of the probiotic strain along with the name of the individual strain on the labels of supplements.
For example, L. acidophilus stands for the Lactobacillus order and the acidophilus species.
8. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most commonly used species in probiotics.
(Medical News Today)
Although there are many other species, these are the most popular and investigated types of “good” bacteria used in probiotics pills. It’s important to remember that different strains of the same species can have different effects on the body.
9. Kefir is a good food source of multiple probiotics.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage containing a complex mix of probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB), acetic acid bacteria (AAB), and yeast.
Kefir probiotic benefits are one of the most wide-ranging health advantages any food provides in terms of probiotics. That’s because of the different probiotics it contains and their large quantities.
For one, it is a very effective antioxidant. Secondly, kefir improves digestion and helps with plasma glucose control.
Additionally, it makes you tolerant to lactose, kills harmful bacteria, and heals inflammation.
It is also effective in healing wounds and controlling hypertension. According to probiotic nutrition facts, it is recommended to consume kefir regularly and even make it part of your diet.
10. There are six individual bacteria strains frequently found in food and on product labels.
These six “good” bacteria names are B. animalis, B. breve, B. lactis, B. longum, L. acidophilus, and L. reuteri.
11. Saccharomyces boulardii is an example of “good” yeast found in probiotics.
- boulardii is used as a medicine, unlike other strains of S. cerevisiae, and it’s also known as brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast.
How Using Probiotics Benefits Digestive Health
You probably know by now that the primary functions of probiotics are in the digestive system. In the following paragraphs, more information is provided about how probiotics help our gut system and why we need them. There are also entries on the cure and prevention of diseases using probiotics.
12. The idea of consuming fermented foods to enhance health has been known for centuries.
According to reports on historical probiotic enzymes benefits, long before discovering microorganisms, there was a concept of manipulating the human microbiome by using live microorganisms.
13. Numerous diseases are linked to disturbed gut flora.
Some of these conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites), diarrhea caused by antibiotics, traveler’s diarrhea, Clostridium difficile colitis, etc.
14. Probiotics are being tested for their effectiveness against specific intestinal problems.
Probiotics supplement facts show that the efficacy of a product against conditions such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Clostridium difficile infection, infectious diarrhea, IBD (including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease), irritable bowel syndrome, etc., depends on the study design. This holds regardless of whether or not the product contains a single strain or a combination of probiotics, and whether or not the patient using it has any underlying conditions.
15. Probiotics slow down gut transit time by 12.4 hours and increase the number of bowel movements by 1.3 times per week.
One of the probiotic health benefits is that probiotics can help with constipation. Moreover, they can soften stools, making them easier to pass.
Benefits of Probiotics On the Immune System
Probiotic nutrition facts show that a great deal of research has explored the benefits of probiotics on the immune system. The most recent of these studies revolve around how probiotics may help in fighting or preventing COVID-19 infection.
One study identified the presence of the COVID-19 virus throughout the gut system. Read on to find out more.
16. Probiotics can help in dealing with COVID-19.
Probiotics for COVID statistics and facts reveal some positive relationship between our COVID-19 immunity and the type and amount of probiotics in our gut system.
Studies in China have found that gastrointestinal symptoms are common in severe cases of COVID-19.
Clinical evidence has also shown that some probiotic strains help fight viral infections such as gastroenteritis, sepsis, and respiratory tract infections (RTIs).
That means certain probiotic strains can help strengthen your immune system against COVID-19.
17. Probiotics affect local and systemic immune reactions.
In such a way, probiotics strains exert various effects on the immune system, but also impact the intestinal mucosa, its barrier function, and the production of antimicrobial peptides.
18. Probiotics metabolize fibers into short-chain fatty acids.
Probiotic flora benefits also include the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, propionate, and acetate. They exert many metabolic functions but also regulate T lymphocytes found in the gut.
19. Probiotics modulate the cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in the gut.
When becoming a part of the normal microflora, probiotics strains regulate the anatomical-functional unit in the gut and control local inflammation by regulating the production of cytokines in the mucosa and immune cells.
Other Health Benefits
There’s been much talk about how probiotics support our health. Research is still uncovering more probiotic benefits for men, women, and children. In this section of the article, we study the many roles probiotics play in keeping us healthy. Here you’ll find an extensive collection of facts on the health benefits of probiotics and why they are critical for our survival.
20. Good microbes contribute to the synthesis of some vitamins in the gut.
Creating vitamin K and some of the B vitamins is essential for human health.
21. Some probiotic strains have benefits such as weight reduction.
Studies have shown that specific probiotic strains are associated with obesity or malnutrition. However, more research needs to be done on the interaction between the human microbiota and the host to claim probiotics are good for weight loss confidently.
22. L. helveticus and B. longum may reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
(Gut Microbes Journal)
This fact is based on a study involving people with clinical depression who were using a combination of both strains for 30 days.
23. Lactobacillus strains can restore vaginal flora.
The use of probiotics to populate the vaginal flora with beneficial bacteria was shown as one of the essential probiotic benefits for women.
