Discussing the growing category of menopause support with Horphag Research: SupplySide East 2023


Sébastien Bornet, vice president of global sales & marketing at Horphag Research sits down with Nutritional Outlook to break down the results of a recent study that found Pycnogenol supports hair density in menopausal women. The study found that women taking 50 mg of the extract three times per day saw a 30% incease and 23% increase in hair density at two and six months of supplementation, respectively. Bornet also talks about the growing menopause support category and the demand we can expect to see from this population of women.

Interview transcript:

Nutritional Outlook: Could you describe the results of a recent study that found Pycnogenol supports hair density in menopausal women?

Sébastien Bornet, vice president of global sales & marketing at Horphag Research: There was an interesting study that was run by a German professor, Professor Krugman. And that was done on 63 menopausal women. Thirty-three were taking Pycnogenol and 30 were on placebo, and we had a number of measures on that study. The first measure was on the skin density, so the hair status was measured at baseline, and then after two months and then after six months

At baseline, the number of hairs were 226 per square centimeters, and after two months, 294 hairs per square centimeters, which means an impressive 30% increase. And that was in two months. After six monthsthe increase was 23% still so a very interesting result, statistically significant compared to placebo, which was not statistically significant.

The 2nd aspect that was measured was the scalp, skin microcirculation. So, the microcirculation inside the skin of your scalp and for that we had also a significant increase in the microcirculation that was shown in previous studies.

Then the third measurement was on the water, the transepidermal water loss, so which was decreased in the Pycnogenol group.So very nice result, which werewe're pleased with.

NO: What are the mechanisms of action by which the extract exerted these benefits?

SB: Yes, so Pycnogenol has a number of mechanism actions, a number of properties. First of all, it's a strong antioxidant, so it helps with oxidative stress. The second one is [it’s] a natural anti-inflammatory. It also helps with blood circulation, it maintainshydration, so it's important for the hair follicles to be, you know, hydrated properly and then it helps with the binding of collagen, elastin, all the skin aspects.It increases hyaluronic acid, so good for the skin.

In the case of hair quality, it's very specific. We'll probably need to run further studies to really analyze how specifically for the hair Pycnogenol works.

NO: How common is hair loss in menopausal women? Is this a major area of opportunity for nutraceuticals?

SB: So, first of all, you have to understand that it's a growing population. By 2025, you'll have more than 1 billion women who will experience menopause. So that's a large part of the population. And these women will go through a number of changes due to the hormonal changes in at this stage of their lives and you have a number of climacteric symptoms.

One of them, you know, could be night sweats, could be hot flashes, problems with memory anxiety and so on. And one of them is skin, skin care and also hair thinning. Hair thinning can be very challenging for women because it's also part of, you know, the appearance. It can drive some anxiety, you know, with aging.

So, I think this is a a key topic we need to address. It was taboo for a couple of years but now you know women feel more comfortable talking about it, which is great.

And yeah, so that's a big market. We have been approached by quite a number of companies very interested in this segment of an age group. Menopause, hair quality as such is certainly a market that is intended to grow.

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