vitafoods europe solabia nutrition

MEET US - VitaFoods Europe 2024

Meet us at VitaFoods Europe 2024

 March 25th, 2024

Solabia Nutrition is exhibiting again at VitaFoods Europe 2024 in Geneva! We are looking forward to welcoming you to our booth H142! 

solabia nutrition VitaFoods Europe 2024

We are looking forward to exhibiting at VitaFoods Europe from May 14th to 16th, 2024. Come visit us at booth H142 and explore our range of premium health ingredients.

This year, we are also organising a Hydration Station to showcase the natural taste and color of our water-soluble ingredients. You will have the opportunity to try some creative cocktails in our own bar area!

Book a meeting!

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


    • AstaPure® contains natural astaxanthin for cellular health. This powerful anti-oxidant is a great fit for an anti-aging product formula.


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


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


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


    • WATTS’UP® is a citrus extract with high bioavailability of Hesperidin. Clinical data showcases the benefits of WATTS’UP® for endurance and strength. 

    Which ingredients shoul be included in a pre-workout formula

    Which ingredients should a pre-workout formula include?

    The best ingredients for a pre-workout

    Last updated: March 6th, 2024

    January 13th, 2022

    If you are looking for the ideal pre-workout formula, you came to the right place. In this article, we explore the most relevant ingredients that your pre-workout should include to target power, focus and endurance.

    Which ingredients shoul be included in a pre-workout formula

    Many gym-goers seek pre-workout supplements to enhance performance, but choosing the right ingredients remains a challenge.

    In this article, we explore a few effective ingredients to target the 3 main benefits a high-quality pre-workout should provide: power, focus and endurance.

    What is a pre-workout?

    These formulations are combinations of ingredients, designed to boost energy and performance. That’s why athletes from all disciplines typically consume them shortly before their workout or training.

    The goal of consuming these formulas is to enhance acute exercise performance [1]. You can find pre-workouts in different forms, like drinks, gels or capsules, yet ready-to-drink powders are by far the most common format.

    Essential aspects of a pre-workout

    If you consider consuming a pre-workout to improve your performance, there are a few things to take into account before making a purchase.

    Firstly, you want an effective product that delivers three main benefits: power, focus and endurance.

    Secondly, choosing a product that provides rapid onset of these effects is important, ideally within 15-30 minutes of intake.

    Lastly, it is best to select a formula that contains natural ingredients and avoid consuming high amounts of stimulants like caffeine.

    In the next section, we look at the ingredients that you should look for in a pre-workout.

    Ingredients for power

    These ingredients  enhance muscular strength and power, optimizing performance during workouts [2].


    Citrulline malate

    This ingredient consists of citrulline, a non-essential amino acid, and malic acid, an intermediate in the citric acid cycle.

    Citrulline malate may improve blood flow during exercise by augmenting nitric oxide (NO) levels, as citrulline is a NO precursor [3].

    Currently, it is unclear whether the performance improvement is linked to this mechanism, but several studies support an improvement in peak power output after citrulline malate consumption [4,5].



    Creatine is one of the most well-researched ingredients in sports nutrition. This ingredient increases intramuscular creatine levels. Short-term energy generation in muscle tissue comes virtually 100% from creatine – the phosphorylated isoform, Cr-P.

    Daily intake of 3 g promotes anaerobic performance in the gold standard Wingate Test [6]. Furthermore, researchers found beneficial effects on exercise recovery with creatine intake, reducing exercise-induced muscle damage [7].

    Ingredients for focus

    These ingredients ensure that you can focus on your movements to execute them with high precision [2]. Focus is commonly referred to as the mind-muscle connection.



    If you are looking for an alternative to caffeine to boost your focus, you might want to learn more about Brainberry®.
    Brainberry® is a natural Aronia berry extract developed by BioActor to enhance cognitive performance. Research revealed that the consumption of Brainberry® increases focus, psychomotor speed and mental flexibility [8,9].

