new strategy to loose weight

Are there any new strategies for weight management?

Are there any new strategies for weight management?

Maastricht, 10th May, 2024

For many different reasons, almost everyone has been concerned about their weight. Nowadays, we all want to find new effective approaches to control our weight in a healthy, sustainable, and easy manner. Could arabinoxylans be the answer we have been looking for?

new strategy to loose weight

How relevant is weight management?

 

Weight is a common worry for a large part of society. Whether it is driven by aesthetic preferences or health considerations, almost everyone has thought about losing some weight. Body image and the beauty standard that is established in the Western culture plays an important role and pressures many to lose weight (1).  

However, there is a growing number of people interested in improving their health and quality of life: not only they want to be healthy, but they also want to feel healthy (2). As a result, there is a growing interest in holistic solutions that people can seamlessly integrate into their lifestyle without uncomfortable restrictions .

 

How to lose weight? 

 

While it’s true that weight loss ultimately comes down to burning more calories than you consume, many traditional diets and exercise programs are designed as short-term solutions that are difficult to sustain in the long run. However, new alternatives are emerging. For example: 

  • Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where the individual restricts all the calories that has to eat in a day to a few hours of eat and fasts for the rest of the day (3). Although some studies have shown this helps control weight, evidence is not strong enough (4). This pattern has to be adapted in the long term for it to work, but it is not manageable to many people.  

 

  • A high protein diet can help with weight management as protein digestion delays the hunger sensation. But for a diet to be consider high in protein (5), about 1.2 g/kg of body weight have to be consumed. In a normal diet, people consume less than 0.8 g/kg of body weight a day. Increasing the protein intake and sustaining it over time can be tricky for some people (6). In addition, people with certain health concerns such as kidney issues are not recommended to follow these diets.  

A new emerging strategy for weight management 

 

Arabinoxylans are dietary fibres found in the cell walls of plants, such as grains like wheat (7). As many dietary fibres, arabinoxylans are polysaccharides that help with gut health. They act as prebiotics, food components that are not absorbed by the intestine, but rather support digestion and the health of the gut microbiome. 

 

Research shows that arabinoxylans have the ability to regulate the postprandial (after-meal) glucose response (8). By controlling spikes in blood glucose levels, they can help regulate appetite. A more controlled glucose response is associated with a lower appetite, which usually translates in a decrease in calorie intake (9), an essential factor for weight loss and maintenance.  

 

What is the clinical evidence – can arabonoxylans help in weight management? 

 

A recent study (10, 11) with such arabinoxylans – Naxus® and inulin suggests that arabinoxylans could be a great ally for weight loss management. Participants who consumed arabinoxylans had a significant decrease in their calorie consumption, meanwhile their self-reported appetite did not decrease. 

 

It is believed that the increase in beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Propionibacterium, led to an increase in production of short-chain fatty acids (SCAFs). Additionally, there was also an increase in acetate, which can have an effect on appetite independently, explaining the study’s results.  

 

Including arabinoxylans in strategies for weight loss could be more approachable for a certain type of consumers that struggle to change their eating habits. This approach would not require a complete change of their routine, adding products enriched with arabinoxylans to their diet could make a significant difference.  

 

Conclusion  

 

Whether it is for health concerns or aesthetic reasons, weight management is in the mind of many people. Our society wants to be and to feel healthy. Weight loss can be difficult to many people and most strategies are not sustainable in the long term. Adding arabinoxylans to the diet has proven to be an innovative and approachable solution that can be adopted by many people.  


adult nutrition formulas

What are adult nutrition formulas?

What are adult nutrition formulas? Types and health goals 

Maastricht, 26th April, 2024

Adult nutrition formulas represent a category of functional food products that is gaining growing popularity these days. Though such powder products were originally designed as meal replacements for weight management, adult nutrition formulas have found new relevance among adults to reach a broad range of health and nutritional goals due to their convenience, versatility, and nutritional value.

adult nutrition formulas

What are adult nutrition formulas?

These products encompass a variety of supplemental foods aimed at providing consumers with a complete and nutritious meal. These formulas typically come in ready-to-drink shakes or plant- or milk-based powders that can easily be solubilised in water or other liquids [1].

While milk-based powders have traditionally dominated the market, plant-based formulas are gaining traction and are expected to gain market share.

Typically, these formulas are fortified with functional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, fibers, and proteins to address specific consumer health goals, such as weight management, sports performance enhancement, or diabetes control [2]. Due to the popularity of these customisable supplements, new formulas are emerging rapidly.

