skin health research bonolive

Dermaphenolics Project Collaboration with RUMC

Solabia Nutrition announces the start of the Dermaphenolics Project Collaboration with Radboud University Medical Center

Press Release

Maastricht/Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 13th June 2024

solabia nutrition bonolive skin health

About the Dermaphenolics Project

Solabia Nutrition announces the start of a collaboration around the Dermaphenolics project with Radboud University Medical Center (RUMC), whereby RUMC’s deep understanding of cellular signaling and skin health is combined with Solabia Nutrition’s pipeline of clinical leads.


Solabia Nutrition has expertise and experience in the clinical development of innovative active ingredients, extracted from plants (botanicals) with great potential for women’s health, cognitive function, healthy aging and gut-skin axis.


RUMC is affiliated with Radboud University in the Netherlands, and is a leading institution in dermatology, both for patient care and mechanistic research in the field of skin biology.


The objective of this project is to study the effect of phenolics on in-vitro cultures of skin cells. The project will focus on keratinocyte cellular signaling and skin homeostasis. These phenolic compounds are currently being studied by Solabia Nutrition in exploratory clinical studies for multiple endpoints, including endpoints related to skin physiology.


Solabia Nutrition’s head of R&D Yala Stevens takes the lead in this collaboration together with Prof. Ellen van den Bogaard, the head of the Laboratory for Experimental Dermatology.

Yala Stevens, head of R&D at Solabia Nutrition, comments:

“This is a great first step in understanding the impact that our phenolic lead compounds could have on skin cells and skin homeostasis. The Dermophenolics Project will allow us to get mechanistic insights in the area of skin biology and be the basis for further clinical validation.”

About Solabia Nutrition 

Solabia Nutrition, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, develops and supplies proprietary bioactive formulations to the health and sports nutrition industry. All Solabia Nutrition’s products are clinically tested and from natural origin. The main focus areas are gut microbiome, brain health, energy & vitality and skin health.

Feel free to contact via for more information on the possibilities our ingredients have to offer.

Solabia Nutrition sponsors the International Probiotic Conference

Solabia Nutrition sponsors the 17th International Scientific Conference on Probiotics, Prebiotics, Gut Microbiota and Health 

Maastricht, The Netherlands, 6th June 2024

Prague, here we come! Solabia Nutrition proudly sponsors IPC 2024 for the 3rd year in a row!

solabia nutrition sponsors IPC 2024

Solabia Nutrition Sponsors IPC Gut Health Conference 2024 for Third Consecutive Year


Solabia Nutrition announces its continued sponsorship of the IPC Gut Health Conference for the third consecutive year. This scientific conference brings together leading experts, researchers, and business professionals in the field of gut health to share the latest advancements and innovations.


As a global leader in nutritional solutions, Solabia Nutrition is dedicated to advancing gut health research and providing cutting-edge ingredients that support microbiome health, gut barrier integrity, SCFA production and IBS symptoms reduction. Our ongoing partnership with the IPC Gut Health Conference underscores our commitment to fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange within the scientific community.


This year’s conference promises to be an exceptional platform for discussing the latest research in the area, emerging trends, and practical applications in gut health. Attendees can look forward to insightful presentations and networking opportunities that will drive the future of gut health science.

About Solabia Nutrition 

Solabia Nutrition, based in Maastricht, Netherlands is part of the Solabia Group and has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition and healthcare industry. We focus on the development of innovative ingredients from plants and microalgae that address active living and healthy ageing. Our goal is to provide the nutrition and healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to consumers.

Feel free to contact via for more information on the possibilities our ingredients have to offer.

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!

heart health and food and cordiart

What are the best ingredients for heart health?

What are the best ingredients for heart health?

Maastricht, 5th December 2023

Cardiovascular health is vital for longevity. Lifestyle factors, including regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet, are crucial for maintaining cardiovascular well-being. Omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibers, vitamins, and polyphenols in the diet play key roles in regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Find out more about keeping your heart healthy.

ingredients to improve heart health

The cardiovascular system

Maintaining cardiovascular health is essential for a long and active life (1). The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, arteries and veins in the human body.

