The use of probiotics has grown extensively due to their rising medical effects. As the use of the medication grows, naturally the supply for the medication also increases. However, a recent investigative study has revealed that the top websites that distribute the narcotic advertises claims without strong scientific evidence.
Probiotics are organisms that manufacturers will often add to a range of food articles with yogurts being the largest denominator. On paper, the marketing information surrounding probiotics indicates an array of health benefits ranging from an improved digestive tract and a boosted immune system.
Other than the alleged health benefits, probiotics also claim a $40 billion industry in the US alone by 2017. Researchers from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the UK and the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium asserted such claims and found a less percentage of accuracy as advertised.
Co-author Prof. Michael Goldman explains that “often, the public will not go past the first 10 results these will, therefore, have a higher visibility and impact.” He further quotes “We assessed the first 150 webpages brought up by a Google search for ‘probiotics’ and recorded where they originated from and the diseases they mentioned. The scientific evidence for the health benefits of probiotics against these diseases was then examined for scientific rigor.”
The study was conducted by gathering the information from the leading websites that advertise and simply comparing the claims against the Cochrane Library – which stands as a database of evidence-based medical information including clinical trials and meta-analyses.
The study indicated that out of 150 websites, only 40% mentioned the benefits of the probiotics which needed stronger research ties, 35% mentioned scientific literature that could be supported, 25% listed the potential side effects associated and only 15% mentioned the regulatory provisions.
However, the authors further go on to explain that Google’s algorithms do a good job of ensuring that only reliable and verified health portals come at the top of the searches.