Even though these products have targeted health aims, many of these formulas offer a comprehensive nutritional profile suitable for any individual seeking a convenient and balanced meal option. The powdered form or the pasteurised shakes grants them an extended shelf life and versatility, making them ideal for on-the-go consumption. A typical example of the latter is breakfast drinks with prebiotic fiber like arabinoxylans which are both healthy and keep you satiated for a couple of hours.

These advantageous properties make adult nutrition formulas suitable for various lifestyles, including those with busy schedules or specific dietary requirements.

Advantageous attributes of adult nutrition formulas

Adult nutrition formulas offer numerous advantages, making them highly appropriate for various lifestyles. Below are additional beneficial attributes of adult nutrition formulas:

  • No need for cold storage: powders and pasteurised shakes are very stable and resistant to spoilage, mould, or other factors affecting shelf life. This eliminates the need for cold storage, enhancing convenience for consumers.
  • High solubility and dispersibility: the products have strong soluble properties, making them highly suitable for mixing with nutrients such as plant extracts and speciality fibers such as arabinoxylans. Their ability to dissolve and disperse easily in liquids ensures a smooth and uniform texture.
  • Low/no sugar content: powders or ready-to-drink shakes often contain little sugar, making them a healthy food choice for the average consumer.
  • Low allergen: many adult nutrition formulas are free of allergens such as gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts. This makes them suitable for individuals with food sensitivities or allergies, broadening their accessibility.
  • All natural: depending on the brand, adult nutrition formulas are crafted with all-natural ingredients, free from artificial additives or preservatives.
  • Nutrient-dense: adult nutrition formulas are packed with essential nutrients per serving, providing a convenient way to meet daily nutritional needs.
  • Tailored health attributes: due to their customizable properties, adult nutrition formulas can be adjusted to any health goal.
  • Carrier for health claims: given the pack size, there is ample space both in the powder and – literally – on the label to use ingredients with health claims.
  • Part of daily ritual: since adult nutrition formulas offer the possibility of a completely nutritious and healthy serving, consumers will be encouraged to include these products in their daily routines and rituals.

Next generation: benefits beyond general nutritional support

The emerging trend of adult nutrition formulas reflects a growing demand for functional nutrition beyond basic dietary needs. While initially designed to address weight management or ‘special medical purposes’ (medical nutrition drinks such as Boost and Ensure), adult nutrition formulas have evolved to incorporate functional ingredients tailored to meet diverse health goals, particularly among middle-aged and older consumers.

Young consumers are also drawn to this part of the functional food market, particularly breakfast drinks, which offer a complete nutrition profile and sustained satiation throughout the morning. The next step in breakfast drinks is to add speciality prebiotic fiber, such as arabinoxylans, which carries a fiber claim, a health claim and contributes to a sense of fullness thanks to its viscous properties. Health-conscious individuals integrate these breakfast drinks into their dietary routines as a mindful choice.

In addition, this on-the-go product can further be enhanced to support workout or endurance sports. For example, breakfast drinks enriched with electrolytes, caffeine, branched-chain amino acids or creatine.

Health benefits of adult nutrition formulas

The formulas are designed to serve various health goals, with formulations tailored to meet specific nutrition needs. The powders were originally designed to replace complete meals. However,  these formulas have evolved to incorporate targeted health benefits, particularly for middle-aged and older consumers. Below, common health benefits including corresponding ingredients are listed:

  • Weight Management: high protein and prebiotic speciality fiber (such as arabinoxylans), variety of vitamins and minerals, and low carbohydrate and sugar content. Weight management formulas have evolved from complete meal replacement products to targeted nutrition for reducing calorie intake or satiation.
  • Immune Support: rich protein content, variety of vitamins and minerals, and speciality fibres (such as beta-glucans and arabinoxylans [3]). Examples of immune-supporting formulas are Ensure Nutrivigor, and the new Actimel Plus in larger multi-serving bottles.
  • General Well-being: various vegetable and fruit extracts, fibres, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These formulas are ideal for breakfast drinks, such as Weetabix on the go, UP&GO Breakfast Shake, and Naked Juice Core.
  • Sports Enhancement: classical formulas are high in protein and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). More recent launches combine macronutrients with functional micronutrients such as citrus flavonoids, creatine, or beta-alanine. Examples of such products are ESN Perfect Pre and Shape Code Protein Shake.
  • Diabetes Control: high in soy and whey proteins, fibre (such as arabinoxylans [4]), and MCTs. Product examples are BOOST Glucose Control and FontActiv DiaBest.
  • Bone Health; high calcium, protein, collagen, magnesium, vitamin D, C and zinc. Popular product examples are ANLENE Gold 5X and Nature’s Way BoneHealth.
  • Digestive Health; prebiotic fibres (such as arabinoxylans [5]), probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of consumer products include MegaMucosa or Upfront Prebiotica.

