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Or is it? A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cites several sources that say many of the health claims are exaggerated. The bacteria either don’t do the job or the research is lacking to prove the claim. Consumer beware, warns the Journal.

Manufacturer beware, too. Makers of proven priobiotics face more competition from firms whose ingredient listings and claims muddy the minds of consumers.  For example, independent research has shown that some strains of Lactobacillus can help in digestion and prevention of illness. Other strains either do not or have not been proven to do so. However, consumers have a hard time distinguishing among hundreds, if not thousands of strains with similar Latin names.

Challenging a competitor’s strains and claims produces no gains. Makers of proven probiotic products need to educate consumers: Give details that backs up the benefit claims.  If you’re not sure where to get started, visit PubMed and CAM on PubMed . Produce online fact sheets with links to research reports, and take the extra care to have those fact sheets reviewed for accuracy.

The more information you can push to prospective customers, the greater your chance of standing out in what’s becoming a crowded and confused field.


Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.