    In particular, a study on 35 professional basketball players, showed important benefits after one week of supplementation. This study highlighted the ability of Brainberry® to significantly enhance cognitive performance and improve basketball-specific skills like shooting, rebounding and dribbling.

    Cyanidin-3-O-Galactoside is the active ingredient in Brainberry® and plays an important role in improving brain health and cognitive functions.

    Want to know more about Cy3Gal, and how it is involved in brain health? Read this article!



    Caffeine is another ingredients that is well-researched in sports nutrition [2]. It is known for its ability to provide acute ergogenic effects.
    A daily dose of 3 mg/kg bodyweight is linked to improvements in alertness, vigilance, mood and cognitive processes during exercise [10].

    However, a comparison between non-caffeine and caffeine-containing pre-workout formulas concluded that the caffeine-containing pre-workout reduces calmness. If you are training in the evening, this might be a reason to pass on caffeine [11].

    Ingredients for endurance

    These ingredients are important to provide nutrients to feel energized until the end of your workout [2].



    Beta-alanine is a carnosine precursor, a compound that buffers lactate build-up in the muscle tissue, prolonging the feeling of soreness.

    It has been shown that 4-6 g of beta-alanine consumption per day for two weeks improves high-intensity exercise performance. Regular consumption maintains a certain level of intramuscular carnosine levels, as beta-alanine is the limiting factor in carnosine production [12].



    Carbohydrates play a crucial role in providing sustained energy levels during prolonged exercises. However, the amount needed depends on the type of exercise [13]. For typical gym sessions lasting between 45 to 120 minutes, consuming a small amount of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates shortly before exercise can be beneficial.

    For longer endurance activities, such as marathon training or extended cardio sessions, a larger intake of carbohydrates is necessary to optimize performance [14]. Slow-release carbohydrates could be a consideration for endurance athletes.

    Citrus flavonoids – For power and endurance

    If you want to take your pre-workout to the next level, an additional ingredient you may want to include in your pre-workout formula is citrus flavonoids (hesperidin).

    WATTS’UP® is a natural Citrus sinensis extract researched and developed by BioActor. The recommended daily dose (clinical dose) for this ingredient is 400-500 mg.

    Two randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials conducted by BioActor confirmed that WATTS’UP® can significantly improve peak force, endurance capacity and anaerobic power in trained subjects.

    Further research revealed that WATTS’UP® works by stimulating nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in blood vessels, thus stimulating vasodilation and better blood flow. [15]

    Moreover, it was demonstrated that WATTS’UP® boosts mitochondria efficiency and respiration capacity. This resulted in 33% higher ATP production – the fuel for our muscles [16].

    Therefore, WATTS’UP® would be a great addition to any sports nutrition supplement.


    In conclusion, pre-workouts are tailored combinations of ingredients aimed at enhancing energy and performance for athleses across various disciplines. Each ingredient serves a specific function, contributing to distinct aspects of sports performance.

    Citrulline malate and creatine are dedicated to increase power, whereas Brainberry® and caffeine improve focus. Furthermore, beta-alanine and carbohydrates are valuable ingredients to enhance endurance performance.

    Lastly, citrus flavonoids, such as WATTS’UP®, offer a promising dual benefit for any pre-workout formulation by boosting both power and endurance.

    Discover YAMAMOTO’s Success Story

    Learn how YAMAMOTO integrated WATTS’UP® into their products, driving remarkable success.


    nutraceuticals 2024 solabia bioactor

    MEET US - Barcelona 2024

    Meet us at Nutraceuticals Europe 2024

     February 22, 2024

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

    SOLABIA bioactor nutraceuticals barcelona

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

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


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


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


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


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

    Book a meeting!

      hydration sports drinks

      How to stay hydrated and increase physical performance?

      How to stay hydrated and increase physical performance?

      Maastricht, 16th February 2024

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

      hydration sports drinks

      What is water balance?

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

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


      How to maintain a healthy water balance and prevent dehydration?

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


      The role of electrolytes

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

      Sports drinks with electrolytes

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

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

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

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


      How to improve your standard sports drink beyond electrolytes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

      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.