The regulation of adult nutrition formulas

The regulatory status of adult nutrition formulas can vary depending on their intended use and formulation. In general, these products are classified as either foods, dietary supplements, or food for special medical purposes (FSMP), each subject to different regulatory frameworks.

Regulated as foods or supplements?

If the adult nutrition formula is intended to be consumed as a regular part of the diet, and does not make specific claims about treating or preventing diseases, it is typically regulated as a conventional food. In this case, it must comply with food labelling and safety regulations set by the relevant authorities, such as the FDA in the United States, or the EFSA in the European Union.

In the EU, supplements are regulated as foods and must therefore adhere to the food directives set by the EU. In the United States, however, dietary supplements must adhere to regulations set by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

Many Asian countries will consider adult nutrition formulas as food products, which often means that no prior registration is required, but also that no health claims are allowed. This is notably the case in Malaysia, China and Korea.

 

Regulated as medical foods

Foods for special medical purposes (FSMP) include oral nutritional supplements and enteral tube feeding. The definition of this varies across regions of the world.

In the EU, these foods should adhere to specific legislation and are intended for consumers whose nutritional requirements cannot be met by normal foods. These products require pre-market authorizations before they can be placed on the market. There must be scientific evidence supporting the safety, quality, and efficacy of the product. Interestingly, if such scientific evidence is available, medical claims are allowed, without having to go through the EFSA health claim route.

In the US, medical foods are regulated under the Orphan Drug Act which provides incentives for the development of products for rare diseases or conditions. These products must adhere to specific criteria, requiring that the medical food provides a medically essential nutritional component that cannot be obtained through a normal diet. Moreover, medical foods need to be taken under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

Growing popularity of adult nutrition formulas

The growing popularity of adult nutrition formulas is evidenced by the significant market growth. Initially developed for infants to ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients, these formulas attracted older populations seeking convenient, nutritionally complete meal options [6].

To illustrate, the global adult milk powder market size was $7150.54 million in 2022 and the market is projected to double by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.09% during the forecast period [7].

Particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, demand is on the rise, attributed to factors such as ageing populations and concerns for bone and muscle health. This is, for example, shown in China, where a declining birth rate has led to increased interest in adult nutrition formulas [8,9].

This emerging trend in adult nutrition formulas holds great promise for the future development of these functional food products. The high demand for nutritious food, that is customisable to consumer needs offers great potential and promising plans for the future. For instance, breakfast beverages fortified with arabinoxylan fibres exemplify this potential.


naxus in gut health formula

4 reasons to include Naxus® in your gut health formulation

4 reasons to include Naxus® in your gut health formulation

Maastricht, 15th March, 2024

Arabinoxylans are essential prebiotics that exert beneficial effects on human health, particularly gut health. The relationship between diet and gut health has gained popularity in the last decades, with promising research emerging at an increasingly rapid pace. For product developers, it can be challenging to decide which ingredients to include in their gut formulation. In this article, you will discover 4 compelling reasons to include Naxus® in your gut health formulation.

What is Naxus®?

Naxus® is a patent-protected, prebiotic arabinoxylan extract sourced from the wheat endosperm. It can boost the immune system and improve gut health.

Solabia-BioActor developed Naxus® and conducted extensive research in collaboration with Maastricht University, Wageningen University & Research, Institute Pasteur and more, demonstrating its positive effects in numerous studies.

Clinical research in diverse populations shows that Naxus® promotes gut health by improving intestinal barrier function, increasing beneficial micro-organisms (e.g., Bifidobacteria and Bacteroides), improving the short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profile and inducing cytokine and chemokine production (1, 2, 3).

Naxus® exerts its beneficial effects at doses starting at 1 g. Click below to see the scientific evidence.

4 reasons why Naxus® is a great addition to gut health formulations

If you are considering including Naxus® in your formulation for gut health, you should consider the following aspects:

 

1. Naxus® improves SCFA profile and strengthens the gut barrier

Health-promoting micro-organisms are present in the gut and help to protect the gut wall from pathogens and bad bacteria. Studies have demonstrated that Naxus® supports the growth of beneficial microbiota (1). Consequently, these microbiota produce advantageous SCFAs like propionate and butyrate.

SCFA production is related to a variety of positive health effects. To illustrate, these metabolites reduce the risk of developing inflammation and promote psychological and physical health. Moreover, they regulate the host immune system and improve metabolic health (4, 5).

 

2. Naxus® supports the immune system 

Naxus® has proven immunomodulatory properties by enhancing gut barrier integrity and improving the adaptive and innate immune system.

