Upcoming Issue Highlights
Home Subscribe Advertise Sourcebook Free Product Info Home

Formulating for Healthy Blood Sugar

Albion Minerals®
Healthy Blood Sugar Healthy Blood Sugar

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently 37.3 million diabetics in the U.S., 23 percent of these being undiagnosed. Beyond this startling statistic, there are another 96 million pre-diabetics, a number equivalent to 38 percent of the U.S. adult population.

“Diabetics are among the main consumer groups that could benefit from blood sugar control supplements, said Anne Trias, MS with Massachusetts-based American River Nutrition. “The greatest risk exists for older adults, with people age 65 plus presenting with symptoms of prediabetes at an astonishing rate of nearly one in two.”

“The range of blood sugar dysfunction that creates risk has evolved in our understanding beyond overt type 1 diabetes into other forms of diabetes and blood sugar issues,” said Richard Kozlenko DPM, MPH, PhD, ThreePeaks Brands Inc., executive vice-president, director of science and product development, and GCI Nutrients Inc. (California) science and product development advisory.

“Aside from public health, either directly or indirectly, they create a massive expense to an individual and our health care system,” he added.

Kozlenko noted, “The raging and dangerous epidemic of type 2, referred to as “late-onset,” is often compounded with obesity and rightfully receives great attention as being in epidemic proportions and present in all age groups and races.

“Pre-diabetes, a high blood sugar precursor just at the boundaries of possibly crossing over to frank type 2, is still a significant concerning risk factor; though not fully manifested diabetes, it, fortunately, can be more readily influenced and potentially modified, as with all forms of diabetes to some extent, with healthful interventions including lifestyle, physical activity, more optimal body composition, diet and choice of supplements.

“Chronic blood sugar dysfunction from all causes is more closely associated with higher risks of many degenerative diseases and increased immune susceptibility from Alzheimer’s, now called type 3 diabetes, to heart disease and cancer,” Kozlenko said. He added, “Recently, blood sugar issues also have been a well-publicized, major COVID-19 risk factor for infection.

“Consequently, the motivated information campaign is becoming increasingly effective and more trusted and incentivized for people to be very aware, attentive and proactive in their diet and lifestyle to more keenly address many of these largely controllable risk factors and seek self-administered preventive as well as functional remedies.”

Ingredients Benefitting Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

A healthy diet and exercise help maintain healthy blood sugar. But natural ingredients and supplements may fill in the gaps for those lacking.

Kozlenko noted that the ThreePeaks Brands’ premier blood sugar product is a functional food product called BeneSweet.

“BeneSweet, which addresses ‘blood sugar’ issues and much more, is a ‘composition’ patent based on analogous ingredient elements that mimic much of the make-up of fresh fruits or vegetables—that is, fiber, antioxidants, nutrients and natural sweetness, though, for our B to C version, we have a small amount of stable, dry probiotic added,” he said.

Its form is in a very soluble, instantly dissolvable, sugar-like powder—eventually in stick pack and bulk.

“Though the versions are very versatile and sweet with varying intensities, it was deliberately decided 20 years ago, when the concept and the patent process were first created, not to call it an ‘alternative sweetener’ and not classify it as “an additive” but to call it a ‘nutraceutical delivery system’ that happens to be sweet—not a “sweetener” with some nutraceuticals added,” he said.

“Essentially,” Kozlenko explained, “BeneSweet is deliberately constructed to align with present definitions of a “functional food” ( see defining reference notes below) and to argue it’s not really an “additive” as is the case with other sweeteners when used in foods. These two markers are particularly relevant to diabetes and obesity and are consequential in all aspects of blood sugar health, including keto and anti-inflammatory diets.”

According to Trias, American River Nutrition’s cornerstone product is DeltaGold, a vitamin E ingredient that boasts the highest concentration of the potent delta-tocotrienol isomer. Important to optimum tocotrienol function, DeltaGold from annatto is the only tocotrienol source that is naturally tocopherol-free, Trias said. The product entered the market in the early 2000s and has since undergone numerous clinical trials to support its benefits, displaying particular strength in the cardiometabolic space.

In addition to later studies, the earliest clinical trials on DeltaGold explored its effects on lipid management, a well-known benefit of tocotrienols that was first discovered by Bristol-Myers Squibb and University of Madison (Wisconsin) researchers in the 1980s, Trias noted. “We found that DeltaGold not only reduced total and LDL cholesterol, but also lowered triglycerides by 14 percent. Hypertriglyceridemia often precedes or accompanies hyperglycemia, and the study results led us to predict that tocotrienol participates in important cardiometabolic pathways.”

Based in South Korea, Samyang Corporation’s Nexweet Allulose and Fiberest resistant dextrin, are the company’s top products, and have blood sugar control functions in the body when ingested as an ingredient or supplement.