The mechanisms of action are related to inhibiting the growth of urogenital pathogens, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast biofilms.
24. Cholesterol-lowering probiotics are a potential treatment option for some metabolic diseases.
Mainly Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. have been shown to lower the total and LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.
25. Probiotics may help reduce the blood pressure if used for more than eight weeks in a row.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized, controlled trials showed that probiotic supplements’ health benefits also include reducing high blood pressure, but by a modest degree. When the baseline is elevated, multiple species of probiotics are consumed.
The daily consumption dose is ≥10(11) colony-forming units.
26. Research on the use of probiotics for skin disorders, wound healing, and photoprotection is promising.
Although there is some evidence that probiotics can be helpful for skin problems, such as acne, rosacea, and eczema, more extensive, controlled trials are required before a final recommendation can be given.
Probiotics as Supplements
Many food nutrients can be bought as a supplement, and probiotics–though not food nutrients–are no exception.
In truth, it is pretty challenging to obtain all the probiotics you need from food alone. This section ventures into the world of probiotic supplements to provide some interesting information about them.
27. Overall, it is better to obtain probiotics through supplements than through food.
There are numerous probiotic drinks’ benefits to our body. Additionally, taking supplements offers more advantages than fermented food.
However, because there’s a diverse range of probiotics, it is pretty difficult to obtain any specific probiotic through food and supplements.
28. Probiotics can be taken in several ways.
There are a variety of ways to take probiotics. You can get them through different foods and drinks or as a supplement in the form of a liquid, capsule, powder, etc.
29. The combination of a probiotic and prebiotic is called a synbiotic.
A prebiotic supplement is a component needed to feed and promote the good function of bacteria in a probiotic.
Prebiotics are usually complex carbohydrates, such as inulin, pectin, starches, etc. We cannot compare prebiotics vs. probiotics, as it’s best to have them act synergically in a product.
30. Probiotic supplements do not require approval by the FDA.
Since probiotics are not medications, the claims on their labels regarding their safety and effectiveness rely on the goodwill of the manufacturers to perform adequate research.
31. Consuming foods containing probiotics is an excellent way to obtain “good” bacteria.
Certain foods can help you increase the number of beneficial microbes in your body. Probiotics are in foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, sourdough bread, cottage cheese, tempeh, fermented pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, etc. Some of these “good bacteria foods” are very exotic, whereas some of them you probably consume every day, but are not aware of their probiotic properties.
Nevertheless, just consuming them does not guarantee that your diet will be well-balanced. You would still have to eat healthily. Adding foods rich in probiotics in your diet won’t hurt you, and it can also bring benefits, but be careful not to avoid other food groups.
32. People get probiotics from drinks as a natural form of supplementation.
(Women’s health mag)
These drinks are prepared from fermented dairies (such as yogurt or kefir) and fermented vegetables. Probiotics can also be added during manufacturing. The most popular probiotic-containing drinks are yogurt, dairy-free yogurt, kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar probiotic drink, gutshot with pressed and fermented vegetables, probiotic soda, and probiotic water.
Probiotics for Kids
We’ve seen in other snippets that probiotics are beneficial for people of all ages. However, what are the benefits of a probiotic in children specifically? This section contains some facts regarding administering probiotics to kids. You’ll also learn how to go about giving your kids probiotics and why to give them.
33. Giving probiotics to children should always be discussed with a healthcare provider beforehand.
Probiotics studies in children are insufficient because their bodies are still developing, so most of the effects of the supplementation are unpredictable. Moreover, supplements and medicines might interfere with the processes in their body. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
34. A safe way to introduce children to probiotics is through food and drinks that contain them.
Consuming helpful bacteria as a part of a balanced diet doesn’t involve much risk. However, after consultation with a doctor, some children might be required to receive specially designed probiotic formulas.
35. Probiotic benefits for infants involve the modulation of certain medical conditions.
Currently, available evidence shows that L. rhamnosus GG and S. boulardii effectively treat acute gastroenteritis and prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Other conditions that can be treated with specific strains are infant colic, necrotizing enterocolitis, and sepsis.
However, not all probiotic strains have the same efficacy for all clinical indications and should be recommended based on their proven efficacy and safety.
Probiotics: Side Effects and Risk
People are alarmed at the idea of ingesting any bacteria, fearing it will harm them. Probiotics promise not only to be harmless but beneficial–this explains their popularity.
However, scientists are curious about the seemingly 100% innocent nature of probiotics, and some have conducted studies just to make sure. We present some of their findings in this section.
36. Probiotics may not be as innocent as they seem.
In light of the recent probiotics immunity statistics and findings, there’s a need to study the full impact of probiotic supplements on the immune system.
A group of researchers conducted a preliminary study on probiotics and made a worrisome discovery: Cancer immunotherapy was 70% less likely to work in melanoma patients taking probiotic supplements.
This discovery suggests that taking probiotics, whether by probiotic companies or through food, may go beyond restoring the balance of bacteria to upset it in ways that interfere with the immune system.