Research indicates that Naxus® improves multiple gut barrier parameters such as reduced intestinal permeability, increased goblet cell number, and higher intestinal immunoglobin A concentrations (6).

Additionally, Naxus® has been shown to increase vaccination efficacy against influence resulting in fewer adverse events, fewer respiratory tract infections, and improved seroprotection rates (7).

Moreover, Naxus® improves the innate immune system, leading to an increased immune system vigilance (2, 3).

 

3. Naxus® is slowly fermentable without bloating

Naxus® is composed of long and complex carbohydrate molecules, that ferment slowly and gradually (8). Therefore, Naxus® has an advantage over other fibres like inulin, because it does not cause intestinal complaints such as bloating and gas formation in the gut.

 

4. Naxus® can be used in many formulation types

Arabinoxylans, with their favourable physicochemical properties, have been successfully incorporated into numerous food products. Naxus® is wheat-derived and gluten-free and is therefore suitable for various formulations.

Naxus® has an emulsifying capacity and influences the viscosity of multiple foods. Its effects have been tested in products such as pasta, bread, beer, cakes, and cookies. For example, in the bread-making processes, arabinoxylans positively affect dough consistency, loaf volumes, crumb structure, and bread staling.

These beneficial technological characteristics prove the potential to include Naxus® in any gut health formulation.

 

Naxus®, the key ingredient for your gut health formulation

Naxus® contributes to your gut health by improving the microbiome, protecting the intestinal gut barrier, and supporting the immune system. It is a patent-protected product that bears an EFSA claim for reduction of post-prandial glycemic response and can be incorporated into multiple food products due to its beneficial properties.

Its innovative and science-based nature makes it a valuable addition to optimise your gut health formulation!


fruits-and-a-cupcake

Exploring the ways blood sugar impacts your health

Exploring the ways blood sugar impacts your health

April 20th, 2023

Are you aware that your blood sugar levels can change frequently, and it is important to maintain a stable level in order to improve your overall health? In this article, you will get acquainted with the reason your blood sugar levels might fluctuate, the effects of these changes on your health, and tips to help you on maintaining a stable blood sugar level.

fruits-and-a-cupcake

Sugar and blood sugar levels

Sugars and carbohydrates are widely consumed substances across the world. They play a vital role in providing energy to the body and in regulating the blood sugar levels, or blood glucose levels, throughout the day (1).

After a meal, our metabolism works to keep our blood sugar levels steady. It does this by reducing the production of sugar (glucose) and promoting its storage as both short-term and long-term energy reserves (2).

The way your body metabolism responds after eating depends on the type of sugar you consume – simple sugars or complex sugars (1). Foods such as sugar-sweetened foods, beverages, and refined grains are a source of simple sugars, which are associated with higher increases on blood sugar levels.

Sources of complex sugars include minimally processed grains, legumes, and whole fruits. These are considered as a better option to maintain a steady blood sugar level.

When simple sugars and complex sugars are consumed in excess, or under consumed from processed food sources, acute and/or chronic conditions might arise as consequences.

What happens if your blood sugar levels are too high?

We already know that high blood sugar levels might have negative impacts on our health. Stress, some sort of medications, insulin resistance and an unhealthy lifestyle are the core of the increasing of the blood sugar levels (2,3).

Usually, people with higher blood sugar levels tend to experience an increase in feeling thirsty and they have a higher urinating frequency. Experiencing blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue are also symptoms.

On the long term, high blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other organ damages, like nerves, eyes, kidneys, and brain (3).

What happens if your blood sugar levels are too low?

On the other hand, the low blood sugar levels might also have negative impact on your health, occurring when you don’t eat enough carbohydrates according to your nutritional requirements or when the physical exercise is inappropriate in contrast to your food intake (2).

If your body is deprived of having enough fuel to sustain life, the central nervous system won’t be able to synthesize glucose, store, or concentrate glucose from the body circulation (4). As consequence, a brief decrease on the blood sugar levels might cause severe central nervous system dysfunction, and a prolonged decrease might cause cell death and coma.

Commonly, but depending on the severity and duration of the low blood sugar level, people tend to experience shakiness, confusion, irritability, sweating, and a fast heartbeat.

Strategies to maintain a stable blood sugar level

To begin with, it is important to understand what the normal blood sugar levels are. A fasting blood glucose level between 70 and 99 mg/dL is considered normal regardless of some variations caused by diet, physical exercise or medication as mentioned before (12).

When the blood sugar levels are higher or lower than this level some strategies need to be considered:

1. Implementing a healthy diet according to your nutritional needs is one of the strategies to maintain a stable blood sugar levels (5).
Specifically, consuming high in fibre foods such as foods rich in whole grains as source of arabinoxylans seems to be a good adding to a healthy diet along with fruits and vegetables (6). Curious about arabinoxylans? Read our article here.

