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Age well with a targeted probiotic

corresponding

MARKUS J. LEHTINEN, LIISA LEHTORANTA
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, Kantvik, Finland

Abstract

Ageing is an unavoidable fact of the human condition. The further we advance into the senior years, the more vulnerable we become to chronic diseases and infections. Today, scientific research indicates that dietary supplementation with specific probiotic strains could support elderly immune health by modulating the gut microbiota. Evidence suggests that cellular immune functions are a primary probiotic target. For the food industry, this points to significant opportunities to incorporate proven probiotics in new foods for the senior population. Success depends on probiotic stability during processing and shelf life and an appealing taste and texture in the final product, supported by new legislation on probiotic claims.


Good immune health begins and ends in the gut. Today scientists are well on the way to identifying the best probiotic strains to keep the ageing population healthy – bringing major opportunities for the food industry to pursue. Whether you look at it from a social, economic or personal perspective, there are many good reasons for wanting to do that.

ELDERLY OUTNUMBER CHILDREN

Since late 2018, the UN reports that people aged 65+ have outnumbered children below the age of five for the first time in world history. From now until 2050, the number of people aged 80 or above is expected to triple from 143 million to 426 million (1).

 

Many countries are already experiencing the social and economic impact of the ageing population in terms of growing health care costs and a reduced workforce to pay the bill. 

At a personal level, older citizens may find that declining immune health has serious implications for their quality of life.

 

At a time where many no longer see age as a barrier to an active lifestyle, the possibility that probiotic-enriched food ...




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