hormone free ingredients

What are the benefits of hormone-free products?

What are the benefits of hormone-free supplements?

Maastricht, 24th May, 2024

 

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

hormone free ingredients

What Are Hormone-Free Supplements?

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

 

Key Benefits

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Conclusion

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


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!


benefits of prebiotics

What are prebiotics? Types and health benefits

What are prebiotics? Types and health benefits

Last updated: February 22nd, 2024

February 7th, 2022

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

benefits of prebiotics

What are prebiotics?

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

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

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

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

What are the different types of prebiotics?

There are various types of prebiotics. These include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the health benefits of prebiotics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can I add prebiotics to my diet?

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

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

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

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

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


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!


microbiomex or gut health

Everything you need to know about MicrobiomeX® and gut health

Everything you need to know about MicrobiomeX® and gut health

October 11th, 2023

The gut microbiome plays a vital role in our digestive system, responsible for digesting nutrients while also serving as a central component of our gut wall and immune system. Maintaining a healthy microbiome profile is of utmost importance and ongoing research continues to shed light on its intricate functions. In this article, we introduce MicrobiomeX®, one of our sustainably sourced, plant-based active ingredients supported by clinical research. Explore the benefits of incorporating MicrobiomeX® into your formulation.

microbiomex or gut health

What is gut health and why is the gut microbiome important?

The gastrointestinal system is often referred to as the ‘gut’, including the stomach, intestines, and colon. Its primary function is to digest and absorb nutrients, essential for meeting our energy needs.

Within the gut approximately 200 billion species of bacteria reside, collectively known as the gut microbiome. Many of these microorganisms play a vital role in food digestion and are crucial for maintaining a healthy gut and overall well-being.

It’s important to recognize that the condition of the gut microbiome can significantly impact physical health, but also mental health. Well-established connections exist between the gut microbiome and various aspects such as the immune system, the gut wall, mental health, autoimmune diseases, sleep, skin health etc. (1). Numerous factors, including diet, age, and lifestyle, can influence the gut microbiome. Hence, it is clearly important to maintain and support a healthy gut microbiota through nutritious foods and supplements.

 

Tips for improving Gut Health

Enhancing gut health is possible through dietary and lifestyle choices. Certain foods are known for their positive impact on gut health, particularly fermented foods and fiber-rich options. By increasing their intake, we can reduce the risk of developing gut inflammation and metabolic diseases. Incorporating physical activity and using supplements, including prebiotics and probiotics, are additional strategies. Emerging products now focus on non-fermenting plant-based ingredients, such as prebiotics and citrus flavonoids.

gut health and microbiome

Exploring Prebiotics, Probiotics and More

 

  • Prebiotics: these non-digestible food ingredients offer health benefits by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of specific intestinal bacteria (2). Foods rich in prebiotics include onions, garlic, greens, cereals and bananas.

 

  • Probiotics: Live microorganisms that benefit the host by reducing harmful bacteria and supporting the gut’s natural flora (3). Consider consuming fermented foods and probiotic supplements, such as yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, and kimchi, to promote good bacteria.

 

  • Postbiotics: the byproducts of digestion (4). vitamins B and K, antimicrobial peptides, amino acids, and short-chain fatty acids, play a role in supporting good bacteria. Some postbiotics, like de-glycosylated ‘active’ flavonoids, are generated by specific beneficial bacteria and are also known as flavobiotics.

 

  • Synbiotics: a powerful combination of probiotics and prebiotics (5). As mentioned above, prebiotics support the function of probiotics, working in synergy to optimize digestive health and bolster the immune system.

Understanding flavonoids

What are flavonoids?   Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, known for their diverse health benefits. They have become an indispensable part of the nutraceutical market, due to their ability to modulate key cellular enzymes and their antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties.

 

Fortunately, sourcing flavonoids is sustainable. They are primarily extracted from immature fruits in an eco-friendly manner. For example, orange and grapefruit trees bloom annually, but not all blossoms can become full grown fruits. The trees undergo a natural selection process called ‘fruit drop,’ shedding immature fruits to conserve their resources.

 

What are the benefits of using immature fruits?