What’s more? Lean proteins, and healthy fats and limited added sugars consuming are as well associated with better blood sugar control.

2. Physical exercise is an essential part of a comprehensive lifestyle changing (5). Studies have shown that both aerobic and resistance training have positive effects, and that combining the two types of exercise has even more positive effects. This way, combining a healthy eating with physical exercise is crucial on stabilising the blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight balance.

Why is it important to keep blood sugar stable?

Summarising, having high blood sugar levels increase the chances of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. On the other hand, having low blood sugar levels can cause problems with cognitive function and other complications. This way, adopting a healthy diet, being physically active, and controlling your weight might helping you on maintaining a stable blood sugar levels and lower the risk of experiencing these adverse health effects.


Wheat arabinoxylans health benefits

What are the health benefits of wheat arabinoxylans?

What are the health benefits of wheat arabinoxylans?

December 10th, 2021

Wheat arabinoxylans are a type of non-starch polysaccharide found in the cell walls of wheat grains. The interest in these molecules has been increasing over time due to their proven health benefits. The consumption of wheat arabinoxylans results in a strong prebiotic effect, enhancement in overall gut health and immunity, and improvement in metabolic parameters such as blood glucose and insulin levels.

Wheat arabinoxylans health benefits

What are arabinoxylans?

Arabinoxylans are a type of non-starch polysaccharide found in the cell walls of cereal grains. Arabinoxylans have been identified in all major cereal grains, including wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, sorghum, maize, and millet. They are mainly localized in the cell walls of starchy endosperm, the aleurone layer, the bran, and the husk.

Not all arabinoxylans are the same. Depending on the cereal, arabinoxylans vary in amount and structure. Wheat arabinoxylans consist of side chains linked by α-(1→2) and/or α-(1→3) bonds along the xylan backbone, and xyloses are most commonly mono-substituted.

Furthermore, the molecular structure of arabinoxylans depends on the extraction method applied. Arabinoxylans are extracted using chemical, enzymatic, or physical treatments. The different extraction techniques result in differences in the degree of polymerization (which represents the length of the arabinoxylan chains), and the content of soluble arabinoxylan.

As with all dietary fibres, their physicochemical characteristics affect the degree to which the gut microbiota utilise them. Higher degrees of polymerization and concentrations of soluble fibre relate to greater bifidogenic effects [1].

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

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

The health benefits of wheat arabinoxylans

Research around wheat arabinoxylans suggests that these compounds, as part of dietary fibre, have many beneficial physiological effects along the entire human gastrointestinal tract.

These effects depend on a complex mixture of molecular and physical properties of arabinoxylan preparations, as well as on the site, rate and extent of their digestion and fermentation in the gut.

Wheat arabinoxylans have strong prebiotic properties

Arabinoxylans have strong prebiotic properties, by selectively stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon, such as Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides species [2,3].

This change in the microbiota is associated with positive health outcomes, such as improved overall health, decreased gut infections and enhanced mineral absorption.

Additionally, intestinal bacteria ferment the prebiotics resulting in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which have numerous favourable effects.

These effects include the inhibition of harmful bacteria, colon cancer prevention or improvement of glucose tolerance, among others [4].

Wheat arabinoxylans improve glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity

Evidence suggests that wheat arabinoxylans improve metabolic control in people with impaired glucose tolerance and with diabetes type 2, by improving blood glucose and insulin levels [5].

In addition, the gut microbiota metabolize arabinoxylans, primarily producing the SCFAs butyrate, acetate and propionate. Acetate and propionate can bind to a specific protein receptor called GPCR43 in the colon.

After binding, the secretion of two peptides (PYY and GLP-1) is increased. This leads to lowered intestinal motility and decreased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. These processes are key to improving glucose handling [6].

Moreover, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded there is sufficient scientific evidence to substantiate the health claim that consuming arabinoxylans produced from wheat endosperm contributes to reducing glucose rise after a meal [7].

Nevertheless, some other soluble fibres have also associated health benefits; however, one of the advantages of arabinoxylans lies in their higher palatability.

Wheat arabinoxylans boost immune health

Arabinoxylans have immunomodulatory properties. Specifically, they enhance adaptive immunity, innate immunity and gut barrier integrity:

1. Adaptive immunity. Arabinoxylans increase vaccination efficacy against influenza, resulting in fewer adverse events, fewer respiratory tract infections and an improved seroprotection rate [8].

