Immune Health: Pills and Beyond


When it comes to immune-health supplements, consumers are looking beyond just pills and capsules.


When it comes to immune-health supplements, consumers are looking beyond just pills and capsules.

Take probiotics, for instance. “Consumers are looking for more-convenient ways to take probiotics, and we are now seeing a trend of consumers wanting to purchase health foods and beverages fortified with probiotics,” says Mike Bush, vice president of business development for Ganeden Biotech Inc. (Mayfield Heights, OH). He says that the company’s GanedenBC30 spore-forming Bacillus coagulansprobiotic is now easily being incorporated in nutrition bars, hot teas like R.C. Bigelow’s Lemon Ginger Herb Plus tea, breads, pastas, and cereals.

“The traditional supplements are still very popular, but have taken a different approach,” he continues. “Probiotics are now being added to products currently on the market, such as Nordic Naturals’ Omega Probiotic supplement combining GanedenBC30 and omega-3.”

Lonza’s (Allendale, NJ) technical marketing and scientific affairs manager, Bryan Rodriguez, agrees. “The ability to formulate and provide quality immune ingredients through an increased number of delivery systems will only serve to increase the use of immunity products. Instead of using pills to support their immune system, users now have the option of choosing an immune product and a delivery system they prefer.” He says that Lonza’s ResistAid ingredient remains stable in formats including beverages and shots, effervescent products, yogurts, and other functional foods.

Embria (Ankeny, IA) says that its EpiCor ingredient “has been formulated into a variety of delivery systems beyond the usual tablets, capsules, and soft gels,” says Cheryl Sturm, director of marketing. She says that new formats include ready-to-drink beverages, nutrition bars, chewing gum, lozenges, effervescent products, gummies, and chewables.

Biothera (Eagan, MN) is also seeing its Wellmune WGP beta-glucan ingredient being included in a widening range of products. This spring, Praeventia introduced two new cookies featuring the ingredient. The company also recently announced new fruit chewables from the Dr. Sears pediatrician line for children. Earlier this year, Fuze, a division of Coca Cola, introduced Fuze Defensify, a beverage containing Wellmune WGP.

Could cheese be the next frontier for immune health? In May, Danisco (Madison, WI) released a clinical study on the immune benefits of its HOWARU Rhamnosus (Lactobacillus rhamnosusHN001) and HOWARU Dophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilusNCFM) probiotics in cheese.

The study on 31 healthy elderly subjects (“Probiotics and immunosenescence: cheese as a carrier,” Immunology & Medical Microbiology,vol. 59, no. 1 (June 2010): 53-9) found cheese to be an effective carrier for probiotics. Morever, probiotics delivered in this format did improve immunity defense, enhancing phagocytic and natural killer cell activity.

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