The health benefits of probiotic supplementation are often not realized because many probiotic organisms are destroyed during the digestive process and those that make it to the colon do not have adequate nutrition to survive. Probiotic supplementation is widely accepted by the scientific and medical communities as having a beneficial effect on health and well-being, primarily through its influence on the composition and function of intestinal microbiota and stimulation of the immune system. Extensive research supports the use of probiotic supplements in preventive and therapeutic protocols for many conditions caused by altered microbiota in the intestinal tract such as bowel irregularity, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, enterocolitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Allergies, upper respiratory infections, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and obesity have also been linked to aberrant intestinal microbiota.[1-3] However, in order to realize the health benefits of probiotic supplements, a sufficient number of viable organisms must reach the intestines on a regular basis.
Although supplemental probiotic strains naturally exhibit varying degrees of resistance to degradation by stomach acid, pepsin, bile, pancreatic enzymes and peristalsis, most will not survive the digestive process without the help of an effective probiotic delivery system. Those organisms that do reach the colon must then have sufficient nutrients available for proliferation, implantation and metabolic activity. Most probiotic delivery systems do nothing to address this important requirement for probiotic survival.[5,6]