Numerous developments are driving this mainstay supplement category.
Though their name recognition pales in comparison to vitamins and minerals, phospholipids are an important part of the human diet. They are found in animal and plant portions of the human diet and for many reasons are beneficial for human health. Naturally, phospholipid-based dietary supplements are all over market, ranging from household ingredient names to less familiar ones. A variety of research developments and market trends have taken place in recent months that should have some serious impact on phospholipid dietary supplements.
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Phosphatidylserine helps brain cells transmit nerve impulses. In 2003, FDA granted a qualified health claim for phosphatidylserine: “Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.” Many years later, this phospholipid continues to sell in brain health dietary supplements, and new market research1 indicates that business for phosphatidylserine will continue to grow for years to come.
Future Market Insights predicts that global demand for phosphatidylserine will exceed 311,000 metric tons by the end of 2019 and that demand will largely be for dietary supplements. Based on consumer interests, organic and plant-based options are should be most appealing to consumers.
Soft Gel Technologies Inc. (Commerce, CA) is well positioned to answer the growing demand for phosphatidylserine. Its Smart PS brand ingredient can be made from sunflower oil. More importantly, the ingredient is specially designed to degrade much slower than conventional phosphatidylserine material. The company previously conducted its own research and found that while competitor products can degrade as much as 20% in 18 weeks, Smart PS experienced zero degradation even after 24 months of storage.
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Phosphatidic acid has longstanding use in sports and exercise. This phospholipid is associated with increases in strength gain, muscle mass gain, and fat mass loss in various studies. The prevailing understanding of the ingredient is that it helps to regulate protein synthesis in muscles. Because phosphatidic acid is found in very small amounts in nature, a market for phosphatidic acid in dietary supplements exists.
Chemi Nutra LLC (Austin) is a major player in this market, and its Mediator phosphatidic acid recently got a significant makeover. Under the brand name VitaSperse-PA, the ingredient is now available in a special water-soluble form.
Due to its chemical nature, phosphatidic acid doesn’t mix well in beverages unless emulsifiers are added. But adding emulsifiers to a beverage will disturb the beverage’s appearance. Thanks to a patented technology, VitaSperse-PA can be used in clear beverages. This means Chemi Nutra’s science-backed phosphatidic acid is now widely available for use in powders, traditional ready-to-drink protein beverages, and clear beverages. Extensive lab work at Chemi Nutra shows that the ingredient works well in all applications.
Though plenty of phosphatidic acid research is publicly available, more studies are underway and changing the way we see phosphatidic acid and human health.
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Since krill oil first came to market as an alternative to fish oil, the market for this ingredient has been strong. Krill’s success is largely attributed to the fact that its omega fatty acids are bound by phospholipids, which experts say make them more bioavailable.
Last winter, the krill harvester Rimfrost (Fosnavaag, Norway) earned its second license for Antarctic krill harvesting. That license was granted after the Norwegian Government completed an assessment of Rimfrost’s finances, fishing experience, and commit to maintaining the ecosystem of this deep-sea creature. With two krill trawlers, the company should be able to increase production of krill as it moves into emerging markets for protein hydrolysates, protein powders, aquaculture, and pet food.
Meanwhile, Aker BioMarine (Oslo, Norway) has been busy improving the efficiencies of its Antarctic krill fishing vessels. Its next vessel is being designed to have “as minimal an impact on the environment as possible,” with features that will reduce underwater noise, eliminate impact on the ocean floor and ice, and reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The vessel should be harvesting krill by the 2021 harvest season.
On the health side of its business, Aker is sponsoring a yearlong study to explore the effect of daily krill oil use in people with lupus. The project stems from the theory that krill’s anti-inflammatory benefits may be able to alleviate inflammatory symptoms of lupus. Results of that study are expected sometime in 2020.
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