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Pendulum Emerges as Leader of the Growing Gut Health Market

Pendulum Emerges as Leader of the Growing Gut Health Market

Colleen Cutcliffe co-founded Pendulum to help people like her daughter unlock better health by improving their microbiome. Today, the probiotics brand stands at the forefront of the gut health craze

Eating right, exercising and keeping tabs on your mental health are important, but they’ll only take you so far if your gut microbiome is out of whack. 

Enter Pendulum, a supplement provider focused on improving gut health via cutting-edge probiotics. The California-based company – dubbed the “next generation of probiotics” – offers natural bacterial strains that address a variety of imbalances in the microbiome, leading to improved health from the inside out. 

The Microbiome Era Is Here

After noticing the microbiome’s potential while working for a DNA sequencing organization, Pendulum CEO and Co-Founder Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD, felt compelled to launch the company. A personal connection to the subject then reinforced those feelings. 

“My first daughter was born preemie,” said Cutcliffe. “She was almost eight weeks premature. She was on a bunch of antibiotics in the hospital and this paper came out that showed babies who are on lots of antibiotics are more prone later in life to things like diabetes, obesity, ADHD, allergies, asthma, celiac disease and all these crazy things that are founded from a big disruption to the microbiome early in life.”

“I felt like I could start a company that could create products that help millions of people, including my own daughter,” she added.

Colleen Cutcliffe (credit: Pendulum)

Pendulum’s launch was a well-timed venture. Probiotics and gut health have soared in popularity over the past few years. The market has experienced year-over-year growth and is expected to continue increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 14% from 2023 to 2030.

“I used to have to keep repeating to my parents what I do,” said Cutcliffe. “Now, I have my dad, who I just was on a call with, where he was talking about this book he read about the microbiome. I think words like ‘microbiome,’ which were science vocabulary words just 10 years ago, are now words that lots of people understand. People know that gut health is super important and they’re starting to look for products that can help them.”

As gut health gains mainstream recognition, Pendulum is too. In 2023, the company added actress Halle Berry as its Chief Communications Officer. Berry is also an investor in Pendulum.

“I wish I could say that we were clever enough to be glomming on to these trends, but the truth is that it just is coincidental,” Cutcliffe said of her brand’s well-timed launch. “I thought the microbiome was a great opportunity from a scientific and clinical standpoint. I had no way of knowing that the general public was going to start to understand that gut health was so important at the same time that we were going to be releasing these products. But we’re happy to ride that trend.”

Go With Your Gut

Cutcliffe sees four pillars of health: diet, exercise, mental health, and finally the microbiome. Without the latter, the former three are dragged down, as Pendulum’s products address issues such as blood sugar spikes and crashes, low energy levels, digestive issues, slow metabolism of sugar and carbs and weak gut lining, just to name a few. 

“If you want to have a high-performing car, you have to put in top-notch fuel, but you better have a top-notch engine also,” Cutcliffe said. “So if you want your body to be high performing, you better be putting in the best fuel, which is the best diet and nutrition, but also have the best engine, which is your microbiome.”

credit: Pendulum

Although the brand continues to research all aspects of the microbiome, Pendulum is primarily focused on metabolism at the moment. Pendulum recently released GLP-1 Probiotic, which empowers people to take control of their metabolic health by naturally increasing GLP-1, a satiety hormone that the body naturally produces when you eat. Participants in GLP-1 Probiotic consumer research reported significant reduction in food cravings after 6 weeks. 91% Reported reduced overall food cravings and 88% reported reduced sugar cravings. 

“Everything you eat is metabolized in your gut,” said Cuctcliffe. “It’s like a manufacturing plant itself. There are all these different workers that are responsible for making different things and some people are missing a particular department. That’s the problem. The idea is, if we can give them back people to man that department, we can enable the manufacturing plant to be fully operational. That’s really what we’re doing to help people metabolize their foods better.”

Pendulum started out assisting people with Type 2 Diabetes. However, the brand has since moved on to helping anybody looking to support a healthy metabolism.

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“Who doesn’t want to optimize their metabolism? We’re excited to be able to help lots of people with that,” Cutcliffe added.

How To Find the Probiotic for You 

While education on probiotics has increased in accordance with rising demand, Pendulum still aims to take it a step further. Doctors are providing a helping hand on that front, with over 5,000 currently recommending Pendulum products. 

“When you’re a patient, you go to your doctor and they’re talking to you about your metabolism, or your A1C, aging healthily, things like that and then they recommend this probiotic,” said Cutcliffe. “We can give the doctors all the papers that we have, the publications, the mechanism of action and then they can distill that down for their patients.”

Working with your physician while conducting your own detailed research on probiotics is the key to finding the right formula, says Cutcliffe. 

“There are a lot of probiotics and supplements out there if you’ve ever stood in the aisles of a grocery store,” she noted. “You may have walked past those and be like, ‘Man, that is a morass. I don’t know how anybody picks what the right thing is for them.’ I would encourage those people to talk to their doctors and then do the research.” 

Above all, people should be attentive to their body’s response to probiotics in order to find the right one.

“Ask yourself, ‘Are there things and outcomes that I will be able to see and feel when I take this thing?’” Cutcliffe said. “If you’re doing all those things, you will hopefully be able to make good choices about which probiotic is right for you.”

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