gut skin axis Bonolive

How does your digestive system affect your skin health?

The gut-skin axis: how does your digestive system affect your skin health?

Maastricht, 29th February 2024

The gut-skin axis defines the relationship between the gut microbiota and skin health. Factors such as diet, microbial diversity, and gut barrier integrity are pivotal in modulating this axis. Understanding this relationship offers avenues for holistic dermatological interventions targeting gut health and is the subject of this article.

gut skin axis Bonolive

What is the Gut microbiome?

The gut microbiome refers to the community of microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract (1). This intricate ecosystem plays a pivotal role in various physiological processes, from digestion and nutrient absorption to immune system regulation (2). Furthermore, the gut microbiome is integral to synthesizing vitamins, metabolizing drugs, and maintaining gut barrier function (3).


Several factors can influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome. Diet, particularly the consumption of fiber-rich foods, can shape microbial populations (4). Additionally, antibiotics, stress, and lifestyle choices such as smoking can significantly impact microbial balance (5)



What is the role of the skin for health?

The skin, the body’s largest organ, serves as a protective barrier against external factors, regulating temperature, and facilitating sensory perception (6). It plays a crucial role in immune surveillance, defending against pathogens and environmental insults (7). The skin’s health is influenced by numerous factors, including genetics, age, sun exposure, and environmental pollutants (8).


Common issues encompass a range of conditions, from acne and eczema to more severe disorders often influenced by both genetic predisposition and environmental triggers (9). Maintaining skin health requires a balanced approach addressing both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting this vital organ.


What is the link between the gut and the skin?

The gut-skin axis represents the relationship between gut health and skin conditions, suggesting that alterations in gut microbiota can influence dermatological health (10). This bidirectional communication system involves various mechanisms linking gut health to skin conditions (11). For example, increased gut permeability, or “leaky gut,” may lead to systemic inflammation, exacerbating skin inflammation characteristic of acne (12). Additionally, dysregulated gut flora can compromise immune tolerance, potentially contributing to allergic skin reactions seen in eczema (13).


Understanding the gut-skin axis offers insights into approaches for managing skin conditions by targeting gut health. Modulating gut microbiota through dietary interventions or probiotics may offer promising therapeutic strategies for dermatological health.

Factors influencing the gut-skin axis?

The gut-skin axis is influenced by various factors, encompassing lifestyle, medication, and diet. Lifestyle choices, including stress levels and sleep patterns, can significantly impact gut microbiota composition, subsequently affecting skin health. Chronic stress, for instance, can disrupt gut microbial balance, contributing to systemic inflammation and exacerbating skin conditions like acne (14, 15).


Dietary habits play a pivotal role in shaping the gut microbiome, with fiber-rich diets promoting microbial diversity and beneficial gut flora. Conversely, diets high in processed foods and sugars can foster dysbiosis, potentially aggravating skin conditions like acne and eczema (16).


Understanding these influencing factors offers avenues for targeted interventions to optimize the gut-skin axis, emphasizing the interconnectedness of lifestyle, medication, and dietary choices in dermatological health.


Which nutrients benefit skin health?

Several nutrients play pivotal roles in promoting optimal skin health:

Omega-3 fatty acids support skin hydration and combat inflammation, benefiting conditions like eczema (17).
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting skin cells from oxidative damage and promoting skin elasticity (18).
Vitamin C aids collagen synthesis, essential for skin structure and wound healing (19).
Zinc supports skin cell regeneration and immune function, contributing to overall skin vitality (20).
Oleuropein, a compound primarily found in olive leaves, holds promise in lowering skin inflammation and supporting skin hydration due to its moisturizing and antimicrobial properties (21). Bonolive® is an olive leaf extract standardized for high levels of oleuropein.



In summary, the gut-skin axis connects gut microbiota to skin health, influenced by factors like diet and medications. Nutrients like oleuropein, omega-3s, vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc promote skin health, emphasizing the importance of diet in dermatological well-being.

nutraceuticals 2024 solabia bioactor

MEET US - Barcelona 2024

Meet us at Nutraceuticals Europe 2024

 February 22, 2024

Solabia-BioActor is an exhibitor at the first tradeshow for 2024 – the summit and expo Nutraceuticals Europe in Barcelona! We are looking forward to being there and start the year with new meeting and networking!