After the fruit drop, immature oranges and grapefruits are not suitable for raw consumption. Still, they are full of valuable nutrients. To harness these nutrients, the most practical approach is to process them into a powdered form, which can be easily incorporated into nutritional supplements.

immature oranges and sweet oranges

Why do immature oranges and grapefruits matter?

These immature fruits are particularly rich in a nutrient of interest, hesperidin. By standardizing the extract from immature oranges for hesperidin content, we can create an eco-friendly and sustainable ingredient. As mentioned earlier, fruit drop is a natural occurrence, and these immature oranges become a byproduct that we can utilize. Similarly, another valuable ingredient, naringin, can be extracted from immature grapefruits.

 

What are hesperidin and naringin?

Hesperidin and naringin are flavonoids with numerous health benefits. What sets them apart is their unique ability to reach the colon intact, where they directly nourish the gut microbiome. This, in turn, leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids (6, 7), including the vital butyrate, the primary energy source for colon wall cells.

 

These flavonoids are abundantly found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons (8). The extraction of valuable flavonoids from such citrus fruits is a well-established practice. Extensive studies (9) confirm that a combination of hesperidin and naringin positively affects the gut microbiome composition by improving the short-chain fatty acids profile, mainly increasing butyrate content

 

How can hesperidin and naringin improve gut health?

The unique chemical structure of hesperidin and naringin allows them to traverse the digestive system, arriving mostly intact in the colon. Here, the gut microbiota breaks them down into their active forms, hesperetin and naringenin, both highly bioavailable and transported to various tissues via the bloodstream.

 

Notably, hesperidin and naringin selectively nourish specific bacteria species, such as Bifidobacterium, Roseburia, and Lactobacilli (10). This promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, reinforcing the gut’s defense against harmful pathogens. Additionally, these flavonoids play a pivotal role in supporting the immune system by inhibiting oxidative stress and gut inflammation.

 

In summary, the journey from immature fruits to powdered extracts of hesperidin and naringin offers an eco-friendly and sustainable way to enhance gut health and overall well-being, while also minimizing waste and maximizing the benefits of these valuable compounds.

microbiomex and immature oranges

What is MicrobiomeX®?

MicrobiomeX® is a potent blend of extracts derived from Citrus sinensis (immature oranges) and Citrus paradisi (grapefruit). It stands as a pioneering Flavobiotic®, designed to fortify the gut barrier and unlock the full potential of the gut microbiome. Remarkably, MicrobiomeX® is entirely plant-based and produced sustainably. It adheres to multiple dietary preferences, including vegan, halal, kosher, gluten-free, and hormone-free. Notably, MicrobiomeX® distinguishes itself by being non-fermenting, with its flavonoids activated through a microbiota-driven process known as de-glycosylation.

 

Extensive research conducted by BioActor, through pre-clinical and clinical trials, has illuminated the remarkable benefits of MicrobiomeX®. Consumption of MicrobiomeX® leads to an enhanced profile of short-chain fatty acids, with a specific increase in butyrate. Additionally, calprotectin levels decrease, signaling a reduction in gut inflammation.

 

Who can benefit from taking MicrobiomeX®?

MicrobiomeX® can be beneficial for everyone who wants to immprove their microbiome composition and strengthen their immunity. For a more targeted approach, this blend of sweet orange and pomegranate extracts could help the following groups:

 

MicrobiomeX® is a promising solution for individuals struggling with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Notably, MicrobiomeX®’ non-fermenting nature reduces the production of gas and intestinal discomfort. Additionally, it fosters the proliferation of Bifidobacterium, a beneficial bacteria associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals with IBS.

 

Another demographic that can find MicrobiomeX® beneficial is athletes, particularly those engaged in endurance sports. Endurance athletes frequently experience gastrointestinal discomfort due to the extended and repetitive nature of activities like running or cycling. MicrobiomeX® offers a potential remedy by reducing gut permeability and bolstering the gut barrier.

What is our source of citrus flavonoids?

Nestled in the heart of Spain, at Finca la Gloria, lies a family-run orange plantation. Here, eco-friendly methods are employed to safeguard the trees, eschewing the use of pesticides. Every year, the orange trees burst with blooms. After the natural selection process known as ‘fruit drop,’ immature oranges fall from the trees. Fortunately, they are readily available for us to harvest and extract all benefits they can offer.