2. Innate immunity. As mentioned, arabinoxylans promote a beneficial SCFA profile. This leads to increased cytokine production, improved monocyte recruitment capacity, and activation of regulatory T-cells, resulting in increased immune system vigilance [9,10]. All these cells are involved in keeping the immune system in check by making sure that it returns to a stable state after invaders have been successfully cleaned up.

3. Gut barrier integrity. The SCFA butyrate provides additional energy to the gut cells and strengthens the mucus layer. Arabinoxylans further induce the upregulation of tight junction proteins, protecting the human body against foreign invaders and strengthening the immune system [11,12].

How can you add wheat arabinoxylans to your diet?

Though in small concentrations, wheat arabinoxylans naturally occur in wheat-based products. However, if you want to increase the intake of these compounds in your diet, dietary supplements or enriched functional foods are also available. They are found in capsule form, in powder blends, bars and even products such as enriched bread, pasta, and a variety of other snacks.

Generally, consuming 1 to 5 grams of arabinoxylans daily is enough to benefit from their prebiotic effect. Regarding EFSA’s health claim on glycaemic control, at least 8% of arabinoxylan-rich fibre produced from wheat endosperm per unit of available carbohydrates should be consumed.

Wheat arabinoxylans are generally considered safe and well tolerated by the gut, meaning that they do not cause intestinal discomfort [13,14].


What are postbiotics

What are postbiotics? Let's find out!

What are postbiotics? Let’s find out!

December 7th, 2021

Probiotics and prebiotics are very popular nowadays for their positive effects on gut health. Most recently, postbiotics, which are products or metabolites released from microbial fermentation, have also gained attention due to their health benefits. However, they are still unknown to the majority of consumers.

What are postbiotics

What are postbiotics?

Postbiotics are defined as a “preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host”. In other words, they are the bacterial products or metabolites released from microbial fermentation.

For this reason, postbiotics include several types of compounds, such as short-chain fatty acids (that have several health benefits), microbial cell fragments, functional proteins, extracellular polysaccharides, cell lysates or teichoic acid.

Unlike probiotics, postbiotics do not need to be alive to be beneficial, so they are more stable than the living bacteria they are derived from. [1]

Why postbiotics?

Why postbiotics when I can already take probiotics and prebiotics? This may be a question that comes up.

It is important to understand that gut microbiota composition varies between individuals. This means that the degree to which different components are metabolized may be different among persons.

As a result, probiotics and prebiotics may have different health effects between individuals. Moreover, temporal changes in our gut microbiota composition could also influence the effects of these compounds.

On the other hand, many positive health effects of probiotics and prebiotics are due to the production of components such as short-chain fatty acids, microbial fragments, functional proteins or teichoic acid.

As mentioned before, these components are postbiotics, which means that when postbiotics are taken, these components are directly ingested.

If you want to know more about prebiotics, check out this article. Or if you are familiar with prebiotics, this article about synbiotics might be for you!

What are the health benefits of postbiotics?

Research suggests that postbiotics may have several health benefits. These include the following:

 

• Modulation of the microbiota. Postbiotic components such as butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, are beneficial for gut health. [2]

 

• Modulation of the immune system. Butyrate can stimulate the production of T cells in the intestine, which helps control immune responses. Other components such as microbial cell wall fragments can increase the production of cytokines, which are chemical messengers that help reduce inflammation and boost immune responses. [2,3]

 

• Modulation of the metabolism. Propionate, a short-chain fatty acid, can help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. On the other hand, butyrate can stimulate the production of an antioxidant called glutathione. [1,2]

 

• Weight loss aid. Short-chain fatty acids may help weight loss through the modification of eating behaviours. This is due to the release of hormones that increase satiety. [1]

 

• Reduction of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. A study in 443 individuals with IBS involving orally administered, heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium bifidum, found that the postbiotic substantially alleviated symptoms associated with IBS, such as abdominal pain or discomfort, abdominal bloating and abnormal bowel habits. [4]

 

• Other potential benefits. Orally administered, inactivated lactic acid bacteria may help eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection, chronic unexplained diarrhoea and the abrogation of the negative effects of stress. [1]

How can I add postbiotics to my diet?

Postbiotics are not as easy to find as probiotics and prebiotics, but they can be purchased in health food stores and online. They are generally considered safe and well-tolerated.

As postbiotics are generated from fermentation by the bacteria in your gut, you can increase postbiotics production by eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and drinks, such as yoghurt, kefir, tempeh or kombucha. Prebiotics can be found in high-fibre foods, such as vegetables and whole-grain products.


