Time for a 'Gut Check' - Do You Know the Science Behind Good Digestion?

National Online Survey Identifies Misconceptions about the Gut

Jun 30, 2010, 12:06 ET from Procter & Gamble

CINCINNATI, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent GfK Roper "Gut Check" survey*, sponsored by Align®, showed some common misconceptions about the digestive system. The national online survey was conducted to find out how people feel about their digestive system and what actions they take to keep it functioning normally. Survey results also revealed that approximately one in four survey participants experience occasional digestive upsets and of those, one in five have been told that these disruptive upsets are caused by their attitude or emotions. The science behind our digestive system shows that protecting against occasional digestive upsets can start with having the right balance of bacteria.  

"I see the frustration occasional digestive upsets cause my patients," said Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. "The first step to building a stronger inside is to better understand how your digestive system works and what you can do to keep it healthy."  

The Science Behind Digestion

The digestive system is made up of a series of organs that help the body break down and absorb food so the body can build and nourish cells and provide energy.(1) It is also home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. When this delicate balance of bacteria is disrupted by factors such as diet, stress, or travel, occasional digestive upsets can occur.

"To help improve both their health and lifestyle, I teach my patients that it comes down to simple science -- it is important to have the right balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. When we replenish the good bacteria with probiotics it helps maintain a healthy digestive system," said Rajapaksa.  Dr. Rajapaksa often recommends the daily probiotic supplement Align to help restore a natural digestive balance and protect against occasional digestive upsets.** Align is the only probiotic supplement that contains Bifantis® (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624), a natural, patented probiotic strain, or "healthy bacteria," which was developed by gastroenterologists.**

Although probiotics, or good bacteria that provide a health benefit, were discovered over a hundred years ago, the survey uncovered that people* still have misconceptions about their guts:

  • Forty-three percent of those surveyed believe it true that most types of bacteria are not helpful for the GI tract. Our digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria – some good and some bad.  Probiotics, or good bacteria, in the digestive system are essential for many vital body functions, including healthy digestion.  
  • More than forty percent of those surveyed believe that all probiotics have essentially the same benefits. Not all probiotics are alike. Probiotics are strain specific, and thus different probiotics may have unique benefits. Different strains of the same species may differ in a number of ways, but what matters most to you is how well the bacteria strain works for you.
  • A large majority (77%) of those surveyed think that probiotics found in supplements are not as natural as those found in foods. Align contains the patented probiotic strain Bifantis® (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624) that is found naturally in the body and was discovered by scientists in a healthy person's gut.**  

The "Gut Check" survey findings also showed that these upsets can interrupt daily life*. Of those who experience occasional digestive upsets:

  • More than half feel their upsets impact their self confidence.
  • Eight in 10 try to go about their day normally but most still make adjustments to their activities.
  • Nearly half have missed an event, a trip, or avoided a social situation because of an occasional digestive upset.
  • Over one third of survey respondents will change their diet to deal with their digestive upsets.
  • Compared to those who do not experience occasional digestive upsets, those who do are more likely to avoid holiday parties or avoid traditional holiday foods.

To increase your knowledge and learn more about how to improve your digestive health with probiotics like Align, visit www.AlignGI.com.

About The "Gut Check" Survey

The GfK Roper "Gut Check" Digestive Health Survey, sponsored by Align, was conducted online in April 2010. In total, 1,002 interviews were completed, 254 of which were among those who experience occasional digestive upsets. The sampling frame was an online panel provided by GfK. The data was weighted to reflect the key gender, age and region distribution of the U.S. online population.

About Align®

Align is a single strain probiotic supplement that exclusively contains Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624).  With just one pill a day, every day, Align can help bring peace to your digestive system so you can enjoy life with protection against occasional digestive upsets.**

Align capsules are stored in specially designed blister packs that ensure bacteria remain live and effective until consumption or the expiration date printed on the box.  In addition, Align meets the recommendations set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) for packaging and labeling.

P&G is offering a money-back guarantee to consumers within 60 days of original purchase date.  Full offer details and terms are available at www.AlignGI.com/refund or by calling (800) 337-5036.(+)

For more information on Align and Bifantis, visit www.AlignGI.com.

About Bifantis®

Bifantis is the trademarked name for a special, patented strain of beneficial bacteria, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624. Bifantis is the natural probiotic ingredient found only in Align.

The specific and pure strain of Bifantis found in Align helps build and maintain a strong, healthy digestive system.** Align is the only probiotic supplement that contains Bifantis.

About GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications

GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications is a division of GfK Custom Research North America. The division specializes in customized public opinion polling, media and communications research, and corporate reputation measurement -- in the U.S. and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications draws from GfK's syndicated consumer tracking services, GfK Roper Reports® U.S. and GfK Roper Reports® Worldwide, which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the U.S. and more than 25 other countries.

About Procter & Gamble

Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers(R), Tide(R), Ariel(R), Always(R), Whisper(R), Pantene(R), Mach3(R), Bounty(R), Dawn(R), Gain(R), Pringles(R), Charmin(R), Downy(R), Lenor(R), Iams(R), Crest(R), Oral-B(R), Duracell(R), Olay(R), Head & Shoulders(R), Wella(R), Gillette(R), Braun(R), and Fusion(R). The P&G community includes approximately 135,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com  for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

(1) "Your Digestive System and How It Works," http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/, last accessed June 30, 2010.

* "Gut Check" Digestive Health Survey of Online Americans.

** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  

(+) See package or visit AlignGI.com/Refund for full details and additional terms.

P&G Media Contacts:

Elizabeth Ming – Procter & Gamble, Global Digestive Wellness – (513) 622-3058 – ming.ej@pg.com

Amanda Walsh – MS&L Worldwide – (212) 468-3716 – amanda.walsh@mslworldwide.com

SOURCE Procter & Gamble