What you need to know

After experiencing solid sales in 2014-15, growth in the digestive health market is expected to soften somewhat in 2016. The majority of consumers are turning to some form of OTC (over-the-counter) digestive remedy for treatment, with antacids accounting for the largest share of all digestive health remedy sales. Looking forward, the need for digestive health treatments is not expected to change; however, interest in improving overall digestive health with proactive treatments such as probiotics continues to grow.


This Report focuses on products marketed for digestive health or digestive relief that are available OTC/without a prescription.

For the purposes of this Report, the digestive health market has been segmented as follows:

  • Antacids: Products that neutralize excess stomach acid and relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion. Including:

  • PPI (proton pump inhibitors): Products that reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid.

  • H2 blockers: Products that reduce or inhibit the secretion of gastric acid by binding competitively with histamine to H2 receptors on cell membranes.

  • Antiflatulents: Products that help reduce gas buildup and its associated discomfort.

  • Laxatives: Products that relieve constipation and work in one of several ways, either by introducing fiber to the bowel, stimulating the bowel, or softening stools.

  • Stomach remedies and antidiarrheals: Products that relieve general nausea and settle the stomach and products that slow spasms of the intestine and thicken stool.

The following items are excluded from the scope of this Report: Enemas, lactose-intolerance medications, emetics/antiemetics, and home remedies.

In addition, this Report also highlights other products that provide digestive health benefits. These products are not included in the market size of this Report, but may be mentioned in the Report:

  • Probiotics: A dietary supplement with live bacteria that replaces or adds to the beneficial bacteria normally present in the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Prebiotics: A dietary supplement made of plant fibers that nourish the good bacteria in the large bowel or colon.

  • Enzymes: Aid in digestion by breaking down macromolecules into smaller building blocks in order to facilitate absorption by the body.

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