SOLABIA bioactor nutraceuticals barcelona

Our team is looking forward to exhibiting at Nutraceuticals Europe on 6-7th March, 2024. You are welcome to visit us at booth G60 and discover our range of premium health ingredients.

If you are looking for the perfect ingredient to finish your product formula, our booth is the right place to stop by. Our ingredients are extracted via clean production processes from specific raw materials. We introduce a few examples here:


  • Actiful®, a complex of Mediterranean fruits for energy and healthy aging, is clinically validated to support blood flow and improve mental wellbeing. It is a great addition to products targeting healthy lifestyle and vitality.


  • AlgaSense®, a whole powder from micro algae, is the perfect fit for products targeting stress management, relaxation and mental health.


  • Bonolive® is our 100% natural extract from freshly pruned olive leafs, targeting women’s health and more specifically women in menopause. Bonolive® is fully backed-up by science, researched by women for women.


  • Brainberry® is our well-known aronia extract for brain fitness. As a true winner of the Nootropics Ingredients Idol award in 2023, Brainberry® is clinically-validated to boost focus, memory and eye-hand coordination.

Book a meeting!

    benefits of prebiotics

    What are prebiotics? Types and health benefits

    What are prebiotics? Types and health benefits

    Last updated: February 22nd, 2024

    February 7th, 2022

    Prebiotics are a big topic in nutrition these days. As with probiotics, their relationship with human health has gathered a lot of interest in recent years. Prebiotics are compounds derived from non-digestible carbohydrates that confer health benefits to the host by selectively stimulating the growth of intestinal bacteria.

    benefits of prebiotics

    What are prebiotics?

    Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that confer health benefits to the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of a limited number of our intestinal bacteria [1].

    Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and trans-galacto-oligosaccharides (TOS) are the most common prebiotics.

    Fermentation of prebiotics by gut microbiota produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as lactate, butyrate, and propionate. These SCFAs have multiple beneficial effects on the body and gut health, as SCFAs are small enough to enter blood circulation through gut cells.

    The difference between probiotics and prebiotics is that, while probiotics are beneficial bacteria, prebiotics are the food for these bacteria. Both are important for human health, but they have different roles. Probiotics are live bacteria and prebiotics are compounds derived from non-digestible carbohydrates such as fibre.

    What are the different types of prebiotics?

    There are various types of prebiotics. These include:

    • Fructans such as inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) can promote directly or indirectly several bacterial species.

    • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) can greatly stimulate Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, as well as Enterobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes to a lesser extent [2].

    • Hemicellulose-derived oligosaccharides such as arabinoxylans. Arabinoxylans could produce a strong prebiotic activity, in particular bifidogenic.

    • Starch and glucose-derived oligosaccharides, a type of starch resistant to small intestine digestion, can stimulate the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) [3]. Polydextrose, a glucose-derived oligosaccharide, can also stimulate Bifidobacteria [4].

    • Pectic oligosaccharides (POS): some oligosaccharides come from a polysaccharide called pectin. This type of oligosaccharide is called pectic oligosaccharide (POS).

    • Non-carbohydrate oligosaccharides: although carbohydrates are more likely to meet the criteria to be considered prebiotics, there are other compounds not classified as carbohydrates, but that can be classified as prebiotics, such as some flavanols [5].

    Did you know you can combine prebiotics and probiotics to create synbiotic dietary supplements? Read more about that here!

    What are the health benefits of prebiotics?

    Research shows that prebiotics have a beneficial effect on gut health, which is directly linked to overall well-being. In addition, prebiotics exert their positive effects via the following pathways:

    • Microbiota support: prebiotics provide energy sources to gut microbiota. This way, they are able to modulate the function and composition of these microorganisms [6].

    • Immune system modulation: SCFAs have multiple benefits for the immune system, such as increasing antibody responses towards pathogens [7].

