Brain health will be one of 2016’s hottest topics, judging by supplier buzz at SupplySide West. Several notable suppliers launched brain-health ingredients, with two interesting launches mentioned below.
Sabinsa (East Windsor, NJ) introduced its new patent-pending ingredient Sabroxy, a powdered bark extract derived from the flowering plant Oroxylum indicum, also known as the Indian trumpet flower. Said to possess antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, Sabroxy is standardized to 10% of the flavone oroxylin A.
The company says this flavonoid ingredient improves levels of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), a protein in the brain that supports neuronal health. “BDNF plays a cardinal role in memory processing and cognitive function by regulating synaptic plasticity, survival of neurons, their growth, and maturation,” says Sabinsa press materials. Sabinsa marketing director Shaheen Majeed called Sabroxy “one of the ingredients that’s helping Sabinsa move into being a stronger cognitive-health player.”
Novel Ingredients (East Hanover, NJ) is bringing to the North American market Cera-Q, a protein peptide derived from cocoon silk. “This cocoon silk has actually been orally consumed for several hundreds of years in South Korea. It’s part of Korean traditional medicine,” said Jeff Avila, vice president of marketing, Novel Ingredients.
According to Avila, Korean researchers began studying the ingredient 12 years ago and discovered that the fibrin, the peptide within the silk, has a unique amino acid profile that is high in leucine and whose peptides are small enough in size to permeate the blood-brain barrier and bind to proteins such as beta amyloid plaque. Researchers determined that the protein can help prevent amyloid plaque formation in the brain. Ten human clinical studies have been performed on the ingredient in a variety of populations, including the elderly, adults, and high school students, showing benefits for memory, learning, and overall cognitive function, Avila said. Under an agreement with a Korea-based supplier, Novel Ingredients will now distribute this ingredient in many global markets.
Other companies also highlighted their cognitive-health offerings in new product concepts. Mineral salts specialist Jungbunzlauer (Basel, Switzerland) served up samples of its “Boost Your Mind” shots to “promote normal cognitive function, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, plus a normal energy-yielding metabolism.” Each 2-oz shot contained 50% of the RDA of magnesium and 50% of the RDA of zinc, using the company’s fully reacted trimagnesium citrate anhydrous and zinc citrate dihydrate ingredients. “Zinc citrate is the zinc salt that tastes the best,” said Rocio Aramburo, market development manager, health and nutrition, Jungbunzlauer. “It’s really good for beverages or anything that the consumer is going to taste, which is why we’re [sampling] the shots.”
Meanwhile, phospholipids specialist Chemi Nutra (Austin, TX) confirmed the company’s brain-health ingredients AlphaSize alpha-glyceryl phosphoryl choline (A-GPC) and SerinAid phosphatidylserine are seeing high demand. But, referencing U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s recent probe into brain health supplements sold to elderly consumers, Chemi Nutra brand director Chase Hagerman warned that, even as the cognitive category heats up, it’s also under closer regulatory scrutiny now, so manufacturers should stick with trusted and proven ingredients. “Companies are realizing that there is certainly a risk with products that don’t live up to their promise.”