There are two important blood transportation systems: the pulmonary circulation and the systemic circulation. The pulmonary circulation transports deoxygenated blood to the lungs, to allow the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen by the lungs. The second system is the systemic circulation, which transports nutrient- and oxygen rich blood to all organs and cells (2). Therefore, both systems contribute to delivery of oxygen blood to tissues from head to toe. This is essential because every single cell in the human body needs oxygen and nutrients to maintain energy production.

How can nutrition impact cardiovascular health?

There are several factors that can influence the well-being of cardiovascular health. Stress is a major player in changing blood flow. It can temporarily increase blood pressure and heart rate. Over time, chronic stress can lead to persistent high blood pressure, inflammation, and the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. (3)


On the other hand, regular exercise and physical activity help improve heart and blood vessel function, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and maintain a healthy weight.


Another factor that impacts cardiovascular health, is diet. A “heart-healthy” diet is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars, and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Food directly impacts the health condition of your heart. If you choose the right foods, you can help to keep your heart in good shape. (4).


These heart-healthy foods help to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and maintain healthy blood vessels. Here are a few great options:


Healthy fats, found in olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon, are integral to cardiovascular health. They promote optimal cholesterol profiles and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Legumes like beans, chickpeas and lentils, aid in lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The health effects of this food are typically attributed to the high content of fiber, nutrients, and active plant compounds (5).

Fruits that contain high levels of polyphenols – a complex group of secondary plant metabolites. There is growing evidence that suggests that polyphenols could be relevant compounds for improving heart health. Notably, certain varieties of citrus fruit are known for their high levels of antioxidants, which play a role against oxidative stress (6, 7).

cordiart heart health ingredients

Key ingredients for heart health

Some people are limited in choosing their food, because of limited availability, so they may not be able to consume a diet rich in abovementioned foods. Supplementation could be a feasible alternative to consume the crucial compounds from those foods for supporting cardiovascular health. Therefore, we will now have a deeper look into the effective compounds, which can be easily supplemented:


Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of healthy fats. They can be found in a lot of retail channels, pharmacies or online, predominantly in soft gels. They reduce the amount of triglycerides and improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol. Moreover, omega-3 regulate blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Soluble fibers, normally found in fruits, legumes, vegetables and grains. They bind to cholesterol and remove it from the body. In this way, cholesterol levels can be reduced (8). Examples of soluble fibers to look for in terms of supplementation are psyllium, pectin and wheat dextrin.

Vitamins can help to improve heart health. For example, there is high-quality research showing that Vitamin B9 supplementation can reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease (9). Moreover, Vitamin K2 serves an important role in cardiovascular health through regulation of calcium homeostasis. It can lead to a reduction in arterial stiffness (10).

Citrus flavonoids are a group of polyphenols that are, unsurprisingly, found in citrus fruits. Flavonones are a subclass of flavonoids that are linked to an improvement in heart health. Specifically, hesperidin (hesperitin-7-O-rutinoside), offers several health advantages due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, potentially playing a role in cardiovascular health (11). Some studies suggest that hesperidin may help lowering blood pressure and improving blood vessel function, which can be beneficial for heart health (12).


BioActor has developed Cordiart®, a proprietary sweet orange extract that is high in the rutinoside hesperidin. Cordiart® has the potential to support heart health by improving blood vessel function, reducing inflammation, and helping to manage high blood pressure. It can also assist in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. The beneficial effects of Cordiart® on endothelial function are clinically proven (13, 14).

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.


Simple ways to boost your cardiovascular health

Simple ways to boost your cardiovascular health

May 10th, 2023

Cardiovascular health refers to the health of the cardiovascular system. Its definition is based on all the behaviors and health factors that, when optimal, are associated with better cardiovascular disease-free survival and quality of life. Choosing a healthy diet, being more active, and maintaining normal blood lipid and glucose levels are some of the strategies that help to maintain great cardiovascular health throughout our lives.


How to define cardiovascular health?

The American Heart Association has provided a number of metric definitions that can be used to classify poor, intermediate, or ideal cardiovascular health. These include diet, physical activity, smoking, sleep, weight, blood and glucose levels, and blood pressure.

Pursuing a healthier lifestyle from a young age is a great strategy for maintaining ideal cardiovascular health throughout our lives. This will result in a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, strokes, atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, and vein diseases (1).
In this article, we will dive into the 7 ways to improve your cardiovascular health!