Samyang’s Youngeun Lee, explained, “Allulose is an alternative sweetener with 70 percent of the sweetness and one-tenth the calorie (0.4kcal/g) of cane sugar. It is a monosaccharide that rarely exists in nature. Unlike other high-intensity sweeteners and synthetic sweeteners, allulose can provide excellent sweetness and body as an isomer of fructose.”

Lee noted that the glycemic index (GI) of allulose is zero, meaning it does not metabolize in the human body nor affect blood sugar when ingested (The Declaration of Allulose and Calories from Allulose on Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels: Guidance for Industry (October 2020), Docket No. FDA-2019-D-0725). In addition, allulose acts as a competitive inhibitor of fructose or glucose in the human intestines and delays their absorption. This enhances insulin resistance and reduces body fat accumulation, resulting in an antidiabetic effect.

In addition, Lee noted the benefits of another company product. “Resistant dextrin, a type of soluble dietary fiber, is a functional ingredient made by treating corn starch with heat and enzymes and is not decomposed by human digestive enzymes. Resistant dextrin has higher solubility than other prebiotics (e.g., inulin) and can be applied to a variety of product types because it has little effect on their final properties,” she said.

“These two ingredients have proven the scientific basis for their functionalities through numerous in-vitro and in-vivo studies,” she added.

Lise Høj Brunsgaard, research scientist, Health and Performance Nutrition, Arla Foods Ingredients, with U.S. offices in New Jersey, said the company provides a range of high-quality whey protein isolates, concentrates and hydrolysates under the Lacprodan brand name. “They can be used by our customers as ingredients in medical nutrition applications,” she said. “Based on clinical evidence demonstrating improved blood sugar levels with whey proteins, we’ve developed a pre-meal drink concept as part of a nutritional strategy for managing blood glucose levels. It packs 15 g of pure, high-quality whey protein (Lacprodan DI-6820) into a convenient 100 ml serving. As well as inducing a lower blood glucose rise after consumption, it is a great source of BCAAs and EAAs, calcium and phosphorous.”

A recent clinical study carried out with researchers at the University of Newcastle in the U.K. demonstrated that by consuming Lacprodan whey protein before a meal, people with type 2 diabetes achieved better control of their blood sugar levels. The 18 participants took a shot containing Lacprodan DI-6820 or a control before breakfast, lunch, and dinner over a seven-day period. Consuming the whey shot was found to reduce daily hyperglycaemia.

For Formulators

The selection of the type of ingredients is an essential step when formulating blood sugar control supplements. “If the flavor profile of ingredient is not favorable (e.g., a strong bitter taste), it is obviously limited to be applied in tablet formulations,” said Lee. “On the other hand, if the flavor profile is likely favorable (sweet or tasteless), it can be applied in a wide range of formulations. The solubility of ingredients also plays an important role in the development of formulas. In conclusion, when selecting ingredients for product development, options, such as allulose and resistant dextrin, would be most competitive because they have preferable flavor and high solubility, which are versatile for various applications.”

“Firstly, and most obviously,” added Høj Brunsgaard, “Supplements can only ever be part of the solution. A large body of evidence supports the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions—exercise as well as healthy diet—for managing hyperglycaemia and delaying and reducing the risk of diabetes complications.

“Secondly, nutritional strategies that maintain a level of enjoyment are essential. It is important for quality of life to be able to look forward to mealtimes, so solutions need to be compatible with modern lifestyles and dietary preferences.”

“Supplements should be formulated with diabetics in mind, ensuring that none of the ingredients cause unexpected sugar spikes,” Trias noted. “For fat-soluble ingredients such as vitamin E tocotrienols, labels need to state clearly that these supplements should be taken with a meal to improve absorption.”

Kozlenko added that a range of factors needs to be considered in creating a formula. “Even more than what is listed here, as one gets down to the final process as follows: Functional food/beverage or a dietary supplement delivery system? Target market? Quality, sourcing and proof of the chosen ingredients? Natural, organic, or not important? Affordability: Cost of ingredients and formula from small to large production—is it feasible for your company? Please tell me what the claims are and how your claim supports recommending dosages and the chosen ingredients. What makes your particular formula distinct and its value-added features? Why should the consumer want yours over similar competitors? Is the formula proprietary and patented with reliable, authoritative, independent third-party verification? Is the formula safe—Are there potential toxicity issues, drug/nutrient interactions that have been considered, allergenic properties, the risks of the consumer to chronic dosing, if formula or any ingredients not advisable in certain health conditions, age, gender or children?”

All should be taken into consideration when developing finished products for healthy blood sugar maintenance. NIE

For More Information:

American River Nutrition, americanrivernutrition.com
Arla Foods, arlausa.com
GCI Nutrients, gcinutrients.com
SamYang Corporation, www.samyangcorp.com/eng

Albion Minerals®