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Probiotic Drinks

Do these friendly bacteria really deliver substantial health benefits?

Do these friendly bacteria really deliver substantial health benefits?

First there was plain yoghurt, then fruit yoghurts, then yoghurt drinks, and now everyone 's talking about - and apparently consuming - gut-friendly probiotics. Yakult started the trend almost 10 years ago but, since then, big names like Danone, M "uller and Nestl'e have jumped on the milk-train. Now, even supermarkets like Asda and Tesco have their own brands of probiotic drinks.

In fact, probiotic yoghurt, milk and fruit drinks are one of the fastest-growing sectors in food retailing, with UK sales increasing by a staggering 40 per cent each year. According to market researchers AC Nielsen, an estimated 3.5 million Britons now consume probiotic drinks every day in a consumer boom that 's worth about lb150 million a year.

What has propelled the probiotics explosion is something relatively new in mass food-marketing - the concept of quasi-pharmaceutical products known as 'functional foods'.

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