Learn more about MicrobiomeX®

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


gut health or butyrate or short chain fatty acids

New clinical study: MicrobiomeX® improves microbiota composition and SCFA production

New clinical study: MicrobiomeX® improves microbiota composition and SCFA production

Maastricht, The Netherlands, 29th September  2023

Press release

New clinical and pre-clinical data from a study with MicrobiomeX® have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study performed by scientists of Maastricht University, the department of Gastro-enterology of Maastricht University Medical Center and BioActor. It shows the potential of MicrobiomeX® to improve short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profiles in the intestine. After 12 weeks of daily supplementation, there was a significant shift in the SCFA profile (p=0.022) towards butyrate. In addition, a reduction in faecal calprotectin levels was observed, a marker of gut inflammation. Interestingly, a new in-vitro study in the TIM2 model, where faecal samples from volunteers were tested, also showed a strong increase in butyrate production. These new clinical and pre-clinical results highlight MicrobiomeX®’s potential to support intestinal microbiota of subjects with features of metabolic syndrome.

gut health or butyrate or short chain fatty acids

MicrobiomeX®: an an active ingredient supporting the gut microbiome, developed by BioActor

MicrobiomeX® is a clinically validated blend of Citrus sinensis (sweet orange) and Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) extracts. These fruits are naturally rich in flavonoids, known for their anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties (1, 2). MicrobiomeX® already showed promising potential to reduce markers of gut inflammation and increase SCFAs in previous in-vitro and ex-vivo studies conducted with this ingredient (3, 4). Supplement brands all over the world have adopted MicrobiomeX® in their formulations, typically positioned for improving gut microbiome balance and immune system regulation.

The study: Citrus Extract High in Flavonoids Beneficially Alters Intestinal Metabolic Responses in Subjects with Features of Metabolic Syndrome

 

Introduction

This study (5) was published in the international journal “Foods”. The western diet and lifestyle may be the leading causes for the development of various metabolic disorders. An overlooked factor is the gut microbiota composition, which should be considered as a factor determining health status. A healthy gut is related to mental wellbeing and strong immunity. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits of MicrobiomeX® supplementation on the intestinal microbiome of subjects with metabolic disorder traits.

Methods

Fifty adult subjects with features of metabolic syndrome took part in the study. They ingested 500mg MicrobiomeX® or placebo daily for 12 weeks. Additionally, seven volunteers provided faecal samples that were introduced into a TIM-2 system for further analysis. The TIM-2 is a computer-controlled model in an anaerobic environment that replicates the appropriate conditions for microbial growth in the human colon and is able to measure microbiota composition and SCFA production.

Results

A significant shift in the SCFA profile towards more butyrate (p=0.022) was observed in the MicrobiomeX® group after the 12-week supplementation period. An increase in SCFA production was also found in the TIM-2 model, that was mainly due to an increased production of butyrate, acetate and valerate. Additionally, in the MicrobiomeX® group, a trend in calprotectin reduction was observed, which is a marker of gut inflammation. Both in vivo and in vitro data confirm the benefits of MicrobiomeX on gut health, specifically the increased butyrate production and improved SCFA profile. These findings are in line with previous in vitro results and show that MicrobiomeX® can beneficially modulate the gut microbiome.

Conclusion

This study demonstrates the great potential of MicrobiomeX® in playing a role in gut health modulation. This is indicated by the significant increase in SCFAs, mainly butyrate, and a reduction in calprotectin, as found in the present study. By adding MicrobiomeX® to your supplement, you can offer customers a science-based support for gut health. It is an alternative to common prebiotics and an ideal partner for synbiotic formulation targeting gut health and immunity.

Click here to read the complete publication

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands is part of the Solabia Group and has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. We focus on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy ageing. Our 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 via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities MicrobiomeXl® has to offer. Further information can also be found on: https://solabianutrition.com/products/microbiomex/ and https://microbiomex.com/


Can-Prebiotics-and-Probiotics-help-relieve-IBS-symptoms?

Can Prebiotics and Probiotics help relieve IBS symptoms?

Can Prebiotics and Probiotics help relieve IBS symptoms?

