antioxidants polyphenols and astaxanthin

What are antioxidants?

What are antioxidants?

Maastricht, 19th July, 2024

Everybody has heard of antioxidants as they are commonly discussed in health, bringing several benefits. However, what exactly are antioxidants, and why do they matter? This blog will explain the notion of antioxidants, how they operate and what is their relevance in maintaining good health.

antioxidants polyphenols and astaxanthin

Understanding antioxidants

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals, which are unstable substances that can harm cells. Free radicals are naturally produced by numerous body processes, but they may also be caused by external influences such as pollution and smoking. In cases of strenuous exercise or other stressful for the body circumstances, free radicals could over accumulate and produce oxidative stress, which harms cells and contributes to chronic diseases (1). Fortunatelly, antioxidants can neutralize the free radicals and restore cellular balance.

How do Antioxidants work?

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize these reactive molecules, thus preventing them from causing cellular damage. This process is essential in protecting the body from oxidative stress, which is associated with aging and various long-term conditions (2).


Sources of Antioxidants

Natural Sources (3):

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Rich in vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, found in foods like berries, carrots, and spinach.
  • Nuts and Seeds: High in vitamin E and selenium.

Dietary Supplements:

  • Astaxanthin is the most potent antioxidant from natural origin. It is extracted from H. Pluvialis microalgae. Daily supplementation requires a conveninet dose, bringing health advantages in terms of cellular health, longevity and healthy aging.
  • Polyphenols are another strong source of antioxidants that is much more sustainable and safe than synthetic antioxidants. They can be supplemented as extracts from citrus fruits in an easy to get, single daily dose format.

Health benefits of Antioxidants


  • Longevity support

Antioxidants can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems and protecting cells from DNA damage (4).

  • Anti-Aging Properties

Oxidative stress significantly contributes to the aging process. Antioxidants can help mitigate this, promoting healthier, younger-looking skin (5).


Antioxidants help to protect the body against oxidative stress and free radical damage, linked to a number of chronic conditions and the aging process. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods and taking quality supplements can help you maintain cellular health and longevity. As research into antioxidants advances, their importance in our daily lives becomes more apparent, underlining their crucial role in maintaining long-term health.

actiful - ingredient for mitochondria

Ingredients to support mitochondrial health

Ingredients to support mitochondrial health

Last updated: July 12th, 2024

August 8th, 2023

Discover the influence of nutrients on your mitochondrial health. Dive into our blog to learn how magnesium, hesperidin, vitamin C, omega-3s, and more can enhance your mitochondrial health and boost your overall vitality.

actiful - ingredient for mitochondria

Nutrients to support mitochondrial health

Maintaining the optimal performance of our mitochondria is pivotal for our overall well-being. These microscopic organelles act as cellular powerhouses, generating the energy necessary for our optimal cell function.

Beyond energy production, they also regulate metabolic processes and uphold a delicate balance of nutrients within our cells

Dysfunctional mitochondria could result in symptoms like fatigue and muscle weakness. In more serious instances, they could lead to long-term health conditions.

Consequently, prioritizing the health of our mitochondria is not only essential for general vitality but also plays a preventive role against potential illnesses.

Within this article, we will take a look at specific nutrients that actively contribute to the maintenance and augmentation of mitochondrial health.

Magnesium and mitochondrial vitality

Magnesium plays a vital role in ensuring the well-being of our mitochondria. It serves as a crucial facilitator for enzymes responsible for energy production, while also exhibiting antioxidant properties.

The antioxidative function of magnesium is particularly significant, shielding mitochondria from potential risks induced by harmful molecules. Additionally, magnesium regulates calcium levels within mitochondria, a pivotal function in avoiding potential malfunctioning (1).

Sustaining an appropriate intake of magnesium is essential to uphold the health of mitochondria. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into our diet, such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables, provide a natural source of this essential mineral.

Hesperidin: a citrus boost for mitochondria

Hesperidin, a natural compound present in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, plays a big role in maintaining mitochondrial health.

By boosting the expression of genes linked to energy production, hesperidin enhances mitochondrial functionality. This augmentation translates to increased energy production within the mitochondria, resulting in elevated energy levels and reduced fatigue (2).

Moreover, hesperidin has an anti-inflammatory effects. As inflammation can contribute to mitochondrial disturbances, mitigating this challenge becomes paramount mitochondrial well-being.

