What-are-the-best-substitutes-for-caffeine?

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.

What-are-the-best-substitutes-for-caffeine?

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.


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.


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!


brainberry algasense science

WEBINAR: Watch on demand

Webinar Watch on Demand: Maintain your Brain!

With Brainberry® and AlgaSense®

Are you looking for a brain health ingredient backed-up by science? We presented two ingredients fitting into the current trends. Find out more about the science behind Brainberry® and AlgaSense® and their formulation possibilities. Dive into the world of brain health and cognitive wellness with our exclusive webinar . Watch on demand here.

WATCH ON DEMAND

Why should you watch?

 

The world of cognitive wellness and brain health is growing as more and more people become aware of their importance. At this webinar, we set the focus on Brainberry® and AlgaSense®, our premium brain health ingredients. Deepen your knowledge about the science behind Aronia Nero Eggert berries and whole algae as well as the benefits they offer. Find out the opportunities of formulation and product formats available. 

brainberry and algasense webinar speakers

Presentation by Marit

10 minutes

US Market Insights: Explore the latest trends, expected growth, and consumer preferences in the US brain supplements market.

 

Presentation by Joris

10 minutes 

The Science and Formulation possibilities of Brainberry®: Uncover the scientific data behind Brainberry® and understand its impact on brain health.

 

Presentation by Thomas

10 minutes

The Science and Formulation possibilities of AlgaSense®: Learn about the diverse formulation possibilities of AlgaSense® and its benefits for mood support and stress management.

WATCH ON DEMAND

Solabia BioACtor Quadram Institute

BioActor & Quadram Institute announce collaboration

Solabia-BioActor announces the start of a collaboration with The Quadram Institute to assess the bioavailability and kinetics of Brainberry®

Maastricht/Norwich, 29th November  2023

Solabia-BioActor announces the start of a collaboration with The Quadram Institute to assess the bioavailability and kinetics of Brainberry®, Solabia-BioActor’s proprietary Aronia melanocarpa extract.

Solabia BioActor Quadram Institute

Solabia-BioActor has expertise and experience in developing innovative active ingredients, extracted from plants (botanicals) with great potential to support human health in terms of cognitive support, healthy aging and gut health enhancement.

 

The Quadram Institute is a premier research organization, based at the Norwich Research Park in the United Kingdom. It is home to researchers and clinicians that work together to develop world-class health, microbiome and food science. 

 

Solabia-BioActor’s Senior Scientist Sanne Ahles takes the lead on this collaboration together with Dr. Paul Kroon, a principal investigator at The Quadram Institute. Dr. Kroon is the leader of the Polyphenols and Health Group and his research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which dietary polyphenols are absorbed and exert health benefits.

 

The objective of this project is to study the bioavailability and kinetics of Brainberry®, a proprietary aronia melanocarpa extract, in human volunteers. BioActor will carry-out the human intervention study and the Quadram Institute will identify and quantify a broad range of metabolites in a variety of samples obtained in the study.

Sanne Ahles, Senior Scientist at Solabia-BioActor comments:

“The bioavailability of Brainberry® has not been researched until this point. This collaboration with the Quadram Institute will allow us to broaden our knowledge regarding the anthocyanin metabolism and shed light on any possible differences between its steady-state bioavailability in young and older adults.”

About Solabia-BioActor

Solabia-BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that develops and supplies proprietary bioactive formulations to the health and sports nutrition industry. All Solabia-BioActor’s products are clinically tested, doping-free and from natural origin. The main focus areas are: gut microbiome, brain health, energy & vitality and skin health.


top 6 ingredients for cognition and eye health

Top 6 ingredients for cognition and eye health

Top 6 ingredients for cognition and eye health

November 22nd, 2023

All of our senses allow us to enjoy the world around us and vision is no exception. Cognition is essential to make something meaningful of all senses. As you can imagine, nutrition is crucial in maintaining healthy vision and cognition, since several nutrients are essential for the visual system. In this blog, we embark on a journey to discover these essential nutrients, and, as a bonus, discuss a few compounds that can actually enhance cognition and eye-health!