    • Colorectal cancer risk reduction: fermentation products of probiotics, such as butyrate, have possible protective effects against the risk of colorectal cancer [8].

    • Infants gastrointestinal disorder prevention: prebiotics can redice the risk of development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants [9].

    • Skin irritation conditions: the risk of development and the severity of atopic dermatitis [10, 11] could decrease after prebiotic intake.

    • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk reduction due to the potential of prebiotics to reduce inflammatory markers and improve lipid profile [7].

    How can I add prebiotics to my diet?

    Prebiotics play an important role in human health, so it is important to consume them. They can be found in foods that are high in fibre, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole-grain products. Foods that are high in prebiotic fibre include:

    • Wheat
    • Soybeans
    • Oats
    • Bananas
    • Tomatoes
    • Berries
    • Asparagus
    • Garlic
    • Leeks
    • Onions
    • Chicory

    Another option to increase prebiotic intake is supplements, purchased in health food stores and online. They are usually available in capsule form, in powder blends or even in bars.

    Prebiotics are generally considered safe. They can have some minor side effects, such as diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. However, prebiotics’ chain length is the main parameter related to the development of these side effects.

    Prebiotics with a shorter chain length have more side effects because they ferment earlier and more rapidly, while longer chain prebiotics – such as arabinoxylans from wheat– ferment slowier.

    hydration sports drinks

    How to stay hydrated and increase physical performance?

    How to stay hydrated and increase physical performance?

    Maastricht, 16th February 2024

    Hydration is the key to optimal physical activity. Our bodies work constantly to maintain an internal fluids balance. Effectively managing water loss is crucial for sustaining the body’s health and physical performance. In this blog we explore hydration and sports drinks. How can we stay hydrated and enhance performance?

    hydration sports drinks

    What is water balance?

    When engaging in physical activity, body temperature rises due to increased muscle activity. In response, the body produces sweat to cool down. This process helps regulate body temperature as water and mineral salts evaporate from the skin.

    Indeed, water loss during physical activity is a desirable natural process. Its rate varies based on factors such as the intensity and duration of the activity, environmental conditions, and individual differences. On average, an hour of moderate physical activity can cause a person to lose around 0.5 to 1 litre of water (1, 2). Maintaining the water balance in the body is essential to avoid dehydration and optimize overall physical performance.


    How to maintain a healthy water balance and prevent dehydration?

    Dehydration can impact performance of any exercise longer than 15s (3) by affecting endurance, strength, cognitive function, and delaying recovery. Therefore, maintaining a healthy water balance is crucial. Sport drinks are a great choice to solve this issue as they provide plenty of water and supply the electrolytes needed to maintain the body water balance (4).


    The role of electrolytes

    Electrolytes are essential minerals that play a crucial role in maintaining proper hydration and overall bodily function. When we sweat during physical activity or in hot environments, we lose electrolytes along with water. These electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Electrolytes help regulate the balance of fluids within the body. Sodium, for example, helps the body retain water, while potassium works to balance sodium levels and regulate fluid distribution within cells (5).

    Sports drinks with electrolytes

    Depending on their electrolyte concentration, sport drinks can be classified as isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic. Each of them serves different purposes. The choice of which type of drink to use depends on individual needs and the type and duration of physical activity.

    Hypotonic drinks contain a lower concentration of sugars and electrolytes that the one the body has. Hypotonic drinks are ideal for quick hydration for low duration sports (6).

    Isotonic drinks have a concentration of sugars and electrolytes that tries to mimic the body’s concentration and are typically used for electrolytes and water replenishment. They are ideal for endurance events longer than 40 minutes (7).

    Lastly, hypertonic drinks contain a higher concentration of electrolytes and sugars than the body does (8). This high dose of electrolytes and sugar is particular useful for long duration sports and is ideal for glycogen stores and fluids replenishment (9).


    How to improve your standard sports drink beyond electrolytes?