Vitamin C to boost mitochondrial health

Vitamin C holds a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of our mitochondria. Serving as one of the body’s most potent antioxidants, vitamin C offers safeguarding powers against detrimental molecules known as free radicals, shielding our mitochondria from harm (3).

Free radicals possess the capacity to impair mitochondria, diminishing their capacity to generate energy. However, vitamin C effectively counters these radicals, preventing the damaging effects.

Therefore, ensuring your diet includes a good dose of vitamin C becomes a noteworthy strategy to keep healthy mitochondria.

Omega-3s: helpful for energy

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat found in foods like fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. They play a crucial role in promoting the health of mitochondria.

Omega-3s could boost mitochondrial function: they help these powerhouses generate more energy from the same amount of nutrients, which leads to less fatigue and more energy (4). Omega-3s also shield mitochondria from damage caused by harmful molecules.

Including foods rich in omega-3s in our diet is a smart move to support your mitochondria, boost energy production, and keep inflammation in check.

Astaxanthin: the key to alleviate mitochondrial ROS

Astaxanthin aids in the neutralization of oxidative stress within mitochondria, thereby contributing to overall mitochondrial health and proper mitochondrial functioning.

Astaxanthin is a very strong antioxidant that can be derived from the microalgae H. Pluvialis. Due to its lipophilicity, astaxanthin is able to cross cell membranes, and thereby reach the mitochondria. Due to its antioxidant activity within the mitochondria, it is able to scavenge Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and other free radical types, and thus decrease oxidative stress. It also exerts anti-inflammatory effects. Hereby, proper functioning of the mitochondria, including mitochondrial respiration and energy production, is supported (5).

Next to the microalgae H. Pluvialis, astaxanthin can also be found within seafoods such as salmon, crab and shrimp.


In summary, looking after the health of mitochondria is vital for general well-being. A range of nutrients, such as hesperidin, magnesium, astaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C, play key roles in supporting mitochondrial function, helping to diminish oxidative stress and inflammation.

By incorporating these essential nutrients in the diet, we can effectively boost our mitochondrial health and ensure optimal energy production.

tips for healthy aging

4 Tips for Healthy Aging

4 Tips for Healthy Aging

Maastricht, 5th July, 2024

People worldwide are aiming to live longer and the key to enjoying those extra years is ensuring quality aging. It’s not just about getting older, it’s about getting older in good health. This is a global issue that affects everyone. How to achieve it?

tips for healthy aging

What is aging?


Aging itself isn’t a disease, but it does make us more vulnerable. Good health in old age means maintaining independence, which involves two main aspects: mobility, which can be driving a car or simply going to the toilet; and cognitive health – your ability to think, learn, and remember. There is a link between them as being sedentary can negatively impact your cognitive health (1). So, how to limit the loss of mobility and maintain cognitive health?

Tips for Healthy Aging


1.Take Care of Your Mental Health: As people age, they may experience certain life changes, such as retirement, which is a significant risk factor for mental health issues like depression (2, 3). Depression, in turn, is an established risk factor for functional mobility impairment (4). Additionally, stopping work may often result in memory loss and experiencing reduced social interaction, both crucial for cognitive health. Social interaction is extremely beneficial for memory (5) and should be encouraged especially after retirement.


2.Stay Physically Active: Regular physical activity is crucial for successful aging as it preserves muscle performance, promotes mobility, and reduces the risk of falls, thereby significantly boosting physical well-being (6). Physical exercises like yoga or walking also improve psychological well-being (including depression) by reducing muscle tension (7). Moreover, physical activity supports brain health by promoting brain maintenancе (8). It induces biological and structural changes in the brain (9), increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to your brain, which helps with memory and learning by benefiting the hippocampus, a key memory structure (7). This is essential since aging is associated with memory decline (10). To prevent it, engage yourself in activities like jogging, running, cycling, or swimming.


3.Take Care of Your Cognitive Health: Some people may possess or develop a cognitive reserve that helps them resist cognitive aging and reduce the impact of potential brain damage (11). This means their brain can function well even when affected by similar levels of deterioration as others. Key factors that improve cognitive reserve include cognitive stimulation and lifelong learning (12). To increase focus and protect your memory, use it regularly. Try navigating without maps, memorize your relatives’ phone numbers, read or learn a new language.


