Brain/Mood Health

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.

Increased belly fat in older adults linked to cognitive impairment

06 Aug 2018 --- A higher waist to hip ratio has been linked to reduced cognitive function in older Irish adults (over 60 years of age) by a new study using data from over 5,000 individuals. These findings have significant implications as the global prevalence of dementia is predicted to increase from 24.3 million in 2001 to 81.1 million by 2040.

Higher omega 3 index linked to better brain function in children

01 Aug 2018 --- New research published in the July edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry has pointed to a strong correlation between blood levels of omega 3s, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and better brain function in children aged two to six years old. Although the benefits of omega 3s in certain populations are hotly debated, the authors of this study conclude that these findings provided an “impetus for further studies into possible interventions to improve essential fatty acid status of children in developing countries.”

Sabinsa probiotic found to reverse depression in IBS patients

31 Jul 2018 --- Adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) show improvement from co-existing depression when taking the probiotic strain Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856, Sabinsa’s LactoSpore, versus subjects given a placebo, according to a clinical study published in the journal Food & Nutrition Research. These findings hint at the possibility that LactoSpore may be a new treatment option for major depressive disorder in IBS patients and open new avenues for the probiotic’s use in gut and psychological conditions.

Processed meats may increase risk of manic episodes, studies suggest

24 Jul 2018 --- An Johns Hopkins Medicine analysis of more than 1,000 people with and without psychiatric disorders has shown that nitrates – chemicals used to cure meats such as beef jerky, salami, hot dogs and other processed meat snacks – may contribute to mania, an abnormal mood state. Mania, a state of elevated mood, is characterized by hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia and is generally seen in people with bipolar disorder.

Food for thought: Suppliers on the cognitive health ingredients market 

13 Jul 2018 --- Cognitive health has proven itself a growing category, with new products appealing to consumers from all walks of life, from more senior citizens seeking to prevent cognitive decline, to busy office workers looking to combat mental fatigue. NutritionInsight speaks to suppliers about their views on this growing category.

Palm tocotrienol holds potential for brain health, study suggests

10 Jul 2018 --- Supplementation with palm tocotrienol improves behavioral and cognitive abilities in transgenic – genetically modified – Alzheimer’s mice, a joint study conducted by the National University of Malaysia and Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan has found. Tocotrienol has garnered wide attention as a potential therapeutic agent against neurodegenerative disease due to its potent antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, the study explains, but this is the “first” study to evaluate the effect of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) – consisting of a mixture of vitamin E analogs – of palm oil on behavior and cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s mice. 

Bioavailability emerges as a key nutritional driver, says Frutarom Natural Solutions Chief

04 Jul 2018 --- The demand for natural, sustainable and integrated solutions, as well as growing calls for expressing bioavailability are all key drivers for today’s health and nutrition products, Frutarom’s President of Natural Solutions, Yoni Glickman has said. The business unit, which offers Flavor & Color, Food Protection and Health Benefits, accounts for about 25 percent of Frutarom’s turnover. An integrated cognitive health platform will be just one of the target areas for growth for the business, in the run-up to Frutarom’s US$7.1 billion acquisition by International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), which was announced last May.

No “safe limit”? Drinking changes young adults’ metabolite profile, research shows

29 Jun 2018 --- Adolescent drinking is associated with changes in the metabolite profile, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital shows. Moreover, some of these changes were found to correlate with reduced brain grey matter volume, especially in young women who are heavy drinkers. The findings shed new light on the biological implications of adolescent drinking and could contribute to the development of new treatments.

Study: Obesity exacerbates effects of aging on the brain and raises risk of Alzheimer's

29 Jun 2018 --- When a high-fat, high-sugar (HFS) diet that leads to obesity is paired with normal aging, it may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, finds a study published in Physiological Reports. Also, researchers discovered that certain areas of the brain respond differently to risk factors associated with Alzheimer's, indicating that the pathology is not uniform throughout the brain.

Health claim success: Unilever receives positive EFSA opinion on tea's attention boosting potential

27 Jun 2018 --- Unilever has received a positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the company’s evidence that black tea can improve attention. This makes Unilever the first company in the EU to receive a positive scientific opinion on a health claim for tea.

Zero proof that probiotics can ease your anxiety, research reveals

21 Jun 2018 --- Those hoping to alleviate their anxiety with the use of probiotics should probably put down that yogurt spoon or supplement bottle and call a professional instead. This is according to researchers from the University of Kansas who reviewed available research, finding evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans. The researchers reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies involving 743 animals and 14 clinical studies of 1,527 individuals, and found that probiotics did “not significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety in humans and did not differentially affect clinical and healthy human samples.”

Saturated fat increases risk of psychopathology, study suggests

19 Jun 2018 --- Adolescent rats who consume a diet high in saturated fats are at an increased risk of psychopathology in adulthood, a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity has found. Moreover, the researchers from Loma Linda University in California found that the areas of the brain that handle the fear/stress response were altered to the point that subjects began exhibiting behaviors that mirror post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The findings could help researchers to target mental health illness in the coming generations and express the lasting, and potentially irreversible, effects of a poor diet.

Key gut-brain interplays identified, enhancing possibilities for neurological treatments

21 May 2018 --- Steps have been taken toward untangling the complex interplay that allows the byproducts of microorganisms living in the gut to influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have defined a pathway between the two, coined the gut-brain axis, that may help guide therapies for multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. Essentially, some gut microbes were found to activate an anti-inflammatory pathway that can limit neurodegeneration.

BioPQQ European progress: Mitsubishi brain health supplement gets Novel Foods nod

03 May 2018 --- The all-natural brain health supplement BioPQQ, manufactured by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, is to be added to the EU’s Approved List of Novel Foods, enabling the product to be used in food applications. Traditionally associated with brain-boosting capacities among aging consumers, the company notes there are growing opportunities among younger generations, actively seeking for products to give them a mental edge. NutritionInsight spoke with Shoji Matsukawa, General Manager, Organic Chemicals Sales & Marketing for Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, about the product’s appeal and the studies underscoring its benefits.