The pandemic has initiated changes in all areas of the economy and especially in the health sector. Left mostly to their own devices, consumers began to redefine their definition of health and well-being as the focus shifted more towards prevention. The already growing wellness industry blossomed to $4.5 trillion, including in-home services, telemedicine for home workouts, and nutrition practices.
There was a general shift in consciousness, with many beginning to realize that the best way to avoid disease is to find nutrition to stay healthy in the first place. Part of the awareness revolves around the connection between gut health and its impact on the body as a whole. According to the Global Gut Health 2022 Report, consumers are increasingly interested in digestive health and are learning more about the health benefits of the gut microbiome.
The gut microbiome industry, valued at US$84.27 million in 2021, is expected to grow 31.24% from 2022 to 2030. Reportedly, the growing research area will play a significant role in shaping the effectiveness of future products.
Yinka Davies, MD, is the Founder and CEO of Lyvecap, a science-based probiotic company for gut microbiomes. She has directed her education and teaching at Stanford University Medical School with over 15 years of gastroenterology into a passionate project to improve well-being and performance.
Davies recognized that many patients suffered from an imbalanced gut. After many trials, she decided to partner with Professor Claudio De Simone, MD, Ph.D., a pioneer in gut microflora, and his De Simone formulation as the basis for her Lyvecap products.
The unregulated nature of the dietary supplement industry has generated skepticism in the marketplace. According to Davies, some of the best-selling probiotics on the market are not backed by rigorous data or scientific studies. As a result, a brilliant marketing strategy can often lure consumers in for a lack of information about how probiotics work.
Davies has made it his mission to expand this knowledge. “Many probiotics advertise with 20 billion bacterial strains,” she says. “But the data shows that it takes 200 billion loads to make a real difference in how you feel.”
Probiotics have quickly become a fashionable health hack, but it’s a complex area that Davies tends to water down in the wellness industry. “It’s almost become like taking Tylenol for a headache,” says Davies. “People will buy it if the label says probiotic without really knowing what that means.”
Lyvecap wants to break this paradigm. With years of research, two patents and a unique eight-strain formula containing 200 billion colony forming units, Lyvecap offers a service designed to eliminate advertising ambiguity. In addition, Davies works with athletes who are very in tune with their bodies. She and her colleagues find that using premium probiotics increases good gut flora to make a noticeable difference in their behavior [athletes] Feeling.
According to Davies, the connection between the microbiome and the gut and overall health (both mental and physical) is well known. The finer points of science, however, are less so. “Lyvecap stabilizes a protein called HIF-1, which increases oxygenation throughout the body,” she says. “As a result, athletic performance is measurably improved, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles are all supplied with more oxygen.”
Davies has been involved in this topic for many years, working in laboratories and testing different strains on patients with different degrees of disease. “There are a number of environmental factors that affect the microbiome and therefore our health. Our reliance on antibiotics, the artificially extended shelf life of food, the increase in C-sections and too much hand sanitizer, to name a few.”
According to Davies, combining the right bacterial strains to affect the microbiome in a specific way can make a huge difference in the daily health experience. Dietary supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry because people just want to feel good. With busy lives, modern stress and the ever-present anxiety, depression and fatigue, “probiotic” seems like a magic word.
“It has been proven that the bacterial ratio in the gut can correct imbalances in the body,” says Davies. “Probiotics are an incredible way to do this, but the market is flooded with flimsy products that don’t stand up to scrutiny.” Lyvecap is dedicated to educating the public and the healthcare industry. Davies continues, “It shows that ‘added probiotics’ to cereal actually mean nothing in terms of a noticeable difference in your health.”
In terms of feeling really better, Davies adds that Lyvecap has a retention rate of almost 80% in its customer base. “As the pandemic paralyzed our supply chain, customers reported a noticeable deterioration in their health and were relieved when supply lines reopened. Although the product is suitable for athletes, it is also very suitable for people with all lifestyles,” she says.
As an entrepreneur, Davies is using her tenacity and drive to overcome the technical hiccups of the pandemic. “We’re looking for partnerships with athletes who can lead a wellness life and inspire other consumers,” she explains. However, even with a vast body of data on the product’s effectiveness and a medical team of founding partners, it’s still a competitive market to break into.
Davies relies on a resource of confidence to help her business thrive and thrive. She hopes to build a community that empowers other entrepreneurs and women of color. According to Davies, while many more women of color are entering entrepreneurial careers, funding has not followed so quickly. “Investments in women of color continue to lag behind in most cases,” says Davies. “This is one of the groups in the economy that should get more support.”
As health and wellness invade our collective consciousness, the industry is responding with take-home solutions. In the healthcare sector, expertise and scientific knowledge are important and play a significant role in the quality of the products that reach the market, regardless of the application.
Highly qualified, trained and working alongside a leading expert in the field, Davies represents a holistic business approach to healthcare. She remains steadfast in her commitment to putting science above the noise of the market. The gut health industry may be growing, and with it should be those interested in advancing education and health concerns for all stakeholders.
The interviews have been edited and shortened for reasons of clarity.