4.Make Smart Food Choices: Consuming flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries or citrus fruits throughout life may help limit or even reverse age-related memory and cognitive decline. Polyphenols, found in these foods, improve synaptic transmission, increase synaptic plasticity, and enhance neurogenesis. These compounds not only provide various other health benefits that collectively support memory (10, 13), but also may enhance muscle health (14), which is important for maintaining mobility. Additionally, there is an inverse relationship between the intake of polyphenols and depressive symptoms—the more you consume, the less likely you are to experience depression (15), supporting both mental well-being and cognitive health.




Healthy aging is about maintaining physical and cognitive health. By staying active, caring for mental and cognitive well-being, and making smart food choices, you can enjoy your later years with greater independence and vitality. Aging well is not just about adding years to life but adding life to years.


What are the best substitutes for caffeine?

What are the best substitutes for caffeine?

Last updated: June 28th, 2024

April 21st, 2022

A wide variety of caffeine-containing products are available, ranging from coffee and tea to dietary supplements, sodas and energy drinks. However, consuming too much caffeine often leads to side effects such as stress, anxiety, and even sleeping problems. If you are looking for alternative products to boost energy levels and increase focus, Brainberry®, maca root, ginseng, Rhodiola, and Lion’s Mane are natural ingredients that can help you get through the day without side effects.


Why should you substitute caffeine with another ingredient?

Most people drink coffee regularly. It is consumed because people like the taste or because of the social aspects to drinking coffee. Even though there are many ways to improve your focus, coffee is often consumed because it makes people feel more awake, alert, and energetic.

Of course, coffee is a source of caffeine, which is the ingredient that gives coffee its effects. There are other drinks that contain caffeine, and some people even take dietary supplements containing caffeine to boost their energy levels during the day or for their workout. [1].

Besides positive effects, consumption of caffeine may also have some downsides. These include giving people feelings of stress and anxiety. Besides increasing these feelings, caffeine consumption could also lead to insomnia [2].

Caffeine is unique in its function, but these adverse effects are a reason for people to reduce the intake of caffeine and look for alternative ingredients. Here are some suggestions of natural substitutes that make you feel awake and help you focus, without leaving you feeling stressed.

The best substitutes for caffeine

1. Maca root

Maca is a plant that grows in Peru (also called Peruvian ginseng). It’s a plant that belongs to the brassica (mustard) family. It is traditionally used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. The plant is made into a powder that is often added to smoothies, juices, and shakes.

It has been used for centuries as a fertility enhancer in humans and animals, but now more benefits of consuming maca are being discovered. The benefits of maca root vary, and evidence shows it may help increase energy levels and improve mood.

Additionally, other findings show that maca can help against feelings of anxiety and stress. This makes Maca a good alternative to caffeine, which can have the opposite effect.


2. Ginseng

Like maca, ginseng is a herb made from the root of its plant. It has been one of the most important products for health care in Asia. There, it has been used to make traditional medicine for centuries.

There are different types of ginseng, which vary in the way they are grown and processed. White ginseng is dried naturally, while red ginseng is steamed before it is dried, which increases its efficacy. The most important compounds in ginseng are ginsenosides and gintonin [3].

Ginseng is one of the most popular caffeine substitutes. Various research demonstrated that this plant is able to improve brain functions, boost mood and memory, help against fatigue, and increase energy levels.


3. Brainberry® (Aronia berry extract)

Aronia berries are becoming increasingly popular among consumers because of their many demonstrated health benefits. Aronia plants are native to North America but are also commonly found in the Baltic region of Europe.

Brainberry® is an Aronia berry extract researched and developed by BioActor. It was demonstrated that the daily consumption of Brainberry® is able to boost mental energy and focus without side effects. An ideal alternative if you want to get rid of caffeine!

The main constituent of Brainberry is an anthocyanin called Cyanidin 3-O-galactoside, a powerful antioxidant that can improve brain health and support brain function

If this sparked your interest, you can find out everything you need to know about Brainberry®, brain health and improving your focus here.


4. Rhodiola

Rhodiola is a plant that can be found in Europe and Asia. Like ginseng and maca its root is consumed for health benefits. Rosavin and salidroside are believed to be its most profitable compounds.

Rhodiola has been used for many years and has been mostly recommended to treat headaches, hernias and has also been used as an astringent. Nowadays, rhodiola is often consumed by people during stressful times.

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to caffeine that reduces fatigue, rhodiola is a good option because it has been shown to improve symptoms in participants that suffered from chronic fatigue. The stress-lowering and energizing effects of rhodiola make it a great natural replacement for coffee.


5. Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that can grow long hair-like strings that resemble a lion’s mane. It is often found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It consists for roughly 20% out of protein.

Lion’s Mane is increasingly studied. It has properties that are believed to be neuroprotective. That is because two novel nerve growth factors have been discovered in this mushroom [4].

Lion’s Mane has thus been said to have positive effects on the brain. It can improve memory and helps to lower feelings of stress and anxiety. This makes it an ingredient that can help consumers cut down on their caffeine consumption.

The bottom line

We all love a good cup of coffee in the morning. However, there are several reasons to reduce caffeine intake and look for a substitute. The aforementioned ingredients are good natural alternatives to caffeine as they can boost energy levels and brain functions, without having any anxiety or stress inducing effects.

astaxanthin for cellular health

How to promote longevity via cellular health?

How to promote longevity via cellular health?

Maastricht, 21st June, 2024

Longevity refers to living a longer and healthier life. While aging is a natural process, it is possible to minimize the physical and cognitive decline that comes with it and reduce the risk of certain diseases. The question is: how to achieve this?

astaxanthin for cellular health

The body is a complex network of cells and tissues that communicate with each other to perform all its functions. This article will how longevity can be promoted at three levels:

  • Cellular health, notably by combatting oxidative stress and making the mitochondria work better
  • Organ health, notably by preventing arterial stiffness and by gut microbiota
  • Whole body health by enhancing mobility, brain fitness and mental wellness.


What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress occurs when there is a physiological imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the cell’s ability to neutralize them.

Mitochondria, the organelles that produce energy for cellular functions, are also a production site of ROS. That is because cellular respiration, the metabolic pathway in mitochondria that produces energy, also generates ROS (1).

ROS are oxidants that can cause damage to cellular components like proteins and DNA, leading to the formation of toxic compounds. One such compound is 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE), which amplifies oxidative stress by damaging cell membranes (2).

Although our bodies have endogenous defense systems to combat oxidative stress, their efficiency decreases with age. Therefore, it is crucial to support mitochondria for longevity and overall cell health by including antioxidant-rich foods in our diet.

For instance, vitamin C contributes to mitochondrial well-being (3). Therefore, consuming vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, help maintain mitochondrial health and cellular homeostasis. Another example is Haematococcus pluvialis, a type of microalga, naturally produces one of the strongest antioxidants: astaxanthin.  Astaxanthin protects cell membrane by scavenging ROS in both the inner and outer layers (4).

quality of life and longevity

What is the effect of aging on tissue health?

The tissues in our body are composed of groups of cells that share similar features and functions. Tissues are prone to deterioration with age. For example, aging is a major risk factor for vascular dysfunction and the development of vascular diseases.

Elastin and collagen are proteins that provide mechanical properties to blood vessels, with elastin contributing to their elasticity and collagen to their rigidity. As blood vessels age, they tend to become stiffer due to a decrease in elastin fibers and an increase in collagen fibrils.

A metabolic reaction that can amplify vessel stiffness is glycation. This reaction occurs between sugars and amino groups from proteins, lipids or nucleic acids, resulting in the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). While the formation of AGEs is a normal part of metabolism, high levels of AGEs in tissues and circulation can be harmful (5).


How to prevent cognitive and physical decline with age?

Changes at cellular and tissue levels are perceptible in the physical and mental state of the body. As we age, the loss of muscle mass leads to general mobility issues and reduced strength. By the age of 80, 30% of muscle mass is lost, and this percentage can be higher if physical inactivity is combined with poor nutrition (6).  This decline in muscle capacity is partly due to a decrease in both the number and functionality of mitochondria, resulting in less energy being produced for muscle tissues.

Additionally, aging makes problem-solving and memorization more challenging. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein crucial for neuronal cell survival and plasticity. It plays a key role in the generation of neurons in the central nervous system.

A balanced diet rich in red fruits is beneficial for cognitive health because of their high anthocyanins content, molecules known for their positive and protective effects on the nervous tissues (7).  Studies have shown that a one-week supplementation of 180mg anthocyanin per day increased BDNF levels in healthy young adults (8).


Therefore, to promote longevity, it is important to include antioxidant-rich foods, stay mentally active, consume enough protein to support muscle mass, stay well-hydrated, and get sufficient sleep. Moreover, specific supplementation with nutrients that stimulate mitochondrial efficiency, protect arteries, promote brain fitness, mobility and mental wellness will further boost cellular health and overall longevity.

