Fortification of foods with vitamins and minerals has reduced the percentage of children with inadequate intakes of many micronutrients. Yet there is a fear that children are getting excessive amounts of certain nutrients.
A common sentiment among food industry experts is that consumers aren’t yet ready to hear about prebiotics. I respectfully disagree. As a nutrition therapist, I’ve noticed an increased interest in probiotics among my clients, which is the perfect opportunity to explain that certain fibers, called prebiotics, are needed for probiotics to survive and thrive.
Someday, science may show that particular prebiotic, probiotic, and synbiotic ingredients help prevent certain age-related disorders and lengthen lives. Although the anti-aging effects of pre- and probiotics are plausible, supporting science is scant and inconclusive to date. However, scientists have developed several hypotheses about how aging may alter the intestinal microbiome and how certain pre- and probiotics may help prevent or reverse these changes.
When science is oversimplified, the resulting messages are often misconstrued and misleading. So it is with food. Consumers have bought into the misguided message that foods are unfit for human consumption if they contain more than five ingredients, ingredients they can’t pronounce or ingredients their grandparents wouldn’t recognize.