top 6 ingredients for cognition and eye health

The connection between cognition and vision

Cognition is a broad term encompassing thinking, learning, memory, and attention; in other words, it refers to all the mental processes that occur in the brain (1). Vision functions as a key information provider to cognition. This relationship between the brain and eyes is crucial since vision can impact performance of cognitive tasks, positively or negatively. Deterioration of eye performance is actually linked to a reduction in cognitive activities like reading and socializing, notably leading to a poor cognitive state (2).

 

Challenges for a healthy vision

In our modern-day society, numerous factors present challenges to the well-being of both our vision and cognition. One essential challenge is the abundance of time spent behind screens. Digital eye strain is a condition that is attributed to prolonged and extended use of digital screens typically related to symptoms like blurry vision, headaches and dry eyes (3).

 

According to the American Optometric Association, workers and regular users of digital screen devices are especially at risk. Screen time of two or more hours without interruption, can already lead to aforementioned symptoms (4). More than 60% of the working population in the US report having symptoms related to too much screen time. Moreover, >70% of children and adolescents exceed the two hour screen time as well (5).

 

Given the extent of the challenges, it becomes imperative to adopt proactive measures to mitigate their effects and safeguard eye health, and cognition by extent. By addressing these factors head-on, we can not only slow down the development of age-related degenerative processes but also actively support the resilience and vitality of our eyes and cognitive functions.

Taking care of our eyes

How should we take care of our eyes? Let’s discuss a couple of easily adoptable measures:

 

Regular eye check-ups. It’s advisable to have a comprehensive eye examination every two years, regardless of wearing glasses or not (6). Optometrists may prescribe glasses with anti-reflective coatings to protect eyes from harmful blue light emitted by electronic devices.

 

Adopting eye-friendly behavior. The 20-20-20 rule is a simple and effective measure to reduce eye strain. It encompasses the idea to look at an object at least 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes (7). In order to make this a habit, you can opt to put a timer every 20 minutes when you are at work.

 

A diet rich in eye-healthy foods. Nutrition is a crucial modifiable factor with the potential for a huge effect on our daily life. There are sources that naturally contain compounds that help in maintaining a healthy vision and cognition. You can think of eggs, fatty fish, certain seeds, nuts and berries.

 

Eye health supplements. If you are limited by inconvenience or geographical access for food choice, it can be tricky to consume nutrients in recommended quantities through a regular diet. Therefore, adding nutritional supplements is a great additional strategy for reaching the required amount of nutrients in a safe and convenient manner.

food for eye health

The 6 best ingredients for cognition and eye health

When choosing to select supplements for supporting cognition and eye health, you consider a couple of relevant ingredients. Let’s check out the six to keep in mind:

 

Vitamin A is essential to protect the outer surface of the eye, known as the cornea. It also maintains the function of the retina, which allows us to differentiate colors and shades. Vitamin A can be obtained from yolks, liver and some vegetables like carrots (8). Supplementation is advised if the recommended daily dose cannot be reached via the diet – 900mcg for men and 700mcg for women.

 

Lutein is a yellow carotenoid pigment, found in the central retina. Its function is to protect against the harmful blue light (9), often emitted by electronic devises. Lutein supplementation may reduce the risk of developing harmful eye conditions. Common sources of lutein include green peas, parsley and kale as well as egg yolks. The daily dose of lutein supplements is between 5-20 mg.

 

Astaxanthin is a well-known anti-oxidant, often referred to as “the king of the caretonoids”, with health benefits in multiple areas, amongst which eye health. It improves ocular blood flow, enhancing oxygen distribution and waste clearance in the eyes (10). Astaxanthin can be obtained by eating salmon, shrimp and lobster. However, for supplementation purposes, there is a great alternative through microalgae sources, which is a natural and animal-friendly alternative. Supplementation daily dose varies between 4-12 mg (11).