Actiful Energy

Top 6 Reasons to Include Actiful® in Your Energy Supplement

Top 6 Reasons to Include Actiful® in Your Energy Supplement

Last updated: June 14th, 2024

November 1st, 2021

As energy-boosting dietary supplements are gaining popularity among consumers, the need for clinically proven health ingredients is growing accordingly. If you are a formulator looking to craft an effective product targeting energy & vitality, you may be overwhelmed by the many ingredients available out there. Can’t make your mind up? In this article, we explore the top 6 reasons to include Actiful® in your product.

Actiful Energy

The growing interest in energy-boosting supplements.

In today’s hectic world, more than ever, people suffer from tiredness and lack of energy. Many consumers indeed tackle physical and mental stress with the help of dietary energy-boosting supplements, which help them avoid fatigue, do more sports and be more socially active.

The interest in nutritional solutions for an extra energy kick is increasingly gaining popularity. In fact, according to the recent CRN consumer survey on dietary supplements, improving energy levels is among the top 5 reasons for consuming such products (28%, a 7% increase yearly), showing how people rely on supplements to get through the day.

What is Actiful®?

Actiful® is a patent-protected orange and pomegranate complex, specifically designed to enhance energy and vitality, affecting short-term and long-term energy systems and improving mood.

This all-natural ingredient is standardized for highly bioavailable hesperidin, an important polyphenol found in sweet oranges (Citrus Sinensis). Hesperidin-containing foods are part of the type of foods that are good to support your daily energy.

Solabia Nutrition, previously known as BioActor, developed Actiful® and, together with Maastricht University, researched the ingredient and confirmed its health benefits in multiple randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Including Actiful® in your formulation: top 6 reasons

If you are thinking of including Actiful® in your formulation, you must know the following:


1. It has been clinically tested in both young and senior subjects.

When the common goal is being more active, Actiful® is the ideal ingredient for both young and senior subjects.

The efficacy of Actiful® was first demonstrated in a 4-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study conducted with young subjects. The results show that immediate and sustained energy improved significantly for the supplementation group compared to placebo [1].

In another clinical trial, the objective was to measure the effect of Actiful® on energy and mental wellness in seniors. As expected, anaerobic power significantly improved in the supplementation group [2].

Interestingly, the WHO Quality of Life scores on mental wellness significantly increased in the Actiful® group, compared to the placebo.


2. It boosts the NO levels, thereby improving the blood flow.

The active flavonoids in sweet orange, the major component of Actiful®, were found to activate the phosphorylation of Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS). eNOS is the key enzyme for Nitric Oxide (NO) synthesis [3]. Consequently, NO increases, which positively affects the endothelium by promoting vasodilation and increasing blood flow.

As a direct consequence of the improved blood flow, oxygen and nutrients are more efficiently transported to the body districts where required.

Pomegranate further augments the production of NO as it is an excellent donor of highly bioavailable nitrate.


3. It works directly at the mitochondrial level.

Experiments in myotubes showed that hesperitin, the active flavanone derived from the metabolization of Actiful®, enhances ATP production at the mitochondrial level [4].

By quenching the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reducing proton leakage between the intermembrane space and the mitochondrial matrix, Hesperitin can improve the proton gradient required for the ADP-ATP phosphorylation cycle.

This process results in a better respiration capacity of the mitochondria, leading to more ATP production, the fuel for our muscles.


4. It acts on the body as well as on the mind.

Mood is a crucial aspect of every individual’s well-being. Stress, anxiety, focus and happiness are all factors that affect our psychophysical wellness.

It was demonstrated that the supplementation with Actiful® not only positively affects the energy level, but it may also affect the mood.

As it is clear that body and mind work in tandem, Actiful® can be considered the perfect vitality enhancer!


5. High bioavailability is proven.

Bioavailability is an important aspect to consider in nutraceuticals, as it is a key indicator of absorption and directly influences the bio-activity of specific molecules.

Actiful® was developed with this concept in mind, and a human and in vitro study demonstrated that the active ingredient starts to be taken up by the body within minutes [5].

Furthermore, the active metabolites remain available for several hours after consumption. Hence, Actiful® offers excellent potential for a significant immediate energy boost, maintained over time after consumption.


