AGA, FDA call on probiotic manufacturers to be more transparent — 5 insights

The American Gastroenterological Association lauded the FDA's proposal to have probiotics manufactures disclose the amount of live microbial components in their products using a specific measurement.

Here's what you should know:

1. The FDA wants probiotic manufacturers to specify the amount of live microbials in colony-forming units.

2. Manufacturers aren't currently required to report CFUs.

3. The AGA believes all manufacturers should voluntarily do so.

4. The AGA also believes the FDA could go further and expand the amount of information manufacturers are required to report. The AGA recommends including storage conditions and expiration dates.

5. The society said in a press release, "We acknowledge that researchers are evaluating other methods and units of measure besides CFUs for not only live microbials but also microbial bioactivity. However, in the absence of a widely accepted alternative, which may take several years to develop and adopt, AGA strongly encourages FDA and manufacturers to take the small step forward of using CFUs now rather than waiting for another solution to emerge."

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