37. In general, probiotics are considered safe and well-tolerated by most people.
However, few studies have focused on the safety of probiotics in detail. Moreover, they are investigated primarily in healthy people, so there is a lack of reliable information on the rate and severity of possible side effects.
The most frequent probiotics side effects are related to digestion and may include gas production and mild abdominal discomfort.
38. Many of the labels on probiotic supplements are not precise.
The FDA does not regulate probiotic supplements, but this federal agency doesn’t encourage launching them on the market without doing adequate research beforehand. However, some product labels still misrepresent probiotics, supplement facts reveal.
39. Probiotics can do more harm than good to people with compromised immune systems or severe medical conditions.
(Expert Opinion on Drug Safety)
Probiotics could be potentially harmful to high-risk individuals, including people with HIV, AIDS, premature infants, and the seriously ill and hospitalized.
40. The most significant possible risk to consider when using probiotics is the development of an infection.
Developing an infection is observed most often in immunocompromised individuals. Other complications include developing a resistance to antibiotics and the production of harmful substances by probiotic microorganisms. Sometimes a probiotic supplement contains microorganisms that are not listed on the label but could pose serious health risks.
Probiotic Sales: Statistics and Facts
Private and non-profit organizations conduct market research constantly to provide investors and the public with information on the industry’s inner workings. Some statistics and facts mentioned here offer insights into the industry.
41. The global probiotics market size was assessed at $48.38 billion in 2018.
(Grand View Research)
The reasons for that astonishing growth are the development of efficient probiotic strains and the growing customer preference towards preventive healthcare.
42. The probiotics market is poised to hit $75.9 billion by 2027.
Despite a decline in 2020 due to COVID-19, the market is now growing at a CAGR of 5.6%. It is expected to sustain this growth through 2027.
We can see from many probiotics statistics of 2021 that the reason for this increasing market growth is the people’s growing awareness regarding dietary supplements and how they are almost a necessity for anyone needing to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
43. Since 2013, the food & beverage industry has accounted for over 90% of the total application market.
(Grand View Research)
Probiotics for human consumption dominated the application market and accounted for over 80% of the total market. Moreover, probiotics have also made significant advances in the animal feed industry.
44. There’s just a handful of critical probiotic industry players in 2021.
(Fortune Business Insights)
There are many probiotic manufacturing companies around the world. But just like in any other industry, only a few stand out as the key industry players. According to Fortune Business Insights, here are some of these top industry movers:
- French Danone S.A
- Canadian Lallemand Inc
- Japanese Yakult Honsha
- Switzerland’s Nestle S.A.
- American DuPont
With probiotics statistics of 2021 pointing to increasing global interest in probiotics due to its COVID-19 and other health benefits, these industry leaders are poised to expand their revenues in the coming years.
45. The global market value of probiotic dietary supplements is projected to reach $7 billion by 2025.
The value of the probiotics market was $3.3 billion in 2015, and it is expected to double by 2025.
What are the dangers of taking probiotics?
Although probiotics are considered safe for most people, they have to be taken after consultation with a healthcare provider. This is because sometimes, they can exert harm such as an infection, antibiotic resistance, and metabolic disturbances.
However, the most common side effects are mild and mostly related to the digestive tract — a temporary increase in gas, bloating, constipation. Some people can also react to some of the ingredients used in the products or those that naturally occur in them, such as amines in probiotic foods.
Is it OK to take a probiotic every day?
If you discussed it with your doctor, don’t have a severe underlying medical condition, and feel well, then yes, it’s OK to take probiotics every day. Some studies even showed that you need to take certain probiotics for eight weeks before experiencing any health benefits.
However, even though probiotics are a natural supplement and not a medicine, it’s better to count on probiotic-containing foods and beverages when it comes to daily use to reduce the risk of any side effects.
What is the best probiotic to use?
Probiotic supplements should contain at least 1 billion colony-forming units. It’s also helpful to know that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces boulardii are the most researched probiotics.
Remember to choose foods enriched in probiotics bacteria because most of the microorganisms in yogurt, for example, die in the stomach. Also, it’s preferable to go for a combination of a probiotic and prebiotic called a synbiotic. Most importantly, always seek medical advice from your healthcare provider before taking any probiotic supplement.
Maintaining a healthy gut is of great importance. Therefore, it might be helpful to consider taking a supplement. However, contact your healthcare provider before you start taking any to find out the best probiotic for you, how much to take, and when to take it. You can get “good” gut bacteria from a supplement, but remember that many lifestyle habits, such as diet and exercise, also may modulate it.
These probiotic statistics show us that supplements offer a wide range of benefits, but we also have to be aware of the possible side effects of taking them. It’s worth knowing how they can improve your gut health and overall well-being since, in the end, it concerns your health.
- Cleveland Clinic
- Expert Opinion on Drug Safety
- Fortune Business Insights
- Grand View Research
- Grand View Research
- Gut Microbes Journal
- Medical News Today
- Nordic Naturals
- Oxford Academic
- Science Direct
- Science Direct
- Stat News
- University of Washington
- Women’s Health Mag