Brain/Mood Health

Energy boost: Are adaptogens a better alternative to caffeine? Experts weigh in

20 Feb 2019 --- A daily cup of coffee is not just a habit for the approximately 2.25 billion people around the globe that drink it every day, but rather a beverage that boosts energy and increases alertness with the added bonus of a delicious taste. Despite perceived benefits, however, caffeine also has its drawbacks and this has allowed a number of alternative energy-boosting ingredients to come forward. NutritionInsight speaks to industry experts to find out more on caffeine alternatives that are seeing a boom in popularity.

“Lettuce be happy”: Fruit and vegetables boost mental health, says UK study

20 Feb 2019 --- The daily consumption of fruit and vegetables is not just good for our physical health but can also improve mental wellbeing, according to a longitudinal study from the University of Leeds, UK. Increasing the frequency and quantity of consumption may also affect mental health. Although the association between mental health and fruit and vegetable intake appears to be strong, the researchers note more research is needed to determine whether this is causal.

Late night cravings? Nightfood ice cream provides some sleep-friendly indulgence

18 Feb 2019 --- Tapping into the growing snacking trend, Nightfood Inc. has launched a line of ice creams that boast a low-calorie, sleep-friendly formulation. Although the products do not contain any sleep activating chemicals such as melatonin, they are touted as not interfering with sleep due to their reduced sugar, caffeine and fat content. The company has announced its first major retail distribution deal which launches nationwide in the US this month.

“Aging well starts young”: Preventative approach widens NPD scope

14 Feb 2019 --- Health and wellness are important for consumers across all age groups and life stages, united by a common goal of “aging well.” The nutrition industry is increasingly approaching the topic of aging in a broad manner, tapping into a range of market areas from bone and joint health to energy and alertness. Long gone is a negative “anti-aging” philosophy and celebrated is an approach touting “positive aging” or “aging well,” according to industry experts.

Fermentalg to “ramp up” omega 3 platform following strong growth in 2018

11 Feb 2019 --- Microalgae innovator Fermentalg has reported accelerated industrial and commercial growth across three of its major platforms for the 2018 period, particularly regarding its foray into premium omega 3. The other platforms include protein and pigments and its algal biofilter. The success has placed the company in a prime position to “ramp up its business” in 2019 on the omega 3 platform, according to Fermentalg.

“Authentic ashwagandha”: Sabinsa’s adaptogen complies with USP authenticity test

11 Feb 2019 --- Sabinsa’s Shagandha Ashwagandha Root Extract 2.5 percent from Withania somnifera has been found to comply with the US Pharmacopoeia-National Formulary (USP-NF) monograph, confirming its authenticity. The company chose botanical specialist Alkemist Labs to test the ingredient. Ashwagandha’s growing popularity makes caution in sourcing crucial to guard against the adulteration that often follows rapid growth in demand for a herb, according to Sabinsa Founder Dr. Muhammed Majeed.

Hong Kong researchers boost DHA absorption with novel nano-encapsulation

04 Feb 2019 --- Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have developed a new nano-encapsulation technology that optimizes the absorption of DHA. The researchers used Zein – an edible corn protein – to mimic milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), prevent DHA from oxidation and increase its absorption. The encapsulation method can reportedly be used to increase absorption in nutrient delivery.

“Achieving the purity of wild ginseng”: Botalys taps into expanding adaptogenic market with new launch

22 Jan 2019 --- Botalys, a supplier of rare plant extracts, is to launch what it describes as the most bioactive Panax ginseng powder on the market, coined HRG80. The launch is to take place at Vitafoods Europe 2019, held in May in Geneva, and Natural Origins group will be in charge of its Western Europe distribution. Ginseng’s mainly used for its stress-reducing properties, Paul-Evence Coppée, Co-CEO of Botalys, tells NutritionInsight, and the plant is “considered by many to be the king of adaptogens.”

Expanding the gut-brain axis: Do probiotics hold potential as treatment for bipolar disorder?

20 Dec 2018 --- Probiotics have been flagged as a potential avenue of treatment to alleviate bipolar and other psychiatric mood disorders, a Baltimore Sheppard Pratt Health System study has found. Published in Bipolar Disorders, the research showed that a probiotic supplement reduced inflammation, which is known to exacerbate bipolar disorder, in the gut of participants hospitalized for mania. Probiotic organisms are non-pathogenic bacteria that, when present in the gut flora, may improve the overall health of the host.

