Effectiveness of Commercial Digestive Health Products in Singapore
Digestive health has been linked to brain and heart health. There are numerous health products commercially available to Singapore consumers that claim to improve digestive health. However, information on the characteristics of these products is limited.
We recently concluded a study that examined the compositions and demographic profiles of these digestive health products. Altogether, 146 eligible products were studied, of which 43.8% were available in Singapore's major retail and the remainder in e-commerce stores. The results, recorded by trained research personnel, showed that prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics were added to 55.9%, 82.9%, and 2.8%, respectively, of the surveyed products. Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics were identified in the products at 18.5%, 81.5%, and 0.7%, respectively. The products contained 64.5±50.2 mg prebiotics and 27640±42261 million CFU probiotic bacteria. Gut/intestinal health was the most prevalent among 97.3% of products with stated indications. The study concludes that limited information is available on added prebiotics and probiotics to assess product efficacy. Any efficacies of commercial digestive health products are not well communicated by the manufacturers. Manufacturers should investigate the effectiveness of their products and communicate these findings to consumers.