May 19th, 2022

Prebiotics and probiotics are an interesting topic for people with gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers have conducted various studies regarding their influence on improving IBS symptoms. In this article, we will explain the different types of IBS and how prebiotics and probiotics may be beneficial in managing this chronic long-term condition.

Can-Prebiotics-and-Probiotics-help-relieve-IBS-symptoms?

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the quality of people’s lives and includes symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea [1].

Some studies have estimated that more than 9% of the worldwide population suffers from IBS, with women 1.5 to 3 times more likely to experience IBS symptoms [2].

To date, IBS causes are still unknown and some possible factors that are responsible for IBS, include physiological disturbances, genetics, and digestive motility [3]. Based on the abnormal manifestation of the bowel movements, IBS has four subtypes [4, 5].

  1. IBS-C: Constipation prevailing
  2. IBS-D: Diarrhea predominant
  3. IBS-M: Mixed of Constipation and Diarrhea
  4. IBS-U: Unspecified when a patient does not belong to one of these categories

Probiotics and IBS

Although the causes of IBS are still unknown, it has been suggested that an imbalance of the gut microbiota can be responsible for IBS development.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host by decreasing the harmful bacteria and supporting the gut’s natural bacteria [6]. If you want to increase the good bacteria in your body, various fermented foods and supplements include probiotics.

As it concerns food, a few suggestions might be yoghurt, tempeh, kombucha and kimchi , while supplements usually include beneficial strains like Saccharomyces Boulardii, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Lactobacillus Plantarum.

Research has shown that IBS symptoms can be improved by the daily consumption of Probiotics, even if the exact mechanism is still not completely understood [7]. Probiotics can act in different ways depending on the type of IBS and other factors such as age and gender [8].

It is proposed that Probiotics may improve IBS symptoms by [9]:

• Inhibiting the colonisation of pathogens in the gut
• Enhancing the gut barrier function
• Boosting the immune system
• Improving digestive functions
• Reducing inflammation in the gut and gas formation

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are usually non-digestible fibre compounds that are fermented by the gut microbiota, stimulating the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the gut [10]. To classify these compounds as prebiotics, they need to comply with three requirements [11]:

• be non-digestible and resistant to breakdown by stomach acid and enzymes in the human gastrointestinal tract
• be fermented by living microorganisms in the gut
• stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria (probiotics)

It is possible to combine prebiotics with probiotics to create synbiotic dietary supplements. You can read more about that here.

Prebiotics and IBS

Research into the role of prebiotics in managing IBS symptoms is conflicting and shows that the beneficial effect may be subjective and depend on the IBS and type.

For example, some studies found that soluble fibres such as psyllium and inulin may provide significant pain relief for IBS patients with constipation and/or diarrhoea. In contrast, other studies found that the effect is limited.

Prebiotics act by stimulating the growth of a bacterium that produces lactic acid called Bifidobacterium. Interestingly, Bifidobacterium has been associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms in people with IBS. More specifically, this genus lowers the pH to desirable levels for beneficial microbes and undesirable levels for pathogenic bacteria
[12].

The consumption of specific prebiotics such as arabinoxylans from wheat (AX) can increase the amount of Bifidobacterium in the colon.

In addition, there are also molecules with known prebiotic activity, such as citrus-derived flavonoids. Research has shown that these compounds can reach the colon without being digested and are metabolised by the gut microbiota, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria..

These prebiotic flavonoids are different from prebiotic fibres because they are not fermented but rather deglycosylated by the gut microbiota. Furthermore, their ability to work at low doses is associated with their high tolerance as opposed to fibres. Finally, the lack of fermentation avoids gas formation and the resulting feeling of bloating and flatulence.

Multiple studies have shown better protection of gut mucosa against colonisation by pathogens and viruses. Also, citrus flavonoids allow greater production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) like butyrate and propionate, important compounds for the immune system and metabolic functions.

The bottom line

IBS is a chronic condition that affects a large part of the world’s population.

There is no known cure for this condition, but there are many treatment options to reduce or eliminate symptoms, such as dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and prescription medications.

In many cases, probiotics and prebiotics may be beneficial in managing the IBS symptoms. However, the beneficial effect is subjective and depends on the IBS type. Therefore, it is essential to understand how dietary changes and supplementations affect the symptoms.