    Several beneficial ingredients can be added to a sports drink to enhance its functionality and provide additional benefits to athletes and individuals engaging in physical activity. Here are some examples:

    Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for muscles during exercise. Fast absorbed ones like glucose, fructose and maltodextrin are a perfect fit for a sports drink to provide a readily available fuel source (10). On the other hand, adding slow digestible carbohydrates such as isomaltulose or arabinoxylans is also a good strategy to sustain endurance and performance during prolonged activity.

    Polyphenols: polyphenols from sources like citrus extracts and Aronia berries can help improve performance by increasing focus, force and endurance.

    Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that can enhance mental alertness, focus, and endurance performance. Including caffeine in a sports drink can provide an extra boost of energy and improve exercise performance, particularly during intense workouts or endurance activities.

    Vitamins and Minerals: Adding vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and zinc can support overall health, immune function, and recovery from exercise-induced oxidative stress.

    Amino Acids: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine may aid in muscle recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and support muscle protein synthesis. Other amino acids like glutamine may help maintain immune function and gut health during intense training.

    Adaptogens: Adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola, ginseng, or ashwagandha may help improve resilience to stress, enhance endurance, and support recovery from intense exercise.


    Preventing dehydration is crucial for physical performance and subsequent recovery. Choosing the right sports drink with the best quality ingredients according to individual needs is the best strategy to keep hydrated and boost performance.

    New Approved Health Claim for Watts'Up®

    WATTS’UP® receives an additional approved health claim from Health Canada

    Maastricht, 14th February 2024


    Health Canada has issued a new Product Licence for WATTS’UP® and has approved the use of an additional health claim: “Helps to improve average power output during high intensity exercise in moderately trained individuals.

    power strength wattsup bioactor solabia

    WATTS’UP®, a customized flavonoid extract from sweet orange, has been tested in 2 double-blind placebo-controlled studies. The latest study was conducted in moderately trained men and women and showed a significant improvement in exercise performance with a significant increase in peak force and average 30 seconds power output.

    Health Canada has issued a new Product Licence for WATTS’UP® with an enlarged scope. Pursuant to this Product Licence, WATTS’UP® is recommended to be used as “Athletic support” or “Workout/Exercise supplement.”

    The following specific claims have been allowed by Health Canada: “Helps to improve average power output during high intensity exercise in moderately trained individuals” ; “Helps improve physical performance during exercise in trained male athletes”; and “Provides antioxidants that help cells to fight against the oxidative effect of free radicals and that helps protect cells and reduce oxidative damage and cell damage caused by free radicals”

    The Journal of the International Scoiety of Sports Nutrition has published the results of the latest clinical study with WATTS’UP®. WATTS’UP® is a patent-protected citrus extract with enhanced bioavailability. It was tested in moderately trained athletes (both men and women) and showed a significant increase in power output during the Wingate anaerobic exercise test.

    WATTS’UP® can be found on the market in multiple products in the USA, Europe, and Asia. It can be applied in various finished dosage forms, including powders, effervescent tablets, capsules, RTD sachets and beverages.

    Feel free to contact us via for more information on the possibilities WATTS’UP® has to offer.

    Further information can be found on:


    About Solabia – BioActor

    BioActor, a Solabia Nutrition company, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive formulations with clinical studies. The company focuses on the development of innovative bioactives that address healthy living and ageing. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

    For further information, see

    Brainberry, benefits of aronia berries

    The health benefits of Aronia Berry

    The health benefits of Aronia Berry: why should you consume this superfruit?

    Last updated: February 9th, 2024

    September 1st, 2021

    Aronia berries are small dark fruits that are becoming increasingly popular amongst health-conscious consumers. Current research suggests that due to their excellent content in micronutrients and antioxidant properties, these berries may provide important health benefits on immune health, cardiovascular function, brain health as well as exhibiting anti-diabetic function.

    Brainberry, benefits of aronia berries

    What is Aronia berry?

    Aronia berries are little dark fruits, belonging to the Rosaceae Family. Aronia is native to Eastern and North America but it is also commonly found in the Baltic region of Europe where it was introduced in the first half of the 20th century.

    The reason why these berries are also called “Chokeberries” is that when consumed fresh off the shrub, they make your mouth tickle due to their incredibly strong tart taste and mouth-drying effect.