 

Omega 3 fatty acids are a great strategy for overall health support, including the eyes. Omega-3s could reduce the risk of dry eyes and high eyes pressure (12). Food sources of omega 3 include salmon, herring and tuna. Additionally, supplements derived from fish, krill or microalgae are widely available. The daily dose for supplementation ranges from 500-600mg.

 

Vitamin E protects the retina from harmful oxidation. It’s crucial for optimal eye health and can be mostly obtained by eating seeds and nuts (13). Daily supplementation dose ranges between 5-12mg (14).

 

Aronia berry extract. Aronia berries are fruits with a high concentration of anthocyanins, specifically cyanidin-3-0-glycosides (15). These compounds are linked to benefits for cognition, focus, and eye health. BioActor’s proprietary Aronia berry extract, Brainberry®, has been demonstrated to improve focus, concentration and hand-eye coordination at a low daily dose of only 65 mg (16, 17).


Brainberry®: Winner of Ingredient Idol 2023

Brainberry® is the Winner of Ingredient Idol 2023, Nootropics 

Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2nd November  2023

We are happy to announce that Brainberry® won the Ingredient Idol 2023 award in the Nootropics Category! The contest was organized by Informa Markets and held at SupplySide West on October 26, 2023 in Las Vegas.

Ingredient Idol winner

Out of all ingredients that were submitted for the competition in the Nootropics category, Brainberry® was selected as one of the three finalists that was invited to give a 3-min elevator pitch at the SupplySide West show in Las Vegas. Brainberry® was voted as Winner by the respected jury because of its unique clinically validated benefits on psychomotor control, better focus and mental flexibility.

Judges were three experienced professionals in the field of health and nutrition:

  • David Foreman, also known as “The Herbal Pharmacist” is an established author, and currently on the  editorial advisory board for Nutritional Outlook and on the content advisory board for Vitafoods Europe, Vitafoods Asia and Vitafoods Insights.

 

  • Douglas Lynch, CEO of MarketWell Nutrition Inc., has three decades of experience in the clinical nutrition and wellness industries. He has an award-winning product background in sales and marketing of dietary supplements, medical foods, functional foods, cosmetics, animal nutrition, and proprietary actives.

 

  • Diana Morgan, VP of global regulatory and government affairs for Nutrabolt, makers of the famous C4 Energy, is the founder of What’s Up with Supps. She has numerous years of experience in the natural products industry, having worked for reputable brands in the US nutritional supplement industry.

We are thankful to the jury and all visitors at SupplySide West for voting Brainberry® as the winner in the Nootropics category of Ingredient Idol 2023. Brainberry® was recognized for its advantages such as the low daily dose of 65mg, clinically backed benefits for improving focus and eye-hand coordination, and convenience of formulating in different product formats.

We strongly believe in the importance of clinical research backing up all our ingredients in order to offer true innovation in the health ingredients market. Brainberry® is an extract from Aronia Melanocarpa, standardized for Cyanadin-3-O-glycosides (>25%) and, specifically cyanidin-3-O-galactoside (>15%). It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and improve neuronal signaling and synaptic plasticity. It is positioned for brain and cognitive support suitable for students, workers, gamers and athletes.

Consumer studies with acute and 7-days intake of 65mg Brainberry® among gamers and professional basketball players demonstrate improved eye-hand coordination, focus and reaction time, without negative impact on sleep or anxiety in self-reported questionnaires.

 

To learn more about Brainberry®, visit www.brainberry.eu, to explore other clinically validated ingredients by Solabia-BioActor, click here.