A new study with Olecol® on attenuating sugar digestion and absorption has been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

A new study with Olecol® on attenuating sugar digestion and absorption has been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

Maastricht, The Netherlands, April 17th, 2018

Press release

The European Journal of Nutrition has published the results of the latest in-vitro and human studies with Olecol®. Olecol® attenuates post-prandial glucose spikes in healthy volunteers through the inhibition of sucrose hydrolysis and glucose transport by oleuropein.

Clinical & In-Vitro benefits of Olecol®

Oleuropein is a major constituent of olive leaves, many studies have shown the beneficial effect on various factors related to diabetes and cardiovascular development. Olecol® is standardized in oleuropein content, highly water-soluble and has already shown in two clinical studies to improve blood lipid profiles in subjects with dyslipidaemia.

The latest research on Olecol® conducted by research of Prof. Gary Williamson from University of Leeds in collaboration with BioActor, evaluated the effect of Olecol® on sugar digestion and absorption.

The researchers at Leeds University first conducted in-vitro experiments to study both carbohydrate digestion enzymes and sugar transporters in vitro. This research demonstrated how these mechanisms can positively modulate postprandial glucose in healthy volunteers consuming different types of carbohydrate. Subsequently, another in vitro study showed that Olecol® inhibited intestinal maltase, human sucrase, glucose transport across Caco-2 monolayers cells, and uptake of glucose by GLUT2 in oocyte cells.

Seven cross-over controlled randomized intervention studies, were performed on young healthy volunteers. Five minutes after either placebo or Olecol® intake, participants were given 109g of white bread (containing 50 g of available carbohydrates). It was shown that the combined action of Olecol® on sucrase and on glucose transport can lead to a significant decrease in peak glucose in healthy volunteers.

The multiple benefits of Olecol® are: improvement of blood lipid control in both subjects with hypercholesterolemia and overweight, strong antioxidant proprieties and attenuation of post- prandial sugar peaks in healthy subjects.

 

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities Olecol® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.olecol.com


Metabolic Syndrome

BioActor receives EUROSTARS grant for the FlaMeS project “Flavonoids and metabolic syndrome”

BioActor receives EUROSTARS grant for the FlaMeS project “Flavonoids and metabolic syndrome”

Maastricht, The Netherlands, October 22th, 2012

Press release
BioActor leads the international FlaMeS-consortium to develop novel in-vitro cell technology and clinical validation of Cordiart® for the prevention of the metabolic syndrome. The FlaMeS consortium is a collaboration between two innovation driven SMEs, BioActor (Netherlands) and AdipoPhyt (France). The project will result in the development and clinical validation of novel 3-D cell assays for adipose tissue development and in the clinical validation of a proprietary citrus flavonoid extract for the improvement of glycaemic control and endothelial function.

Metabolic Syndrome

The FlaMeS project

BioActor BV announced today that EUREKA has approved the FlaMeS project, submitted by BioActor and AdipoPhYt. The FlaMeS Consortium has two objectives: (1) validating novel 3-D cell-based assays to screen for effects of compounds on adipose tissue development, and (2) clinically test and validate effects of Cordiart®, a citrus peel extract, on markers associated with the metabolic syndrome.

Prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome is rapidly increasing, affecting millions of people in Europe alone. Public health authorities have recognized the need for prevention of these chronic diseases. BioActor addresses this need by developing a unique, natural product for improved functioning of blood vessels, glycemic control and heart health: Cordiart®.

Cordiart® is a natural flavonoid citrus peel extract with optimized bioavailability. This ingredient commands a high content of natural bioactive flavonoids. A number of in-vivo and human studies have shown very promising effects for Cordiart® in use for blood vessel function, glycemic control and heart health.

In order to test novel substances regarding their effects on adipose tissue (fat storage cells), new ‘humanized’ in vitro models are needed. AdipoPhYt is currently developing a cutting edge new technology “AdipoGut”, combining all present techniques and knowledge into a high quality and predictive test system. The FlaMeS project will result in a marketable functional food ingredient “Cordiart®”, with proven beneficial effects on blood flow, glycemic control and heart health and a cutting edge new in vitro screening technology.

“We are very happy with the Eureka/Eurostars commission’s trust in our project, as this clearly shows that they recognize our serious efforts in developing cutting edge food ingredients and food development technology at BioActor and our partner AdipoPhYt. This grant will enable us to further enhance our scientific knowledge on the effects of polyphenols on the human body and validate our product Cordiart®, which may even revolutionize the health market in cardiovascular disease prevention,” says Hans van der Saag, CEO BioActor.

