People worldwide are living longer than ever before. According to the World Health Organization, the proportion of individuals aged 60 years and older is expected to increase by 45%, up from 900 million in 2015 to 2 billion by 2025. A longer life provides us with opportunities to pursue our life goals and new activities. However, the extent of these life opportunities depends heavily on one factor: health.
Advanced age is often accompanied by chronic disease and increased susceptibility to infections that negatively affect one’s quality of life. Like other body functions, the immune system also gets affected and becomes weaker with age, which leads to an impaired ability to respond to vaccinations and to fight infections. Older adults also suffer from autoimmunity more frequently, which results from the dysregulation of immune system function that can occur with age. This leads to a growing risk of disease, and ultimately, death.
As the pace of population ageing around the world is rising dramatically, many more people want to age healthily. Increasingly, people are in search of nutritional products that can slow down the ageing immune system and thereby increase health-span. To date, there are many food and nutritional products supplemented and/or fortified with proteins, calcium, etc. in the market aiming to support older adults’ health but not many of them focus on the ageing immune system – a key concern of older adults. As the global population continues to age, consumer demand for products that could not only help them stay on track with proper nourishment but also support and maintain a healthy immune system is growing.
Now, the question for food and nutrition manufacturers is what kind of innovative product should be developed to cater to such demand. One of the answers is powdered milk formula with immune-supporting ingredients and nutritional components for older adults. Powdered milk is an excellent carrier for functional ingredients and nutrients that older adults tend to lack. Besides immune-supporting ingredients, the formula may include protein, calcium, dietary fibers, minerals and vitamins based on consumers' nutritional requirements. Ageing adults often find enriched powdered milk more acceptable as it contains milk, essential nutrients and functional ingredients that work well as supplements. Enriched powdered milk also offers many advantages such as longer shelf life, due to the presence of low moisture content.
Probiotics Milk Formula for healthy ageing
In Japan, such an enriched powdered milk product for a healthy ageing immune system already exists, and there are a few special nutrition drinks for ageing adults on the market elsewhere. A powdered milk formula “Milk Seikatsu” (meaning “Life with milk”) or “Milk Life” has been
a big hit among Japanese health-conscious adults for many years. Apart from functional protein lactoferrin, the formula includes two immune-supporting ingredients, namely “Bifidobacterium longum BB536” and “LAC-Shield” that make “Milk Life” unique. It meets the escalating demand among global consumers for immune support healthy ageing products.
If there are no or few such products as “Milk Life” in your region, you might want to develop your version of “Milk Life” before your competitors do.
Why do we need bifidobacteria?
Members of Bifidobacterium are among the first colonizers of the human gut and represent one of the most abundant genera in the healthy breastfed infant gut. The prevalence of bifidobacteria in the human gut is of substantial importance to human health across the lifespan. Bifidobacteria play important roles in regulating intestinal, immunological, and metabolic systems, including the production of short-chain fatty acids and vitamins, immune system development, and maintenance of gut homeostasis. Unsurprisingly, the levels of bifidobacteria decrease in older adults and within several diseases. Given these facts, supplementation of the beneficial commensal bifidobacteria would help in intestinal homeostasis and immune balance, conferring beneficial effects on human health.
Not all bifidobacteria are the same
Bifidobacteria have coevolved with their respective hosts and can be categorised into two major groups; those that naturally reside in human intestines are called human-residential bifidobacteria (HRB), and those that are the natural inhabitants of animal intestines or the environment and are regarded as non-HRB. In addition to strain-specificity, a bacterium’s residential origin could also determine how it interacts with a human host and thus contribute to different health effects.
Unlike non-HRB, HRB species have adapted to the intestinal environment of the human host and could contribute to better human health. HRB species, particularly infant-type HRB, are highly compatible with human breast milk, explaining why they have such a close relationship to the breastfed infants. Throughout the lifespan, HRB species may affect host overall health through their metabolic and physiological activities. In particular, certain HRB species have better functional capacity at producing various essential beneficial compounds such as folate and tryptophan metabolite (indole-3-lactic acid), and may be superior at eliminating potentially harmful food-derived opioid peptides. Given these facts, HRB strains – bifidobacterial strains with high compatibility with the human host and proven safety and clinical efficacy – are ideal probiotics for human consumption.
Morinaga Milk as your trusted NPD partner
Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. is one of the leading dairy product companies in Japan with a century of history harnessing the nutritional properties of dairy products and functional ingredients. As a key global probiotics manufacturer, Morinaga Milk excels in innovative technology and offers various dairy products and other beneficial functional ingredients to customers throughout the world. Since the 1960s, Morinaga Milk has been engaged in research on the safety, functional health benefits, and mechanisms of action of probiotic bifidobacteria to better understand their role in maintaining human health. Thanks to the extensive research, Morinaga Milk has now become one of the leading players not only in the probiotics industry but also in the probiotics research world with a premium line of probiotics strains, including Bifidobacterium longum BB536, B. breve M-16V, B. infantis M-63, and B. breve B-3 and the paraprobiotic LAC-Shield.
If you need information about Morinaga Bifidobacteria or our assistance for NPD of probiotics products, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.