Improving bone health during menopause with Bonolive

Improving bone health during menopause with Bonolive®

Improving bone health during menopause with Bonolive®

February 3rd, 2022

The menopause transition is a critical period for bone health in women. More than ever, to address this key health concern, consumers are shifting away from calcium-only products and seeking out more complex formulas with clinically-backed ingredients.
Bonolive® is a patented ingredient rich in olive polyphenols that offers the possibility of formulating innovative bone health solutions tailored to women to counteract bone loss risk associated with menopause.

Improving bone health during menopause with Bonolive

Menopause transition and bone health

Healthy bones are needed to support our body, providing structure, and allowing us to move and protect our organs. They also store essential minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, and release them into the blood whenever needed.

Bone health depends on a dynamic equilibrium between the constant production of the new bone matrix via osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone synthesis, and the resorption of old bone by osteoclast, the cells responsible for bone breakdown.

There are a lot of symptoms related to menopause, but did you know that the menopause transition is the most critical period for bone health in women? That is because the fine equilibrium between bone breakdown and synthesis is broken due to hormonal changes.

The onset of the rapid bone loss phase is due to the drastic drop in estrogen levels, which play an important role in maintaining bone strength. This can result in bone resorption exceeding bone formation, leading to thin, fragile bones subject to spontaneous fracture.

Rapid losses in bone mass and strength usually occur in the 3-year window since the date of the final menstrual period [1].

Decreased levels of estrogen cause osteoprotegerin levels to decline. Osteoprotegerin is a protein secreted by osteoblasts, which antagonises the process of bone breakdown mediated by osteoclasts.

Therefore, with the lowered estrogen levels associated with menopausal changes, osteoclast activity increases leading to decreased bone mass and, in many cases, osteoporosis. This results in reduced bone strength and increased risk of fractures.

Although it is essential to build strong and healthy bones during the early stages of our lives, there are also important factors to take care of during adulthood, particularly during menopause, such as sufficient physical activity, proper nutrition and supplementation.

Traditional bone health management

With the world population getting older, bone health issues are increasing. In postmenopausal women, the prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia is estimated to be almost 20% and 52%, respectively [2].

Bone health is indeed a key concern for this vulnerable group. This reflects that 25% of women who use dietary supplements are already consuming products to support their bones and different ingredients can be consumed to support bone health.

Over the last decade, exercise and calcium and vitamin D supplements have been the most used measure for preventing bone loss during menopause.

It is known that a sufficient calcium intake increases bone density and vitamin D is crucial for bone health because it plays a crucial role in calcium absorption [3].

While this strategy has proven marginal improvements, consumers are becoming more demanding. In fact, the popularity of innovative, nutraceuticals with a clinical backup addressing bone health is growing.

Scientific evidence has shown that bone physiology can be modulated by phenolic compounds found in olives.

These powerful antioxidant compounds can indeed stimulate markers involved in osteoblast proliferation, differentiation, and maturation. This ultimately leads to a counteracting effect against bone loss risk.

What is Bonolive® and how does it support healthy bones?

Bonolive® is a patented, olive-polyphenol-based ingredient researched and developed by BioActor, with demonstrated efficacy in increasing bone formation in postmenopausal women.

Bonolive® is standardised for highly bioavailable oleuropein, the powerful phytonutrient deemed responsible for the increase in the number and activity of osteoblasts observed during BioActor’s research.

The randomised, double-blind clinical trial demonstrated that an intake of 250mg/day of Bonolive® is sufficient to re-balance the bone turnover [4].

Additionally, after 12 months, a 32% increase in osteocalcin was observed in the treatment group, compared to a 6% decrease in the placebo group.

Osteocalcin is a key component for building new bone, as it forms the scaffold for new bone tissue and binds calcium within a rigid structure.

The increase in osteocalcin is also reflected by the DEXA scan results, which show that subjects taking Bonolive®, displayed protection of bone mineral density at the lumbar spine and a higher gain of bone mineral density at the femur neck, compared to those taking placebo.

Opportunities for new product development with Bonolive®

As consumers are shifting away from calcium-only products and seek out more complex formulas with clinically-backed ingredients, Bonolive® offers the possibility of developing innovative consumer products specifically crafted to help women support healthy bones during menopause.

For a synergistic effect, Bonolive® can be successfully combined with calcium, vitamin D and magnesium, as well as other vitamins, minerals and plant extracts.

This Mediterranean-inspired ingredient can be easily included in various dietary supplements, functional drinks and foods, with a daily dose of only 250mg.

Apart from innovative blends, further product development opportunities in this growing market lie in convenient formats like gummies and ready-to-drink beverages.