Environmental-benefits-of-Aronia

Baltic Brainfuel: Discover the health and sustainability behind the Nero Eggert variety of Aronia berries

Baltic Brainfuel: Discover the health and sustainability behind the Nero Eggert variety of Aronia berries

August 31st, 2023

Discover the world of Aronia berries, where health and sustainability intertwine in the extraordinary Nero Eggert variety. With its exceptional nutritional profile and eco-conscious characteristics, this superfruit is a beacon of wellness for both individuals and the planet. Learn more about the reasons Aronia berries are superfruits and about the ever more special Nero Eggert variety.

Environmental-benefits-of-Aronia

Aronia berries: Sustainable health-enhancers

Aronia berries are small dark fruits that are becoming increasingly popular amongst health-conscious consumers as they have excellent content in micronutrients and strong antioxidant properties. Moreover, they have many health benefits.

Apart from providing numerous health benefits, Aronia berries are also interesting from an environmental perspective, thanks to some unique characteristics of this plant.

This is particularly true for the variety called Nero Eggert, selected by BioActor to produce the active ingredient for brain health, namely Brainberry®.

Join us, while we dive into the reasons why Aronia berries are considered superfruit and why the Nero Eggert variety is especially great.

We visited Mr. Eggert, who spent more than 30 years on creating the Nero Eggert variety. Watch the video below:

Aronia Berries: Reason they are excellent for health and sustainability reasons

1. Full of nutrients and anthocyanins:

Aronia berries are more than just berries – they’re nutritional powerhouses. Packed with vital vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers, these berries contribute significantly to your overall well-being. However, their true power lies in their antioxidant content, particularly the anthocyanins. These antioxidants play a pivotal role in combating oxidative stress and supporting cellular health.

2. Multifaceted health benefits:

Aronia berries have diverse health benefits. From bolstering cardiovascular health to enhancing cognitive function, these berries offer a holistic approach to health.

3. Embracing sustainability:

What truly sets Aronia berries apart is their minimal impact on the environment. Unlike resource-intensive crops, Aronia plants thrive on modest water consumption and natural pest resistance, making them a responsible and sustainable choice for environmentally-conscious consumers.

Nero Eggert variety: What sets it apart from other Aronia berries?

1. Sustainable harvesting methods:

Meet the Nero Eggert Aronia variety – a game-changer in sustainable agriculture. With unique low-reaching branches, this breed helps with harvesting practices. Not only does it yield more fruit per land area, but it also provides reduced land usage, striking a balance between productivity and ecological responsibility.

2. Flourishing amidst harsh climates:

Witness nature’s resilience through the Nero Eggert variety. Flourishing even in freezing temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius, these berries naturally rejuvenate during harsh winters, eliminating the need for chemical interventions. This adaptation showcases the variety’s capacity to coexist harmoniously with the environment.

3. Abundant in anthocyanins:

The Nero Eggert variety’s high anthocyanin content is a testament to its ability to thrive under stress. The challenging climate it thrives in stimulates the production of these antioxidants, making every berry a valuable source of natural health support.

4. Bee-friendly:

Beyond its health and sustainability attributes, the Nero Eggert Aronia berry plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Its extended flowering period provides nourishment for bees during their lifecycle, promoting biodiversity and exemplifying the variety’s contribution to preserving nature’s balance.

Nero Eggert Aronia Berries: A blend of health and sustainability

The Nero Eggert Aronia berry seamlessly intertwines health benefits and sustainable practices. For this reason, we have chosen this unique fruit as the base for our Brainberry® extract, which has been clinically validated to boost your cognitive performance.

Feel free to contact BioActor via info@bioactor.com and visit www.brainberry.eu and www.bioactor.com to learn more about Brainberry® or click here to learn everything you need to know about Brainberry® and brain health.


Ways to increase focus in students

Ways to increase focus in students

January 19th, 2023

Studying can become an overwhelming task due to focus loss. However, the good news is that there are plenty of productive ways to improve your focus. Planning tasks beforehand, practicing meditation, exercising and also changing your eating habits are just a few things you could do as a student to gain that extra kick of focus.

