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Go With Your Heart

Heart Health Heart Health

Ingredient advancements are providing manufacturers key opportunities to support consumers’ heart health goals. When selecting ingredients and formulating new products, manufacturers take pride in focusing on efficacy and safety.

The Krill Advantage

Superba Krill Oil, produced by Aker BioMarine (Oslo, Norway), has many heart health benefit applications due to its natural composition of omega-3s, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA ( docosahexaenoic acid), phospholipids and choline. In fact, this natural combination and concentration of these key nutrients offers brands opportunities for differentiation in the supplement market—of course including heart health.

Anca Vislie, marketing manager, Aker BioMarine, Antarctic AS, Oslo, Norway stated, “A growing body of evidence demonstrates krill oil’s benefits on health across multiple categories such as the heart, brain, eyes and liver. When it comes to heart health, krill oil has shown to have beneficial effects such as lowering fasting triglyceride levels which are a risk factor for heart disease.”

When selecting a heart health ingredient, or any ingredient for that matter, brands and manufacturers need to know where their ingredients are coming from. “In the natural products space, where transparency and openness are key, product traceability helps demonstrate a company’s responsibility and trustworthiness,” Vislie continued. “Consumers have access to a tremendous amount of information, and it’s important to increase knowledge sharing and lead with transparency. Simplicity and honesty are an essential part of any supplier relationship, making it crucial for brands, manufacturers and retailers alike to understand the ingredients they are selling and why.

“Aker BioMarine is vertically integrated, allowing for full traceability. We have the ability to trace each and every batch of krill oil directly back to its origin, which is a benefit that is passed on to our customers,” Vislie concluded.

Olive Leaf Contributes to Heart Health

In recent years, research studies indicated that the olive leaf is a rising healing star. It’s very well known as a non-toxic, potent immunity enhancer. And it has several cardiovascular benefits.

Olivir is GCI Nutrients’ (Burlingame, CA) brand name for its olive leaf extract bulk ingredient. It’s guaranteed potency and purity so you get the full benefits of olive leaf extract.

Dave Pihlcrantz, MPH, technical director, GCI Nutrients, explained, “Olive leaf extract contains such active components as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol and has been shown to help achieve healthy blood pressure and a healthy lipid profile. It has been postulated that oleuropein reduces blood pressure via blockade of L-type calcium channels. Olive leaf extract helps to achieve vascular flexibility, which enhances blood flow. Olive leaf extract’s contribution to a healthy lipid profile includes primarily the inhibition of oxidation of LDL cholesterol.”

The active component in olive leaf, hydroxytyrosol, is also used in WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS (Munich, Germany) product. Rachela Mohr, manager business development nutraceuticals at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, noted that hydroxytyrosol is a particularly effective antioxidant. “Its reported properties include lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation,” she said. “In addition, two clinical studies provide proof that WACKER’s hydroxytyrosol HTEssence has a positive effect on LDL cholesterol levels (Siefer et al., 2018, Journal of Nutritional Medicine and Diet Care/Knaub et al., 2020, Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences.). A high LDL level is one main factor for the occurrence of coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis.”

WACKER’s patented process makes it possible to obtain a nature-identical substance of high purity with a precisely defined hydroxytyrosol content. Available both as an odorless, water-soluble powder and in liquid form, the product is suitable for use in functional foods and dietary supplements, such as tablets, capsules, energy bars and beverages.

CoQ10 Contributes to Cardiovascular Health

The highly bioavailable coenzyme Q10 CAVAQ10 is another ingredient featured in WACKER’s portfolio, which can support heart health.

Mohr explained, “A vitamin-like molecule, coenzyme Q10 is present in various foodstuffs, as well as in every human cell, where its function is to efficiently transform ingested food into energy. What is more, studies demonstrate that CoQ10 protects LDL cholesterol against oxidation, contributes toward cardiovascular health and promotes optimal functioning of the heart muscle. With increasing age, however, the biosynthesis of CoQ10 declines; age-related tissue deficits are associated with this decline. Taking CoQ10 supplements counteracts the shortage and may improve the efficiency of energy production in human heart tissue.

“Since coenzyme Q10 does not readily dissolve in water, the body has difficulty in absorbing the nutrient,” she added. With CAVAQ10 WACKER has solved the problem of poor bioavailability: the presence of cyclodextrin allows complexation of the substance which greatly increases bioavailability, eighteen times in comparison to conventional CoQ10.”

Benefits of Bergamot

Bergamot is an additional ingredient essential for heart health with many other added benefits. Bergamonte is a dietary supplement/beverage product provided by Florida-based HP Ingredients.