6. It is patent-protected.

Actiful® is an innovative and patent-protected ingredient. Solabia Nutrition is a pioneer in researching the positive effect of citrus flavonoids on energy metabolism.

This further adds value and makes Actiful® even more unique. Why? Because you won’t find imitations in the marketplace.

If you are interested in learning more about Energy & Vitality – Trends, Clinical Research and Innovation, you should check out our webinar on this topic. Click here to view!

micro algae for longevity

Top 3 reasons to add astaxanthin to your product formula

Top 3 reasons to add astaxanthin to your product formula

Maastricht, 7th June, 2024

Astaxanthin is a powerful red carotenoid antioxidant naturally produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. It is one of the most potent antioxidants and much stronger than other carotenoids. Therefore, it is a popular choice for inclusion in supplements targeting cellular health and longevity.

micro algae for longevity

Top 3 benefits of astaxanthin


  1. Astaxanthin decreases oxidative stress

Astaxanthin helps to significantly reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) (1). Its unique molecular structure, which allows it to span across cell membranes, enhances its ability to protect cells from lipid peroxidation and DNA damage. Astaxanthin also boosts the body’s natural antioxidant defenses by upregulating the activity of enzymes, thus providing a comprehensive shield against oxidative damage and supporting overall cellular health (2).


  1. Astaxanthin for Skin Health

Astaxanthin promotes skin health by protecting skin cells from damage and supporting a youthful appearance (3). The skin is exposed to numerous internal and external factors that cause damage, such as sun exposure, pollution, and toxins, which lead to the production of ROS. These ROS can degrade collagen and damage DNA, resulting in sunburn, wrinkles, and age spots. Clinical studies have shown that astaxanthin improves skin appearance by reducing hyperpigmentation, decreasing skin water loss, increasing elasticity, and protecting against UV radiation (4).


  1. Astaxanthin for Eye Health

The eyes are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to their exposure to light, high content of mitochondria, and the metabolic rate of photoreceptors (5) . Oxidative stress is linked to various eye diseases and retinal disorders. Fortunately, astaxanthin crosses the blood-retinal barrier, helping to protect the eyes from oxidative stress and inflammation. Clinical studies have shown that astaxanthin improves blood flow in the eye’s small vessels and reduces eye fatigue and strain from prolonged screen exposure (6).



Astaxanthin’s strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it a valuable addition to any product aimed at cellular, skin, and eye health.

Bonolive improve bone health

Improving bone health during menopause with Bonolive®

Improving bone health during menopause with Bonolive®

Last updated: May 31st, 2024

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.

Bonolive improve bone health

What happens to bone health during menopause transition?

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.

How is bone health managed traditionally?

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 [4].

Scientific evidence has shown that bone physiology can be modulated by phenolic compounds found in olives [5].

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 Solabia Nutrition (previously known as 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 Solabia Nutrition’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 [6].

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.

What are the 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.

hormone free ingredients

What are the benefits of hormone-free products?

What are the benefits of hormone-free supplements?

Maastricht, 24th May, 2024


Hormones are chemical messengers. Their importance lies in regulating various physiological processes in the body. However, if we intake supplements or medication that contains additional hormones, this may lead to imbalance in the body’s natural systems. Therefore, hormone-free ingredients and supplements are much preferred by health-conscious consumers.

hormone free ingredients

What Are Hormone-Free Supplements?

Hormone-free supplements are products that do not contain any synthetic or natural hormones. Unlike some supplements that include hormones like testosterone, estrogen, or HGH (human growth hormone), hormone-free supplements rely on vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, amino acids, and other natural compounds to support the body’s functions.


Key Benefits

  • Reduced Risk of Side Effects. Hormone-based supplements can lead to a range of side effects, including hormonal imbalances, mood swings, and even severe health issues. Hormone-free supplements eliminate these risks, providing a safer alternative for those looking to enhance their health and wellness (1). This is specifically popular among postmenopausal women (2).


  • Natural Support for Body Functions. Hormone-free supplements often contain natural ingredients that support the body’s own hormone production and balance. For instance, adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola can help the body manage stress and maintain hormonal equilibrium naturally. This holistic approach ensures that the body’s systems work synergistically without external hormonal interference.


  • Enhanced Safety and Regulation. Supplements free from hormones are generally subject to fewer regulatory concerns compared to their hormone-containing counterparts. This often results in higher safety standards and fewer risks associated with their consumption. Consumers can feel more confident in the purity and safety of hormone-free products.


