Arjuna: Novel ashwagandha delivery form aims to ensure purity and potency

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12 Nov 2018 --- Arjuna Natural Ltd. has developed new technology that ensures the safe delivery of its proprietary Shoden ashwagandha extract at a new level of purity and bioactivity. Arjuna will showcase Shoden, its potent, all natural, extract of ashwagandha (withania somnifera) at Hi Europe 2018 in Frankfurt, November 27-29, 2018.

Innova Market Insights data has reported a 48 percent increase in the number of food and beverage launches in 2018 globally compared to 2015 with the US taking the lead. This spike is potentially spurred by growing consumer demand for the adaptogenic herb to help overcome the stresses of modern life.

Click to Enlarge
Innova Market Insights data notes a
large increase in ashwagandha appplications
in food and beverage products.

Ashwagandha growth is especially strong in the sports industry. According to Innova data, one in three product launches of the ingredient have been under the nutritional sports category globally between 2015 and 2018. A further two in five launches featured an energy or alertness claim.

In a recent report, NutritionInsight explored the adaptogens space, with suppliers noting that ashwagandha has found application in various delivery forms including chocolates, chewing gum, nutritional bars, soft chews, gummy bears, juices, RTD beverages, coffee, tea and granola. 

The Shoden product is now bioactivity protected and contains ashwagandha extract standardized with 35 percent withanolide glycosides, which is the most active component of ashwagandha. Shoden is manufactured from carefully selected ashwagandha roots and leaves. 

Arjuna developed its Bioactive Ingredient Protection System (BIPS) proprietary safety technology to ensure optimal delivery of the bioactive components of ashwagandha. BIPS is a patented procedure in which all the active molecules are encapsulated in a shield to deliver them safely and at the desired potency. This process makes Shoden active even at a low dosage.

Click to Enlarge
Ashwagandha opposes the reactions of stress by
reducing the amount of cortisol released in the body.

“Ashwagandha extract is known to be very effective in ameliorating stress, anxiety, depression and also increases testosterone,” says Benny Antony, Ph.D., Joint Managing Director for Arjuna. “But to benefit from these functions effectively, we needed to find a way to deliver the most bioactive component in the gut without it getting damaged.” 

When ingested in its naked form, ashwagandha interacts with the acids in the stomach and loses its activeness, thereby denying the human body from reaping the full spectrum of its benefits. 

“We were faced with the challenge of identifying the site of absorption in the gut as well as the reasons for its damage while passing through the gut and then devised a solution to maximize absorption of ashwagandha in the intestine only,” explains Anthony. “This required intense research by our R&D team to find out the precise mechanism by which this can be achieved.”

Toxins are removed from the roots and leaves using a proprietary purification process. This gentle procedure removes known toxic alkeloids such as somnifrine and withanine and other undesirable components, yet retains withanolide glycosides at optimum levels. This newly developed process has also eliminated the necessity for using milk which has been the traditional medium for removing toxins from ashwagandha extract making Shoden wholly vegan.

Arjuna is supporting several ongoing clinical studies of Shoden that already have yielded promising results of the ingredient for alleviating depression, stress, and sleep disturbances, and for improving immunomodulation and production of testosterone.

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