    Though many people have never heard about them, Aronia berries are becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers and are considered a real superfruit.

    What are the health benefits of Aronia berries?

    To answer this question we need to first take a step back in the past where Aronia was traditionally used by the North American Forest Potawatomi tribe as a cold remedy.

    They called these fruits “nîki’mînûn” and used them to make a traditional tea. The reason why Aronia berry was found to be so effective in treating common cold symptoms is probably linked to their extremely powerful antioxidant capacity.

    Nowadays, it is well-known that antioxidants in Aronia outperform any other fruits, even elderberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

    Aronia berries contain high levels of vitamin C, but the real claim to fame is their high level of polyphenols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins [1]. These are types of antioxidants that help to fight the damages caused by free radicals in the body, and it is these antioxidants where Aronia berries can have their greatest impact on our health and wellbeing.

    Aronia Antioxidant

    In fact, Aronia is considered a real superfruit due to its high level of antioxidant phytonutrients that can be beneficial in many ways.

    Research around Aronia berries has focused on several health benefit areas, and there is evidence to suggest that these fruits may have the potential to:


    • Strengthen the immune system [2]
    • Improve cardiovascular function [3]
    • Improve brain health [4]
    • Help against metabolic syndrome [5]
    • Prevent urinary tract infections [6]
    • Support cognition and eye health

    Nutritional Facts

    Aronia berries are low-calorie fruits, full of important micro-nutrients accountable for their numerous health benefits.

    100 g of Aronia berries provide the following nutrients [7]:

    • Calories: 47.0 (197 kJ)
    • Carbs: 9.6 g
    • Fat: 0.5 g
    • Protein: 1.4 g
    • Fiber: 5.3 g
    • Vitamin A: 350 IU (7% DV)
    • Vitamin C: 21 mg (35% DV)
    • Vitamin K: 13.6 mcg (17% DV)
    • Manganese: 0.6 mg (32% DV)

    Moreover, researchers have identified a total of 7 different anthocyanins in Aronia berries. These include phytocompounds such as cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, a key molecule for brain health. It has been reported that cyanidin-3-O-glucoside exhibits anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic activities, while also enhancing spatial memory, cognition and psychomotor control.

    How to get more Aronia berries in your diet

    Unfortunately, it is not easy to commonly find fresh Aronia berries on the shelf at the grocery store.

    However, there are many alternatives. Especially in specialised stores or online, it is possible to buy Aronia in the form of frozen or dried fruits, tea, jams, juice and wines.

    Another effective way to include Aronia in your diet can be through the use of dietary supplements. This can be a great way to ensure you are getting the most out of the health benefits of Aronia berries.

    Curious to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about Aronia berries and brain health!

    Bonolive espana mira aqui

    WEBINAR: Women's Health with Bonolive® ES

    WEBINAR: Women’s Health ES

    With Bonolive®

    Are you interested in a women’s health ingredient backed-up by science? At this webinar, we will present Bonolive® and the benefits of adding it to your formulation. Find out more about the science behind Bonolive® its formulation possibilities. Dive into the world of women’s health with our exclusive webinar in Spanish . Watch on demand!


    Why watch?


    The awareness about women’s health and especially menopause support is growing. As consumer demand is increasing in this area, brands should be satisfying the need for science-based and clean-produced ingredients. At this webinar, we set the focus on Bonolive®, our premium women’s health ingredient. Deepen your knowledge about the science behind this olive leaf extract as well as the benefits it offers. Find out the opportunities of formulation and product formats available. 

    bonolive webinar speakers

    Presentation by Marit

    10 minutes

    EU Market Insights: Explore the latest trends, expected growth, and consumer preferences in the EU women’s health market, with a specific focus on Spain. 


    Presentation by Valeria

    10 minutes 

    The Science behind Bonolive®: Discover the clinical data behind Bonolive® and understand the advantages it has to offer for menopausal women.


    Presentation by Tony

    10 minutes

    Sales and Formulation possibilities of Bonolive®: Learn about the origin and benefits of formulating with Bonolive®.