Not all arabinoxylans are the same

Not all Arabinoxylans are the same: let's find out the difference

Not all Arabinoxylans are the same: let’s find out the difference

January 21st, 2022

Arabinoxylans are soluble fibres extracted from cereal grains, such as the wheat endosperm. However, not all arabinoxylans share the same structure, which affects not only the physicochemical properties, but also their health benefits. They vary in the degree of polymerization, solubility, degree of substitution or presence of antioxidants, such as ferulic acid.

Not all arabinoxylans are the same

What are arabinoxylans?

Arabinoxylans are soluble fibres extractable from cereal grains. Arabinoxylans have been identified in all major cereal grains, including wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, sorghum, maize, and millet. In cereal grains, arabinoxylans are localized mainly in the cell walls of starchy endosperm and the aleurone layer, in the bran tissues, and in the husk of some cereals.

Arabinoxylans can be used as a dietary supplement due to their beneficial effects on gut health, glycaemic control and immune health.

Moreover, due to the physicochemical and technological properties of these molecules (e.g. water-binding capacity, gelation), arabinoxylans can also be used as a baking additive to improve dough consistency, increase loaf volumes and improve crumb structure.

The general structure of arabinoxylans

Arabinoxylans are very long molecules consisting of a copolymer of two pentose sugars: arabinose and xylose. The general structure of arabinoxylans is formed by a backbone of xylose with arabinose residues attached to xylose units in different positions.

The relative amount and the sequence of distribution of these structural elements vary depending on the source of arabinoxylans. The majority of arabinose residues in arabinoxylans are present as monomeric substituents; however, a small proportion of oligomeric side chains consisting of two or more arabinose residues have been reported.

Therefore, although arabinoxylans share a common general structure, one important distinction between them is chain length. Chain length is an important feature, as it influences the industrial applications and health benefits of arabinoxylans. For instance, while arabinoxylans from wheat endosperm have an average chain length higher than 60, arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides (AXOS) extracted from wheat have an average chain length of 2–10.

On the other hand, the molecular structure of arabinoxylans from rice, sorghum, finger millet, and maize bran is slightly different than the one from wheat, rye, and barley, since the side branches contain, in addition to arabinose residues, small amounts of other compounds, which can confer additional health benefits or physicochemical properties.

Arabinoxylans general structure

Not all arabinoxylans share the same structure

Arabinoxylans from various cereals and different plant tissues share the same general molecular structure. However, depending on the genus and species, the amount and structure of arabinoxylans in a particular tissue may differ drastically, which affects not only their physicochemical properties, but also their health benefits.

Arabinoxylans as part of dietary fibre have many potential physiological effects along the gastrointestinal tract. These effects are dependent on a complex mixture of molecular and physical properties of arabinoxylan preparations, as well as on the site, rate, and extent of their digestion and fermentation in the gut.

These differences are reflected, among others, in the degree of polymerization (chain length), solubility, degree of substitution or presence of other substituents, such as feruloyl groups.

• Degree of polymerization

It represents the length of the arabinoxylan chain, and it is related to a greater bifidogenic effect. [1]

For instance, native arabinoxylans from wheat endosperm have an average degree of polymerization higher than 60 and, often, higher than 100; while other fibres such as arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides (AXOS) and inulin typically have a degree of polymerization of 2–10. [2]

• Solubility

The wheat endosperm contains the highest amount of soluble arabinoxylans, which is associated with a greater bifidogenic effect.

Insoluble arabinoxylans are typically found in the bran, stalks or corn stover, and are not likely to be digested in the large intestine.

Moreover, the extraction of water-insoluble arabinoxylans requires the use of cell wall blasting enzymes or strong alkaline chemicals.

Such heavy enzymatic or chemical treatment has a negative impact on both chain length and ferulic acid bonds. [1] Often, these extracted molecules are no longer arabinoxylans, but have become AXOS.

• Degree of substitution

It represents the ratio of arabinose to xylose residues. The presence of arabinose substitution also affects the fermentation ability of microorganisms.

While arabinoxylans support the growth of some bacterial species, unsubstituted xylans are not fermented by any of the probiotic bacteria.

Unsubstituted xylans form insoluble aggregates and hinder the accessibility of the bacteria. [1]

• Presence of substituents

The beneficial role of arabinoxylans in the human diet may also be associated with the presence of other substituents, such as ferulic acid covalently bound to these polymers.

Ferulic acid is considered a natural antioxidant, food antimicrobial agent, anti-inflammatory agent, photoprotectant and food flavour precursor. [3]

In conclusion, although arabinoxylans from various cereals share the same general structure, the specific structure varies greatly. These differences in structure are characterized by different factors (degree of polymerization, solubility…), which determine the potential health benefits and physicochemical properties of arabinoxylans, thus affecting the industrial applications of these molecules.