Functional Foods

Professor Bob Rastall of Reading Uni did wonders at Cafe Scientifique tonight. He has made me start believing that there is a place for products like pro-biotics in the world. He was balanced in his delivery and admitted that the volume of studies often isn’t there to really dismiss doubt. A big obstacle is the barrier of proof – this is set quite high – not necessarily a problem for big pharma with its deep pockets but definitely a challenge for the small-margin food industry. Basically food companies can’t afford to perform the same studies that that pharmaceuticals can. I can see that. Makes sense.
The products may benefit people but probably if you’re already ill or have a sub-optimal diet. So good if you’re already on anti-biotics or have a cold. Pre-biotics sounds interesting as they feed the bowel bacteria and so help anti-biotic diarrhoea.
Takeaway message – EU regs may be suppressing a viable industry, and read the scientific studies.

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