      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.


      eye strain stop

      How do you relieve eye strain

      How do you relieve eye strain?

      Maastricht, 15th December 2023

      Tingling sensation in your eyes and headaches? Struggling to keep your eyes open? Eye strain is a common condition caused by intense focusing of the eyes during a task, such as during prolonged exposure to digital devices. This condition has become increasingly common since COVID-19, a period during which our reliance on phones and laptops has grown significantly. In this article, we will explore what eye strain is and provide practical steps to help prevent it.

      eye strain stop

      What is eye strain? Causes and symptoms

      Also known as Asthenopia, eye strain is linked to physical fatigue of the eye. It occurs when your eyes get tired from intense focus, such as while driving, reading for hours or staring at a screen.

      Several distinct causes can lead to eye strain. But nowadays, most of the oxidative stress leading to eye fatigue is caused by prolonged exposure to screens as the radiated blue light can induce photoreceptor damage (1, 2, 3). Common symptoms are:

      • Irritated or dry eyes
      • Blurring of vision
      • Headaches or sensibility to light
      • Body pain, neck or shoulder pain.

      Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce eye strain.

      Practical tips to prevent eye strain

      Whether in the form of energy drinks or supplements, consumption of caffeine seems to be the first option for people who want to avoid fatigue.

      While caffeine can indeed make you feel more awake and energetic, it’s essential to be aware that its consumption can also lead to adverse effects, including heightened stress, anxiety, or tachycardia (4). It is advisable to reduce caffeine consumption and to explore these alternatives:


      Adapted equipment

      To enhance your comfort, ensure you properly adjust screen settings like brightness and contrast on your digital devices. 60 to 70% contrast and brightness are usually recommended for reduced eye strain. The use of anti-blue light glasses or anti-blue light filters for screens is also recommended (5).


      Yoga ocular exercises
      Practicing eye yoga is a good way of providing effective relief for your eyes and minimize eye fatigue symptoms by increasing the efficiency of extraocular muscles (6). Here is a simple exercise: sweep your eyes from left to right and then up and down, always going as far as you can. Do this exercise for a couple of minutes twice a day.


      Artificial tears
      Using non-prescription artificial tears keeps your eyes moisturised and relieves eye irritation and dry eyes. If the symptoms of eye strain are causing major discomfort, see your eye doctor before getting any medication.


      Eye health supplements to relieve eye strain
      Nutritional supplements rich in antioxidants can promote healthy visual function (7). We will explore a few options to consider in the next section.

      Ingredients for maintaining eye health


      1.Zinc is a crucial mineral with various vital functions in our body. One of the important nutritional effects of zinc is slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration (8), Оne of the leading causes of visual disability worldwide. Studies have demonstrated that zinc supplementation, when combined with other antioxidants, can suppress retinal degeneration.


      2. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is essential for maintaining proper nerve function and overall eye health. Thiamine is responsible for transmitting visual information from the eyes to the brain. While there is limited direct evidence directly linking vitamin B1 to alleviating eye strain, its general benefits for nerve function may indirectly contribute to reducing eye discomfort (9). Adequate thiamine levels may help optimize nerve function, potentially reducing the likelihood or severity of eye strain (10).


      3. Astaxanthin is a powerful carotenoid. It exerts its antioxidant properties in the ciliary muscle which controls focus in the eyes. Eye strain is usually present if this muscle is overworked by staring at a screen all day long. Astaxanthin works directly to relax the ciliary muscle and therefore reduce eye strain.


      4. Anthocyanins are known to improve blood flow and concentration. Commonly present in red, blue, or purple fruits and vegetables, they contain a specific anthocyanin, Cyanidin-3-O-galactoside. This is also the main active ingredient of Brainberry®, the Aronia Melanocarpa extract researched and developed by BioActor. Clinical studies have validated this ingredient’s efficacy in improving focus and hand-eye coordination.

      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, to explore other clinically validated ingredients by Solabia-BioActor, click here.