April 13, 2024

A scientist from the University of the Philippines – Los Baños has cautioned consumers on the proliferation of health and wellness products that allegedly promote health benefits despite the lack of scientific evidence.

Dr. Rodney H. Perez, in a presentation at the start of the three-day Asian summit on probiotics and functional foods, said there is danger in consuming these products as these may do the opposite.

Probiotics is a widely misused term and some manufacturers are exploiting it without meeting the required criteria, the expert from UP’s National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, said.

Perez enjoined members of the academe and institutional partners to push for a harmonized guideline on the establishment of minimum requirements for a microorganism to be qualified as a probiotic for its efficacy as well as the safety of the consuming public.

The multi-awarded biotechnologist said the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have prescribed guidelines on probiotics in the Philippines but he raised the need for these to be updated, with the help of the academe and the Philippine Society for Probiotics and Functional Foods, Inc.

Perez is a recipient of the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize from the Society for Biotechnology, Japan in 2021 for his exemplary research in the fields of Food Microbiology, Microbial Technology, and Biotechnology, particularly on bacteriocins.

He is the first-ever Filipino to receive the title. – PNA