Healthy eating behaviors

Creating a healthy eating pattern represents an easy way to improve your cardiovascular health. This means preferring certain foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant-based proteins, fish and limiting sweetened drinks, alcohol, full-fat dairy products, and highly processed foods.

Avoiding trans-fat and partially hydrogenated oils that are contained in many commercial baked goods represents another good and easy strategy to improve your eating habits (1).

Polyphenols derived from olive leaves also have many beneficial effects and represent a promising, natural ingredient for supporting cardiovascular health (2).

Giving up smoking

Smoking is deleterious for your circulatory system as it increases the risk of stroke in both men and women. Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products contain many toxic chemicals, as do their smoke, and liquids. Several beneficial changes occur after quitting smoking and within one year after quitting, your risk of heart disease goes down with 50% (1).

Physical activity

Regular exercise and physical activity are associated with remarkable health benefits. Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of both, throughout the week. Parking further away from your work place or taking the stairs instead of the elevator contributes to physical activity levels and improves health outcomes (1).

Sleep quality

Sleep plays a crucial role for overall health and well-being. Short sleep duration or poor sleep quality is associated with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and atherosclerosis. These conditions can be prevented by aiming for an average of 7-9 hours of quality sleep a day (1).

Body weight management

Maintaining a healthy weight, defined as a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 for adults, can help reduce the risk of many heart problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
A few strategies that can help to manage body weight include choosing a healthy diet, increasing physical activity levels, limiting alcohol, avoiding stress, and improving your sleep quality (1).

Stable blood lipid and glucose levels

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that your body needs, in the right amounts, for good health. Unhealthy levels of cholesterol can lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke. Checking your cholesterol levels regularly can help you understand whether you have normal blood lipid levels.

Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage your health too. Blood glucose levels rise because of the glucose that enters the bloodstream and insulin, a hormone that helps the cells take up the glucose they can use for energy production.

A healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, and lean animal proteins, may help you manage cholesterol and glucose levels. Other strategies include being more active, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight (3).

Blood pressure control

Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of your blood on the walls of the arteries as your heart pumps it throughout your body. When your blood pressure is permanently higher than normal, the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases.

There are no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, which means it is crucial to have regular check-ups to measure it. Simple changes to your lifestyle, such as eating healthy and being more active can help manage your blood pressure over time (4).

How to improve your cardiovascular health?

To summarize, choosing a healthy diet, quitting smoking, being more active, improving sleep health, maintaining normal blood lipid, and glucose levels, and managing your blood pressure are great strategies to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease thus, improving your cardiovascular health.


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.


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.


New in vitro co-culture model study published with citrus flavonoid extract MicrobiomeX®

New in vitro co-culture model study published with citrus flavonoid extract MicrobiomeX®

Maastricht, Netherlands, April 21st, 2022

Press release
British Journal of Nutrition has recently published a new in vitro co-culture model study with a citrus flavonoid extract MicrobiomeX® and its metabolites, hesperetin and naringenin. The novel publication suggests that these citrus flavonoids, as well as their metabolites, may reduce intestinal inflammation.


New in vitro co-culture model study published with citrus flavonoid extract MicrobiomeX®

MicrobiomeX® is a first-in-class Flavobiotic® developed by BioActor, that combines active ingredients from Citrus sinensis and Citrus paradisi. MicrobiomeX® has already been studied and reported to have various beneficial effects on the gut and immunity. MicrobiomeX® consists of standardised citrus flavonoids, that form active metabolites, hesperetin and naringenin, in the gut after being deglycosylated by the gut microbiota.

In the recently published in-vitro study, a validated co-culture system of Caco-2/THP-1 cells as model for intestinal inflammation and cytokine-induced barrier disruption was used to determine the effects of citrus flavonoids and their metabolites on intestinal inflammation.

During the research, cells were treated with citrus flavonoids, their metabolites, or a vehicle control. Additionally, cells were incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is known to induce inflammation and deterioration in epithelial integrity.

The conclusion highlights that hesperetin and naringenin significantly reduced NF-kB activity, leading to a reduction in intestinal inflammation. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-8, TNF-α and IL-6 were also significantly reduced after hesperetin and naringenin administration.