Focus loss in students

The process of studying can become a quite challenging task for students these days. A lot of effort is needed to concentrate on study materials for various reasons such as information load, distractions, lack of focus and other external factors.

Students however tend to overlook the obstacles they face and therefore get used to bad studying habits. These lead to physical and mental fatigue making studying an unattainable goal.

Why do students lose their focus?

Even if the end of the pandemic has alleviated students from isolation, online courses, and reinstated interaction with their peers; it has also distorted their focus when following courses on academic grounds.

Distractions caused by social media are an important reason for focus loss. This is because the use of mobile phones and the internet is an integral part of their daily life, especially since it has become the primary communication tool these days.

Bad eating habits and unstable sleeping patterns can also lead to the loss of focus. Most students tend to “make their lives easier” by avoiding nutritious meal preparations and thus consuming unhealthy snacks and food options.

Also, studies have shown that students have an overall poor sleep quality consisting of disrupted and short sleep patterns (1). These factors can all affect mental health and the ability to concentrate leading to nonproductive behaviors (2).

How to increase your focus as a student

The good news is that there are plenty of productive ways to improve your focus as a student.

First of all, a planner might narrow the overwhelming feeling and help reach achievement when starting a new task by maintaining effective schedules. This will also reduce anxiety and stress and will eventually improve concentration and productivity.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also help with building focus. Taking short breaks in between study sessions will aid with clearing your mind. This is vital to mental health and concentration.

Another way to enhance focus is brain training. The brain benefits from regular exercise and there are ways to specifically train your brain. Memory games, sudoku and word searchers are a successful way to stay off your phone while activating different parts of the brain and boosting your concentration.

These are all exciting tips, but did you know nutrition and eating patterns also have an influence on your ability to focus?

Foods that can improve your focus

Nutrition affects your brain performance. There are foods known for improving attentiveness when incorporated into one’s daily diet. Berries, fatty fish, nuts, and eggs are just some options which have shown to have great effects on brain health (3).

While diet is key to a healthier lifestyle, students often find it difficult to retain a nutritious diet due to preparation time and costs. While keeping in mind that a healthy balanced diet is essential, adding supplements is a way to boost your nutrient intake!

Essential vitamins and minerals

Supplements are an effective way to get the vitamins and minerals you need. Omega-3, vitamin D, C & B12 and magnesium are good options for memory and concentration and have been found to contribute to overall enhanced concentration and focus.

In fact, studies have shown that people with a low Vitamin B12 and D intake show poor learning ability (4).

Anthocyanins

Fruits containing antioxidants are highly necessary to be included in your diet, especially when willing to boost your focus. More specifically, a category of antioxidants shown to have beneficial effects related to focus is anthocyanins. These anthocyanins have been associated with increasing cognitive performance in several studies.

Anthocyanins are antioxidants better known for giving fruits and vegetables a distinctive blue, purple or red color. (5)

Examples of antocyanin-containing fruits are blueberries, cherries, red grapes, and black plums. However, one of the highest concentrations of anthocyanins has been found in Aronia Melanocarpa, also known as the black chokeberry.

Aronia Melanocarpa contains high levels of the anthocyanin Cyanidin-3-0-Galactoside which has been shown to have effects on brain health and cognition. (6)

Curious to know more about the anthocyanin Cyanidin-3-O-galactoside? Click here!

Boost your focus with these tips

Studying properly is a skill that is learnt over time. Being able to concentrate on studying is an integral part of this skill. However, by integrating the above-mentioned techniques in your daily lives, you can certainly get an extra boost of focus and allow yourself to come close to your ideal studying practice.


Everything-you-need-to-know-about-brainberry-and-brain-health

Everything you need to know about Brainberry® and brain health

Everything you need to know about Brainberry® and brain health

November 23rd, 2022

We constantly use the brain to make decisions, to coordinate our movements, to focus and to memorize thousands of things. For this reason it is of utmost importance to make sure our brain is healthy. Every day we learn more about the brain and about how important it is to support our brain’s health. In this article, we will discuss what brain health is, why it is important, and how an ingredient like Brainberry® can help you support it.