Purely botanic brain health boost hits the US market this month

05 Dec 2018 ---  A new cognitive enhancing supplement coined Sophrosyne has hit the US market this month. Tapping into the booming nootropics trend, the supplement’s creators hope to reach consumers who are becoming more interested in using products that tout brain-health boosting qualities. A daily dose of Sophrosyne contains clinically active doses of 500mg of ashwagandha, 180mg of curcumin, 300mg of bacopa monnieri and 500mg of hericium erinaceus.

Cannabis is a packaging industry “without precedent,” says AssurPack Founder

27 Nov 2018 --- Following 30 years in the pharmaceutical packaging business, Founder of AssurPack, Nancy Gruskin Warner, entered the emerging, yet somewhat booming, cannabis industry. Consumers are demanding when it comes to packaging and there is no exception when it comes to the cannabis market. However, as Warner tells PackagingInsights, “this is an industry without precedent,” with suppliers facing challenges related to swiftly changing regulations. However, the growing market and consumer enthusiasm do present ample opportunity for packaging NPD.

The next infant formula staple? NZMP eyes milk fat globule membrane potential

21 Nov 2018 --- As scientific understanding of infant development evolves, the industry is seeing growing opportunities for infant nutrition formulas that come as close to human breast milk as possible, and which benefit aspects such as brain and immune health. In this space, NZMP, Fonterra’s B2B ingredients business, is making strides in uncovering the potential of milk fat globule membrane (MFGM).

Health Logics launches mood and cognition-enhancing supplement

16 Nov 2018 --- Health Logics is launching a dietary supplement containing S-adenosylmethionine. Also known as SAM-e, produced by advanced biotech company Gnosis, the ingredient is touted as improving joint, brain and liver function, and enhances mood and cognition.

Monounsaturated fatty acids linked to benefits for brain network organization

29 Oct 2018 --- A new study by University of Illinois researchers has found that monounsaturated fatty acids – a class of nutrients found in olive oils, nuts and avocados – are linked to general intelligence, and that this relationship is driven by the correlation between MUFAs and the organization of the brain's attention network. Although nutrition has been linked to cognitive performance, the mechanism behind the connection has remained elusive.

Ashwagandha: Rooted in tradition, set for sky-high NPD growth 

18 Oct 2018 --- Boosted by growing consumer demand for natural remedies to fight the daily stresses of modern life, the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha is seeing an impressive uptake in usage. Innova Market Insights data has shown an increase of 48 percent in the number of food and beverage launches globally in 2018 (year to date) relative to 2015, and the adaptogenic herb’s market potential has not gone unnoticed by suppliers, with both Arjuna Natural and Sabinsa announcing the launch of ashwagandha ingredients this autumn.

Study: Ketogenic diet helps to prevent cognitive decline in mice

15 Oct 2018 --- The ketogenic diet may improve neurovascular function in mice who follow the ketogenic diet regime, a study published in Scientific Reports has found. The research team hopes that their work may hold potential for the future understanding of the link between the microbiome and neurological disorder. 

Kyowa Hakko’s nootropic included in Nootropics Depot capsule and powder forms 

25 Sep 2018 --- Kyowa Hakko’s Cognizin Citicoline is now featured in two new products sold at Nootropics Depot. The supplements vendor now offers Cognizin Citicoline Powder in 30g and 60g jars, as well as Cognizin Citicoline Capsules, which contain 250mg of this brain health ingredient and come in 60- or 180-count jars. Brain health is a growing category for product launches, and within this space, nootropics are gaining recognition for their ability to provide a mental boost.

Fish-rich diet during pregnancy may boost baby's brain development

21 Sep 2018 --- Regularly eating fatty fish during pregnancy could boost the development of an unborn child's eyesight and brain function, according to a small-scale study led by Kirsi Laitinen of the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland. Published in the journal Pediatric Research, the results support previous findings that show how important a mother's diet and lifestyle choices during pregnancy are for the development of her baby.

Adapting to the market? Adaptogens thrive on natural and health trends, but marketing remains a challenge

20 Sep 2018 --- Products that are clean label, natural and have health benefits are in vogue, and busy lifestyles are putting a spotlight on foods and beverages that can offer some stress relief and mood balancing effects. It’s no wonder then that adaptogens – claimed to stabilize physiological processes and promote homeostasis – are having a moment. Featured in a growing number of product categories, suppliers tip ongoing research into their capabilities as well as consumer education as necessary for continued growth.

Omega 3 potential for treating depression in heart failure subjects, study finds

22 Aug 2018 --- Supplementing with omega 3 may lower the risk of cognitive depression in people who experience depression and chronic heart failure, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology’s Heart Failure edition has found. The study found significant correlations between blood levels of EPA plus DHA omega 3s in cognitive, as opposed to somatic, depression among the participants.