Annie Eng, CEO of Florida-based HP Ingredients elucidated, “Bergamonte is an extract of 38 percent bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF), a unique profile of flavonoid and glycosides, such as neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin, naringin, rutin, neodesmin, rhoifolin and poncirin. Narigin have been shown to be beneficial in animal models of atherosclerosis, while neoeriocitrin and rutin have been found to exhibit a strong capacity to prevent LDL from oxidation. Importantly, bergamot juice is rich in brutieridine and melitidine with an ability to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase.”

When it comes to cardiovascular support, Eng continued to explain, “Bergamonte is a nutritional compound that has been shown to manage the characteristics of metabolic syndrome (MetS). MetS is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease state (NAFLD). NAFLD is one of the most common causes of liver-related mortality worldwide. NAFLD encompasses a morphological spectrum from simple fatty liver (SFL), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) to hepatic cirrhosis. NAFLD has been identified as the hepatic manifestation of MetS and the association between NAFLD and MS has been reported in earlier observational studies. There are several common mechanisms underlying the development of NAFLD and MetS. For example, they may have the same pathophysiological basis of insulin resistance. A systematic review suggested a potential predictive effect of liver fat on the presence of MetS. However, no evidence was provided regarding the causal association between NAFLD and MetS.”

“Human studies have revealed that Bergamonte—and only Bergamonte—is the bergamot extract that supports individuals who exhibit parameters of metabolic syndrome, NAFLD and NASH,” Eng continued.

Eng also shared the results of four studies which used BPF at 38 percent, which is critical as any bergamot extract that has a different percentage or profile cannot make the same claims as Bergamonte.

Bergamonte BPF reduced LDL small-size, atherogenic particles and enhanced large-size anti-atherogenic HDL lipoprotein particles. This effect, combined with reduction of inflammatory biomarkers, suggests that BPF leads to an attenuation of atherogenic risk in patients with MetS.

The increased cascade of VLDL to IDL to LDL would result in increased numbers of large LDL particles and provide surface constituents for the formation of large HDL. The formation of small LDL is mainly due to cholesteryl ester transfer protein-mediated exchange of VLDL-TG for LDL cholesterol ester and the subsequent hydrolysis of LDL-TG. The decrease in large and medium VLDL diminishes the cholesteryl ester transfer protein-mediated exchange, decreasing the formation and number of small LDL particles.

In another study, association of BPF (1,000 mg/daily) with the lower dose of rosuvastatin (10 mg) for 30 consecutive days produced a significant enhancement of the hypolipidemic effect of rosuvastatin compared with the effect of rosuvastatin alone. Indeed, the lower dose of rosuvastatin (10 mg/daily) when given in combination with a single oral dose of BPF (1,000 mg/daily) produced a significant decrease on total cholesterol and LDL-C serum levels in hyperlipidemic patients when compared to rosuvastatin alone, an effect which was nearly the same than the one produced by 20 mg of rosuvastatin. In addition, triglycerides were reduced by 42+5 percent and HDL-C was increased by 34+2 percent, an effect which was significantly higher while compared to the use of rosuvastatin alone.

A third study confirmed previous results showing that Bergamot-derived polyphenolic fraction reduces cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). This effect is accompanied by reduction of LDL-C and elevation of HDL-C, thus suggesting a beneficial effect in the lipemic profile of patients with MetS. The added value and novelty of data reported in this study using BPF in such a subgroup of patients with elevated cardiometabolic risk, is also displayed by prominent re-arrangement of lipoprotein particle profile found following 30-day BPF treatment.

Here too, BPF reduced LDL small-size, atherogenic particles and enhanced large-size anti-atherogenic HDL lipoprotein particles. This effect highlights that BPF leads to an attenuation of atherogenic risk in patients with Type 2 DM. The data also show that using PF in phytosome leads to bioequivalent response in patients, an effect associated to better polyphenolic oral absorption. BPF Phyto, compared to standard BPF formulation, leads to near 2.5-fold increase in the rate of naringin serum concentration, an effect confirmed by measurement of its metabolite naringenin and naringenin glucuronide.

This effect was accompanied by substantial comparable response of BPF Phyto on serum lipemic and glycemic responses of patients with type 2 DM, including the significant re-arrangement of lipoproteins which are addressed to a lesser atherogenic profile compared to placebo-treated group.

A fourth study was the first to report a direct inhibitory effect of BPF and F105 components on myeloperoxidase (MPO) in vitro. When combined, MPO inhibition was increased 14-fold as did the F105 formulation relative to the BPF alone.