Everything-you-need-to-know-about-brainberry-and-brain-health

What is brain health and why is it important?

The brain is a massive network of neurons, that accounts for 2% of our body weight. It is a very active organ that makes a ton of decisions on a daily basis, and despite its weight, it uses up to 20% of our total oxygen per day!

Other than oxygen, the brain needs a lot of nutrients to keep processes running, even when we are not awake. These nutrients are important to keep the brain healthy, meaning that it can function across cognitive, sensory, social, and motor domains. A healthy brain allows a person to live life to its fullest potential, which is why it’s important to keep your brain healthy.

How can you support brain health?

There are plenty of ways to keep your brain healthy. It has been shown that regular exercise is beneficial, but also that enough sleep is good for keeping a healthy brain. Both staying socially involved and staying mentally active are also good for brain health and have been shown to ward off depression and stress.

Another way to support your brain health is by improving your gut health. The bidirectional communication system between your gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis and research has shown that gut bacteria and their metabolites affect brain health.

Moreover, your diet plays an enormous role in brain health. The Mediterranean diet is seen as supportive of a well-functioning brain because it includes a wide variety of nutrient-providing foods. Examples of these are seafood, fruits, vegetables, and olives.

Also supplementing with specific compounds can be a useful approach to support brain health. Berry anthocyanins are an example of specific compounds that can exhibit a beneficial effect on brain health and function.

More specifically, Aronia Melanocarpa berries, rich in anthocyanins, have been shown to provide health benefits on immune health, cardiovascular function, and brain health due to their antioxidant properties.

What are Aronia Melanocarpa berries?

Aronia berries are little dark fruits that belong to the Rosaceae Family. They are native to North America but are mostly grown in the Baltic region of Europe, where it was introduced in the first half of the 20th century.

As the locations where the plant is cultivated suggest, the Aronia plant is a low-demanding plant and thrives in harsher and colder regions.

Environmental-benefits-of-Aronia

What are the health benefits of Aronia berries?

Aronia berries have a lot of health benefits. They contain high levels of vitamin C, but the main reason they are healthy is due to their high level of polyphenols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, which are all types of antioxidants. In fact, they contain one of the highest levels of antioxidants among all berries.

The main reason antioxidants are considered to be healthy is because they can help to prevent free radicals from damaging the body’s cells. The health benefits of Aronia berries include strengthening the immune system, improving cardiovascular health, and improving brain health. For this function, they are considered a superfruit (1, 2).

Among the anthocyanins in Aronia berries is the phytocompound cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, which is a key molecule for brain health.

What is Cyanidin-3-O-Galactoside?

Cyanidin 3-O-Galactoside (Cy3Gal) is a powerful anthocyanin naturally present in some foods and found in high concentrations in Aronia melanocarpa berries.

Several health benefits of Cy3Gal, also known as Idaein, have been researched in humans due to its excellent antioxidant capacity as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties (3). However, the brain health benefits might be the most interesting aspect of Cy3Gal.

Cy3Gal is a water-soluble molecule, which can cross the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, it can exert a health benefit on several brain regions, including the cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus.

What brain health benefits are associated with Cyanidin-3-O-galatoside?

Cy3Gal can cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows it to impact brain health in multiple regions of the brain. Firstly, in the hippocampus, Cy3Gal can lower the activity of acetylcholine esterase. As a result, acetylcholine is broken down at a slower rate, resulting in higher levels of this neurotransmitter. This leads to improved neuronal signaling.

In mice, Cy3Gal has been shown to relieve neuronal damage in the hippocampus and cortex and there is evidence that Cy3Gal may improve cognitive function (3, 4).

One of the most interesting effects of Cy3Gal is that it can increase the activity of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has many beneficial effects.