The-link-between-gut-and-brain-health

The Link between Gut and Brain Health

The Link between Gut and Brain Health

February 21st, 2022

The bidirectional communication system between your gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis. These two organs are connected through the vagus nerve, neurotransmitters, production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by gut microbiota and the immune system. This gut-brain link works in both directions. Gut bacteria affect brain health and, therefore, altering your gut bacteria through compounds such as probiotics and prebiotics may improve your brain health.

The-link-between-gut-and-brain-health

The Gut-Brain Connection

Did you ever “go with the gut” to make a decision? Have you ever felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous? This is because the brain and the gastrointestinal system are closely connected.

The bidirectional communication system between your gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis. These two organs are connected both physically through the vagus nerve and biochemically through hormones and neurotransmitters.

Gut microbiota has an important impact on the gut-brain axis, interacting not only locally with intestinal cells and enteric nervous system (ENS), but also directly with the central nervous system (CNS).

The Vagus Nerve

Your gut contains 500 million neurons, connected to your brain through the nervous system [1].

One of the biggest nerves connecting your gut and brain is the vagus nerve, which sends signals both ways. Gut microbiota communication with the brain, therefore, involves the vagus nerve [2].

Conditions such as Chron’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) involve brain-gut dysfunctions where the vagus nerve is an important component.

People suffering from these conditions actually have a reduced vagal tone, which indicates a decreased function of the vagus nerve [3].

Neurotransmitters

Your gut and brain are also connected through neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters produced in the brain have an impact on our feelings and emotions.

Many of these neurotransmitters are produced by our gut cells and microbiota as well.

Around 90% of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness, is produced by enterochromaffin cells, a group of gut mucosal cells [4].

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps control feelings of fear and anxiety, is also produced by many species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in the gut microbiota [5].

Production of SCFAs by gut microbiota

Gut microbiota produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate, propionate and acetate.

These SCFAs have a lot of health benefits in the gut, including maintaining the intestinal barrier, increasing mucus production and reducing gut inflammation. On top of that, they also play a role in the gut-brain interaction.

SCFAs can affect brain function in different ways. They are able to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, mucosal serotonin release and influence the memory and learning process in the brain [6].

Immune system

Your gut and brain are also linked through the immune system. The microbiota provides essential signals for the development and function of the immune system.

The microbiota, its metabolites and components are not only necessary for immune homeostasis, but they also influence your susceptibility to many immune-mediated diseases and disorders [7].

If the gut barrier becomes leaky, bacteria and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) –an inflammatory toxin produced by some bacteria– can enter the blood, causing inflammation.

Inflammation and high LPS content in the blood are associated with brain disorders, such as depression and dementia [8].

The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Link between Gut and Brain

The gut-brain connection works in both directions. Gut bacteria affect brain health and, therefore, altering your gut bacteria may improve or worsen your brain health.

Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria. Psychobiotics are a class of probiotics that are able to produce and deliver neuroactive substances such as GABA and serotonin, which act on the brain-gut axis [9].

Studies have found that some psychobiotics have antidepressant or anxiolytic activity. These effects may be mediated via the vagus nerve, spinal cord, or neuroendocrine systems [10].

Prebiotics are compounds derived from non-digestible carbohydrates, mostly fibre. Prebiotics may also affect brain health by lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone [11].

Beneficial Foods for the Gut-Brain Axis

Some foods can be beneficial for the gut-brain axis. These include the following:

Probiotic foods. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and drinks, such as yoghurt, kefir, tempeh or kombucha.

Prebiotic foods. Prebiotics can be found in high fibre foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole-grain products.

• Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve microbiota diversity [12]. These fats can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines.

• Polyphenol-rich foods. Polyphenols are found in foods such as cocoa, citrus, green tea, olive leaf and coffee. These compounds, digested by gut bacteria, increase healthy bacteria strains and may improve cognition [13].

• Tryptophan-rich foods. The amino acid tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin. Tryptophan is found in milk, cheese, oats, turkey and chicken, among others.

 

Curious to know more about brain health?

Did this article spark your interest in brain health and how you can improve it? Here you can find out everything you need to know about brain health and what ingredients are best to keep a healthy brain!