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Beware health claims

(article, Culinate staff)

Here on Culinate, we've applauded the dietary benefits of consuming probiotics while warning readers to beware unsubstantiated manufacturer health claims. Now Forbes magazine is investigating the same issue, reporting that misleading labels can make consumers confuse their food with miracle pills. 

The skinny? Adding probiotics (or omega-3s, or other supposed superfoods) to a food product may not actually do much for you, but the manufacturer can certainly charge you more for it.

"Foods masquerading as drugs are the hot spot in the packaged-food business," reported Forbes. "More than 2,000 so-called functional food brands generated $31 billion in U.S. sales in 2008, up 14 percent from 2006, according to the market researcher Packaged Facts."