How big is the digestive health market? It has surpassed the $1 billion mark. Why is that big? Simply because the burden of gastrointestinal diseases (GI) is heavy, imparting substantial morbidity and mortality. Every year, 60 to 70 million US citizens suffer from GI diseases, the most common symptom of which is abdominal pain. Two of the five most common drugs are for digestive problems.
The gut is the “neglected organ” for many of us, yet it greatly affects our health. Autoimmune diseases, allergies, arthritis, rashes, acne, autism, dementia, chronic fatigue, and even mood disorders, and cancer, can all be caused by a malfunctioning digestive system. Thankfully, digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics can positively influence the microbiota-gut-brain axis and regulate mood, anxiety, cognition and pain.
Probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes are the most popular remedies that have proven effective at reducing the impact of unhealthy diets and stressful lifestyles. In fact, they have become the most popular wellness products, second to the weight management and heart health dietary supplements.
Products that support digestive health are mostly consumed by people above 50. This makes sense when you look at studies that demonstrate how our ability to produce digestive enzymes declines as we age. People over the age of 50 comprise 67% of the health supplements market, according to consumer health analyst Katherine Leaderbrand. The 50+ age segment is expected to grow quickly in the next 10 years, resulting in increased spending of digestive health products.
It is estimated that digestive enzymes will be among the fastest-growing supplements through 2016 and beyond.