What is brain-derived neurotrophic factor?

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein highly expressed in the central nervous system and especially in the brain. It promotes the growth of neurons, more specifically the dendrites and dendritic spines. This supports the hippocampus, a brain region good for learning and long-term memory. BDNF is also involved in repairing brain damage.

An ideal ingredient to target brain health is the Aronia Melanocarpa extract Brainberry®.

What is Brainberry®?

Brainberry® is an Aronia Melanocarpa extract that is standardized for high levels of Cy3Gal. It is designed to enhance cognitive performance and brain fitness and it has been clinically tested in multiple studies.

Brainberry® contains high levels of Cy3Gal, which makes it an interesting ingredient for brain health formulations to target benefits mentioned before. Even more so, because Brainberry® has been clinically tested in several studies that are further described in its White Paper.

It has been shown that Brainberry® has beneficial effects on cognitive performance, such as attention and psychomotor speed, executive function, and memory. Moreover, effects on vascular function and cardiometabolic risk markers were investigated.

Provided its health benefits, Brainberry® is an interesting ingredient for a wide variety of consumers, such as athletes, gamers and students.

How can Brainberry® support athletes?

Power, endurance and focus are important during sports. Increasing psychomotor speed and hand-eye coordination is an important goal for many athletes. For this reason, there is a diverse collection of products focused on increasing these parameters.

Pre-workout formulas are an example of this. These products are consumed by athletes from all disciplines briefly prior to their workout or training. The goal of consuming these types of formulas is to enhance acute exercise performance (5). Brainberry® can increase focus, psychomotor speed and mental flexibility, which is why it is a good ingredient for a pre-workout formula.

Additionally, Brainberry® has been demonstrated to significantly enhance cognitive performance in 35 professional basketball players. It also improved basketball-specific skills like shooting, rebounding, and dribbling.

How can Brainberry® help gamers?

Gaming requires many skills, such as visual-spatial skills that allow you to analyze, recognize, and rapidly respond to changes on the screen. Besides, gaming sessions can last for hours, which means enhanced attention and focus are crucial.

Brainberry®’s high levels of Cy3Gal, which improves focus and psychomotor control, make it a relevant ingredient for gaming supplements.

This is further supported by a consumer study done with Brainberry® in young, healthy e-gamers. In this study, Brainberry® significantly improved relevant measures for gaming performance, such as hand-eye coordination, focus, reaction time and energy.

How could students benefit from Brainberry®?

There is a lot of pressure on students to perform well during their studies while also being involved in a social environment. They study for entire days, especially during exam periods.

Coffee seems to be a common good for students in these periods, but did you know there are quite some substitutes for coffee that don’t have the downsides of causing stress, anxiety and sometimes sleeping problems?

Brainberry® could be an interesting solution for students who want to stay focused on their studies but don’t want the well-known caffeine rush later followed by a crash in energy levels.

That’s because Cy3Gal, the hero component of Brainberry®, is a powerful antioxidant that supports brain function and focus, without the sometimes-troublesome side effects of caffeine.

Other benefits of Brainberry®

Except for being clinically proven to enhance psychomotor speed, focus and attention, Brainberry® has other benefits as well. It is 100% natural as it is extracted from high-quality Aronia berries from the Baltics.

The dosage of Brainberry® is very low at 65 mg and it does not contain any stimulants that are usually associated with undesired side effects. This makes Brainberry® a healthier option compared to many stimulants.

The bioavailability of Cy3Gal is very high, which means it is rapidly absorbed by the body. Also, Brainberry® is easy to formulate thanks to its excellent solubility and pleasant taste.

Lastly, there are many environmental benefits of Aronia Melanocarpa. The Aronia plant helps keep bees healthy and happy, consumes little water and is naturally organic.

Learn more about Brainberry®

If you are curious to know more about Brainberry®, you can check out the product page of Brainberry® or its website.