BPF can play a central role in the development of synergistic, biologically active blends of phytoextracts. Further, enhanced peroxynitrite scavenging and MPO inhibition may broaden BPF’s potential usefulness for cardiometabolic disorders. Clinically, the F105 supplementation regimen demonstrated safety and efficacy in subjects with moderate signs of CAD risk factors in the 12-week, observational trial. The subgroup of subjects with increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes exhibited further improvement in similar cardiometabolic variables as well as dramatic lowering of TG, oxLDL, and PAI-1, and TG/HDL, oxLDL/HDL, oxLDL/HDL ratios.

An Essential Role in Heart Health—Vitamin K2 as MK-7

Vitamin K2 as MK-7 is gaining great recognition as a heart-support nutrient that simultaneously supports bone health. And NattoPharma has been the driver of this research, providing their MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 ad MK-7 as the source material.

Elise Kaiser, NattoPharma vice president of sales, Americas, Edison, NJ, stressed that it’s imperative to note that this research—more than 20 human clinical trials—has been published in respected peer-reviewed journals, such as Thrombosis and Haemostasis, the British Journal of Nutrition and Osteoporosis International, to name a few.

Vitamin K2 as MK-7 activates K-dependent proteins already present in the body that help the body properly utilize calcium:

• Osteocalcin binds calcium to the bone mineral matrix.

• Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) inhibits calcium from depositing in arteries and soft tissues.

Kaiser continued, “Vitamin K2 as MK-7 is unique because it impacts arterial calcification, and no other compound (drug or vitamin) has been shown to do this. Most noteworthy is our three-year study of healthy postmenopausal women, which was published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis in 2015.1 In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 244 participants were given 180 mcg daily of vitamin K2 as MK-7 (as MenaQ7) or a placebo. This study showed not only cessation, but remarkably regression in arterial stiffness (i.e., their arteries became more flexible) in the MenaQ7 group.

Years of innovation have evolved the MenaQ7 brand to anticipate and answer market needs, meaning that MenaQ7 offers the most comprehensive portfolio of Vitamin K2 in a range of dilutions and solubilities to bring any product formation to life:

• MenaQ7 Natto MK-7: Manufactured using a soybean protein substrate for Bacillus subtilis fermentation, this 96 percent active all-trans soy fermented MK-7 variety is produced using a proprietary process of purification, condensation and crystallization.

• MenaQ7 Natural MK-7: A proprietary multi-step process of purification of fermentation-derived K2 results in an exceedingly safe and efficacious ingredient that is more than 96 percent pure, all trans MK-7. Further, Natural is manufactured using Bacillus licheniformis, creating a MenaQ7 that is free of soy and other allergens.

• MenaQ7 PharmaPure MK-7: The only all-trans nature-identical synthetic available that is free of cis-isomers, PharmaPure is the result of a patent-pending synthesis process that yields an unprecendentedly pure Vitamin K2 molecule that delivers the same technical and clinical benefits as the MenaQ7 Natural, but as a sensitive price point. MenaQ7 PharmaPure MK-7, previously known as MenaQ7 PURE, was recognized with the 2015 NutrAward for Best Functional Ingredient.

• MenaQ7 Full Spectrum K2: The latest innovation from NattoPharma, introduced in 2017. Fermented cheeses are the best dietary source of menaquinones in the West, but most cannot consume enough daily to get optimal amounts of K2, nor is cheese a practical source for extracting the menaquinones. With MenaQ7 Full Spectrum K2, manufacturers answer the demands of natural product consumers seeking comprehensive nutritional sources. Via NattoPharma’s technological breakthrough, MenaQ7 Full Spectrum is the first and only vitamin K2 to provide MK-6, 7 and 9, vital menaquinone isomers shown to improve long-term cardiovascular health outcomes.

The first and only vitamin K2 to deliver a range of menaquinone isomers, MenaQ7 Full Spectrum is naturally fermented using chickpea protein, creating a MenaQ7 that is free from soy and other allergens. NIE References:

1 Knapen MHJ, et al. “Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in health postmenopausal women: double-blind randomized clinical trial.” Thromosis and Haemostatsis (2015) 19; 113(5).

2 Vermeer C and Vik H. Effect of Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2) on vascular elasticity in healthy subjects: results from a one-year study. 2020 Vascul Dis Ther, 5: doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000179.

3 Study abstract: Vossen LM et al. “Menaquinone-7 supplementation to reduce vascular calcification in patients with coronary artery disease: rationale and study protocol (VitaK-CAC Trial).” Nutrients, vol. 7, no. 11 (October 28, 2015): 8905-8915.

For More Information:

Aker BioMarine, www.akerbiomarine.com
GCI Nutrients, www.gcinutrients.com
HP Ingredients, www.hpingredients.com
NattoPharma, www.nattopharma.com

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