The mechanism behind this reduction in inflammation can be ascribed to partial inhibition of the NF-κB signalling pathway.

“We are very happy with the results of this study, as we were able to show that both the citrus flavonoids themselves and their metabolites are able to reduce inflammation in the intestine”, says Yala Stevens, CSO of BioActor. “These new scientific insights on MicrobiomeX® will allow us to consolidate its applications to products targeting gut health and immune function”.

About BioActor

BioActor, based at the Maastricht Health Campus, Netherlands, is a life science company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & consumer health industries. The company focuses on the development of plant-based health ingredients for active living and healthy ageing. The goal is to provide the nutrition & consumer health industries with clinically tested innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact BioActor via for more information on the possibilities MicrobiomeX® has to offer.

Further information can be found on: and

TIM-2 in-vitro-gastrointestinal-model

What is the TIM-2 system? An in-vitro model of the colon

What is the TIM-2 system? An in-vitro model of the colon

April 8th, 2022

The TIM-2 model is a dynamic gastrointestinal model, which is used for in-vitro research. The TIM-2 model can be used to study changes in the microbiota composition and the production of beneficial molecules in the gut. It resembles the human large intestine, including peristalsis, dialysis, and microorganisms. It is a good model that provides short experiment durations and the studies done with it are highly reproducible.

TIM-2 in-vitro-gastrointestinal-model

What is the TIM-2 model?

The TIM-2 (TNO in-vitro) model is a computer-controlled dynamic in-vitro gastrointestinal model of the colon used in research to study changes in the microbiota composition.

This model closely mimics part of the human large intestine, including its microorganisms, peristaltic movements, temperature (37ºC) and acidic pH (5.8).

What is the TIM-2 model used for in research?

The TIM-2 model has a wide range of applications in research. It can be used to study changes in the microbiota composition and production of beneficial molecules such as short-chain fatty acids associated with specific dietary patterns or ingredients and, consequently, to increase human health through the understanding of microbiota.

Due to the health benefits of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), many studies have focused on carbohydrate fermentation and the subsequent production of SCFA.

However, it has also been used to study the effects of probiotics after antibiotic treatment, fermentation of prebiotic fibres, metabolization of molecules such as flavonoids and even to investigate the differences in microbiota from lean and obese individuals.

Watch the interview with prof. Koen Venema

Difference between TIM-2 model and other in-vitro models

Compared to other in-vitro models, TIM-2 holds some unique features, which allow predicting what would happen in an actual clinical trial.

The way the peristaltic movements are produced in the TIM-2 model gives a better mixing of the components than what would be accomplished by stirring or shaking. Thanks to this, in TIM-2 there is no phase-separation of solids and liquids, which is what occurs in other models.

On the other hand, in vivo microbial metabolites are normally taken up by the gut epithelium. This is, of course, not possible in an in-vitro model, but the TIM-2 model features a unique dialysis system that removes these metabolites produced by microorganisms.

The accumulation of these microbial metabolites would otherwise result in the inhibition or death of the microorganisms present in the model. Therefore, the dialysis system allows maintaining a highly active microbiota, with a similar density to that found in the human intestine.

In other systems, metabolites tend to accumulate. In fact, with the TIM-2 model, since all the microbial metabolites are collected, they can be measured, which is something not possible in a real-life setting.

What are the advantages and limitations of the TIM-2 model?

Advantages of the TIM-2 model include:

Short experiment duration. Compared to other models, experiments are quick, usually taking three test days or even less.

Presence of peristaltic movements and dialysis system. These two unique features allow predicting what would happen in an actual clinical trial.

Single parameter study. If a single parameter in the system is changed, the effect of that parameter on the microbiota can be studied.

Highly reproducible. Since the model is computer-controlled, it is highly reproducible.

Like other in-vitro models, the TIM-2 model has some limitations, which include:

Absence of gut epithelial cells, immune cells and neurons. However, samples can be taken and incubated with these kinds of cells to investigate interactions.

Based mostly on healthy individuals. The model has been developed based on data coming from mostly healthy individuals. For this reason, it is unclear exactly which parameters to adjust when simulating patient populations.

Absence of feedback mechanisms. Due to this, as with similar in-vitro models, the results will always be an indication of what may occur in real life and, therefore, they should be interpreted carefully.

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.