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities Cordiart® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.cordiart.com


Wheat arabinoxylan extract

BioActor acquires Arabinoxylan-assets from DF3-WITAXOS and obtains positive EFSA opinion for its Arabinoxylan ingredient

BioActor acquires Arabinoxylan-assets from DF3-WITAXOS and obtains positive EFSA opinion for its Arabinoxylan ingredient

Maastricht, The Netherlands, April 12th, 2012

Press release
BioActor has acquired patents, know-how and clinical data relating to short-chain wheat arabinoxylans from DF3-WITAXOS. BioActor’s arabinoxylan ingredient obtained positive EFSA opinion for glycaemic control.

Wheat arabinoxylan extract

Arabinoxylan extract from wheat endosperm

BioActor BV announced today that it has acquired certain patents, manufacturing know-how and clinical data from DF3-WITAXOS. Moreover, DF3-WITAXOS’ managing director, Yann Dugenet, has joined BioActor as Director Product Development.

BioActor has already a long-chain Arabinoxylan ingredient derived from wheat endosperm in its portfolio, Naxus®, which recently obtained a positive EFSA Opinion for glycaemic control, and for which promising scientific evidence was recently obtained towards other health endpoints. Hans van der Saag, BioActor’s managing director comments; “The addition of short-chain Arabinoxylans which are derived from the same raw material source as our long chain Arabinoxylans-ingredient, further strengthens our portfolio of patented speciality fibers with clinically proven health effects”.

DF3 WITAXOS obtained excellent clinical data on prebiotic effects of its short-chain Arabinoxylans in a collaborative clinical trial with Institut Pasteur in Lille. Those results were consistent with earlier positive results from in-vitro experiments and in vivo tests on animal models. The integration of this ingredient in the Naxus® range of Arabinoxylan speciality fibers will allow for economies of scale in manufacturing and offers customers more choice in application possibilities.

EFSA has issued a positive opinion for a health claim on glycaemic control in connection with arabinoxylans produced from the wheat endosperm. EFSA proposes the following wording for the health claim: “Consumption of arabinoxylan contributes to a reduction of the glucose rise after a meal”. Naxus® is wheat endosperm derived arabinoxylan, which has been tested in several human studies and directly benefits from this health claim.

Naxus® is also being studied for immune modulation in the context of a 6 million Euro European research project – FIBEBIOTICS –, which is coordinated by Wageningen University (www.fibebiotics.eu).

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities Naxus® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.naxus.nl


Wheat arabinoxylan extract

BioActor and Jaeckering sign Joint Development & Marketing Agreement on wheat extract

BioActor and Jaeckering sign Joint Development & Marketing Agreement on wheat extract

Brussels, Belgium/Hamm, Germany, December 1st, 2005

Press release
BioActor and Jaeckering announced today a new collaboration agreement that combines Jaeckering’s know-how to extract bioactives from wheat fractions and BioActor’s know-how in the development and marketing of ingredients for functional food to counteract metabolic syndrome.

Wheat arabinoxylan extract

Collaboration targets novel wheat-based functional ingredients to counteract the metabolic syndrome.

BioActor BVBA (BioActor) and Jaeckering Muehlen-u. Naehrmittelwerke GmbH (Jaeckering) announced today that they have signed a collaboration agreement that combines Jaeckering’s know-how to extract bioactives from wheat fractions and BioActor’s know-how in the development and marketing of ingredients for functional foods. Under the terms of the agreement, BioActor will exclusively market Jaeckering’s innovative pentosan concentrate and parties will actively explore additional opportunities around wheat-based bioactives.JAECKERING in collaboration with Professor Meuser of TU Berlin has developed a proprietary production process to extract wheat pentosans from a starch production sidestream. The resulting soluble fibre product has been validated for its contribution to glycaemic control in humans by the German Institute of Human Nutrition, PotsdamRehbruecke.

According to Hans van der Saag, BioActor CEO, « together with our partner Jaeckering we will exploit the yet untapped potential of wheat for the improvement of human health. We see great opportunities for speciality wheat-based products in combat against metabolic syndrome. Jaeckering’s speciality pentosan concentrate that we will market under the brand NAXUS® has been clinically tested for improved glycaemic control and has excellent food technological properties. Moreover, Jaeckering’s manufacturing prowess acquired over the past 100 years, will greatly help us in developing new and innovative wheat-based health ingredients».

Michel Andreae Jaeckering, CEO of JAECKERING GRUPPE commented that «We are very pleased to have entered into this collaboration with BioActor, a technology company fully focussed on the health ingredients sector. We expect that our collaboration will accelerate the market introduction of our pentosan product and will lead to the introduction of additional new health ingredients».

Jäckering is a major German wheat processor with more than 200.000 tons per annum Wheat grinding capacity and more than 100.000 tons p.a. wheat starch production facilities. Jäckering also produces and markets innovative grinding and drying technology under the brand name ULTRA ROTOR.

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information.