  • Broad Accessibility. Hormone-free supplements are suitable for a wider audience, including individuals with hormone-sensitive conditions, pregnant, breastfeeding or menopausal women, and those who prefer to avoid any potential hormonal interference due to personal or medical reasons. This inclusivity ensures that more people can benefit from supplements without adverse effects.


  • Support for Long-Term Health Goals. Because hormone-free supplements focus on natural ingredients, they are better suited for long-term use. Whether you’re looking to boost your immune system, improve your cognitive function, or enhance your physical performance, these supplements provide sustainable support without the need for cycling or discontinuation due to side effects.



Hormone-free supplements offer a compelling alternative for anyone looking to improve their health and wellness safely and naturally. By reducing the risk of side effects, supporting the body’s natural functions, adhering to high safety standards, and being accessible to a broad audience, these supplements stand out as a superior choice. As the demand for natural health solutions continues to grow, hormone-free supplements are likely to become even more popular, helping individuals achieve their health goals without compromising their well-being.

A promising ingredient for gaming supplements

Brainberry® – A promising ingredient for gaming supplements

Brainberry® – A promising ingredient for gaming supplements

Last updated: May 17th, 2024

January 11th, 2022

Brainberry® is an Aronia melanocarpa extract that provides an innovative and natural way to boost gaming performance in a safe and effective way. If you plan to get rid of typical sugar- and stimulant-loaded supplements and energy drinks, Brainberry® may be the healthier alternative you are looking for. Thanks to its high content in functional anthocyanins, it promises to enhance gamers’ experience by providing sustained crash-free energy, as well as clinically proven brain benefits. Read more about why this ingredient is important for your gaming supplement!

A promising ingredient for gaming supplements

Why are supplements relevant for gaming?

Gaming has grown exponentially over the last few years, not only in amateur gamers but also in professional ones– eSports.

If you are a gamer, you may have already noticed that gaming requires an incredible number of mental skills. Indeed, gaming is continuous and with very few breaks. Therefore, you need to manage a high cognitive workload, especially if your session lasts for an extended period of time.

Moreover, the visual-spatial skills are essential. These abilities allow you to analyse, recognize and rapidly respond to changes on the screen. In addition, as gaming sessions can last for hours, enhanced attention and focus are crucial. You need to have the skills to stay focused and alert, without getting sleepy and distracted.

Lastly, when gaming, it is important that you manage emotions, such as anger, anxiety and stress, as these can negatively impact your performance.

Even though nutrition has been often overlooked by most gamers, the supplement industry for this segment is growing exponentially, showing that more and more attention is being paid to this important aspect.

Over the last year, several brands have launched gaming formulas on the market and supplement use is continuously increasing amongst gamers looking to up their gaming performance. There is a wide range of products tailored to gamers, ranging from powders to capsules, functional drinks and even gummies.

Whether you are a competitive gamer or not, taking care of your body and mind through proper nutrition, supplements, and rest can yield the best results.

The main problem with most gaming supplements and energy drinks

Supplements have the potential to enhance your cognitive performance when gaming. As mentioned, together with the increased number of gamers, gaming supplement and energy drink interest and consumption have significantly grown in the last years.

However, many of these products contain high amounts of caffeine and sugar. High intakes of these two compounds are generally associated with negative health effects.

After a high caffeine intake, you may experience tachycardia, jitters, headaches or disrupted sleep [1, 2, 3]. In fact, excessive caffeine consumption can negatively impact brain performance. On top of this, high caffeine consumption during the teenage years is associated with an increased risk of suffering from anxiety disorders in adulthood [4].

On the other hand, a high sugar intake may lead to unhealthy weight gain and dental caries, both undesired health effects. Moreover, high sugar spikes in the blood are often followed by an energy crash, which is not ideal when you need to be focused.

If you plan to get rid of typical sugar- and stimulant-loaded supplements and energy drinks, Brainberry® may be the healthier alternative you are looking for.

What is Brainberry®?

Brainberry® is an Aronia melanocarpa extract, standardized for high levels of the anthocyanin cyanidin-3-O-galactoside. This ingredient is clinically validated to improve focus and psychomotor control.

The consumption of anthocyanins has been associated with improved cognition skills, such as memory, attention and psychomotor speed [5, 6, 7].

The active cyanidins present in Aronia berry extract in the form of cyanidin-3-O-galactoside can cross the blood-brain barrier and contribute to brain perfusion.

In the hippocampus, cyanidin-3-O-galactoside lowers acetylcholine esterase activity, which increases acetylcholine, resulting in neuronal signalling. This leads to faster and more accurate reactions due to improved visual processing speed and psychomotor control.

In addition, Brainberry® is water-soluble, easy to formulate and has a pleasant taste. Its possible applications include liquid forms (e.g. ready-to-drink formulas), chewable tablets, gummies, effervescent tablets, stick packs and capsules.

What makes Brainberry® an ideal ingredient for gaming supplements?

Brainberry® is the ideal ingredient for gaming supplements for several reasons:

• 100% natural. It is extracted from high-quality Aronia berries from the Baltics resulting in a completely natural ingredient.

• Clinically proven. It has been validated in 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

• Increased visual processing speed. Its hero compound, cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, significantly improves psychomotor control, enhancing eye-hand coordination.

• Tested in gamers. It has been successfully tested in a consumer study with active gamers.

• Low dosage and stimulant-free. The recommended daily dose is 65 mg. It does not contain stimulants, which are usually accompanied by undesired side effects. This makes it a healthier option compared to other solutions with high stimulants.

• High bioavailability. The bioavailability of the active compound in Brainberry®, cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, has been evaluated and demonstrated rapid absorption [8].

• Easy to formulate. Thanks to its excellent solubility and pleasant taste, it can be included it in a wide range of forms (e.g. drinks, gummies, capsules…).

Research with Brainberry®

Double-blind placebo-controlled trial

Brainberry® has been investigated in the first-ever study to link Aronia berry extract to improved cognitive performance. A 12-week double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study that included 101 subjects linked Aronia berry extract (Brainberry®) to a significant increase in psychomotor speed, eye-hand coordination, and focus.

After only 6 weeks of supplementation with 65 mg of Brainberry® daily, a significant improvement in psychomotor speed was observed, with even a further increase for the rest of the trial (12 weeks).

Brainberry psychomotor speed result

After 12 weeks, concentration was increased by 43% in the group supplemented with 65 mg of Brainberry® [9].

Brainberry focus result

Short-term improvements due to Brainberry®

More recently, a new clinical study has been released investigating the short-term effects of Brainberry® on psychomotor speed and BDNF concentration [10].

Participants in the intervention group showed a significant improvement in reaction time compared to the control group.

Moreover, serum BDNF concentrations were significantly higher with 5.7% in the intervention group after 1-week Brainberry® intake (p<0.05). BDNF is a protein responsible for neuronal survival and growth, essential for learning and memory [11] and highly relevant for the purpose of this research. Its increase showcases Brainberry®’s potential to support young adults in their daily activities such as learning and working.

Consumer study with active gamers

Additionally, a consumer study was conducted on active gamers using Brainberry®. 21 healthy young recreational gamers consumed 65 mg of Brainberry® daily for 7 days.

After just one dose of Brainberry®, participants successfully reported a significant improvement in the most relevant measures for gaming performance, such as eye-hand coordination, focus, reaction time and energy.

As gamers need fast-acting noticeable effects, the significant improvements in eye-hand coordination, focus, energy and reaction after a single dose, confirmed the effectiveness of Brainberry®.

What’s perhaps even more important, is that these improvements were sustained after one week of supplementation.

Brainberry gamer study results

As mentioned before, mood is also key during a gaming session. In fact, not being able to deal with difficult emotions (i.e. anger, stress, anxiety) that are likely to arise while competing, negatively impacts performance. Interestingly, the participants in the study reported an improvement in mood parameters after one week of supplementation with Brainberry®.

Another important outcome to point out is that supplementation with Brainberry® did not have any negative effects on fatigue, sleep quality and anxiety levels. It is well-known that these types of complaints are frequently reported by subjects (often gamers) who consume large quantities of sugar- and stimulant-loaded energy drinks.

The bottom line

Brainberry® is an Aronia melanocarpa extract that provides an innovative and healthy solution to boost gaming performance in a natural and safe way. Thanks to its high content in functional anthocyanins, it promises to enhance gamers’ experience by providing sustained, crash-free energy and clinically proven brain benefits.

Brainberry® is the perfect alternative to supplements and energy drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine. It allows limiting these compounds in your diet while offering sustained crash-free energy, as well as clinically proven brain benefits.