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Talking Active and Sports Nutrition with IFF’s Ryan Lauchli

Active Nutrition Active Nutrition

Nutrition Industry Executive (NIE) reached out to Ryan Lauchli, global category health manager at Wilmington, DE-based International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), about ingredients for active nutrition.

NIE: Can you talk about two of IFF’s active-nutrition proprietary ingredients, BetaPower and AB-Fortis?

Absolutely. BetaPower Natural Betaine helps fitness-oriented consumers get a natural boost in their performance while aiding several important metabolic functions.

A purified form of anhydrous betaine, BetaPower Natural Betaine is 99 percent pure and derived from sugar beets. Also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), betaine is found in many healthy foods, such as whole grains, spinach and beets. When consumed as part of a daily diet, betaine helps maintain cellular hydration and contributes to a healthy metabolism.

A number of recent studies show that betaine provides a number of health and sports performance benefits. Clinical trials demonstrate a significant improvement in physical performance—especially in strength, power and muscle endurance.

It’s important to note that a number of published athletic performance and safety studies have included BetaPower Natural Betaine.

There are other synthetic and natural betaine products on the market which may not have been subjected to these stringent tests—and this may not always be clear from the product labelling.

IFF has also developed IP (intellectual property) on the use of betaine for physical performance and in various foods.

We’re the world’s largest supplier of natural betaine used for food and a wide variety of other applications—and all of our betaine ingredients are derived from sugar beet. Our betaine is manufactured in Finland and is approved as a safe ingredient in a growing list of countries.

Incorporating BetaPower Natural Betaine into your sports nutrition and dietary supplement nutraceutical products gives consumers a convenient way to achieve a daily dose of this versatile ingredient.


Research shows that BetaPower Natural Betaine can significantly improve strength, endurance, and power in humans.

A study conducted by the University of Connecticut measured the increase in the performance levels of athletes who had consumed just 2.5 grams of betaine per day over a two-week period.1

The results demonstrated increased performance, as measured by muscular strength and power, in all the athletes tested. Betaine was the only performance ingredient that showed increased results across 100 percent of subjects.

A study by Hoffman et al2 at the College of New Jersey showed:

• A 30 percent increase in squat repetitions after a seven-day betaine intake
• A 47 percent increase in squat repetitions after a 14-day betaine intake
• A significant increase in the quality of repetitions performed (at repetitions performed at 90 percent of the subjects’ maximal performance) after seven-day and 14-day betaine intake

Natural Health Support

BetaPower Natural Betaine contributes to several important metabolic functions

As a methyl donor:

BetaPower Natural Betaine donates methyl groups (CH3) which are required for over 100 different metabolic reactions essential for normal cell function in the human body. These functions include the synthesis of creatine, carnitine and epinephrine—all of which are known to play a role in enhanced physical performance.

As a natural osmolyte:

BetaPower Natural Betaine accumulates in cells to protect against stress by forming a monolayer of water around essential cell components, like enzymes. Betaine helps to maintain cell volume and function during dehydration, heat or metabolite accumulation.

As an osmolyte, betaine works in synergy with electrolytes for optimal cellular water balance and function—protecting enzymes and proteins against inactivation and degradation.

Functional benefits:

• Donates methyl groups (CH3) essential for several metabolic reactions needed for normal cell function
• Betaine is a compatible osmolyte protecting cells and cellular proteins against dehydration and other stressor

BetaPower Natural Betaine is especially appropriate for energy and sports formulations.

The uses and activities for AB-Fortis Microencapsulated Iron are supported by published scientific research.

Daily intake of iron is essential to maintain adequate iron levels. Low iron levels can be prevented by increasing iron intake via food fortification. Adequate iron is essential for many functions of the body including red blood cell production, oxygen transport, and DNA synthesis. However, iron fortification challenges in food include metallic taste, high reactivity (oxidation of proteins in saliva) and unpleasant gastrointestinal tract side effects.

These disadvantages are successfully overcome by the use of AB-Fortis. In fact, a human clinical trial showed the high bioavailability of the iron in AB-Fortis in comparison with iron sulfate.3

Increased bioavailability of the ingredient may lead to higher blood levels of iron achieved with daily intake. Reduced interactions of AB-Fortis within the gastrointestinal system reduces iron-related adverse effects such as metallic taste.4

AB-Fortis is produced by a patented manufacturing process, which provides stable encapsulation that leads to a minimal release of free iron in the food matrix. The spherical gelation of ferric saccharate by calcium alginate results in a microencapsulated iron salt with a high (40 percent) content of iron.

AB-Fortis Microencapsulated Iron is especially appropriate for formulations geared for energy and sports, immunity, brain health and early life.


1 Lee EC, Maresh CM, Kraemer WJ, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jul 19;7:27. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-27.

2 Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Kang J, et al. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 27;6:7. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-6-7.

3 Contreras C, Barnuevo MD, Guillén I, Luque A, et al. Comparative study of the oral absorption of microencapsulated ferric saccharate and ferrous sulfate in humans. Eur J Nutr. 2014;53(2):567-74. doi: 10.1007/s00394-013-0565-z.

4 Friling M, García-Muñoz AM, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, et al. Tolerability of oral supplementation with microencapsulated ferric saccharate compared to ferrous sulphate in healthy premenopausal women: A crossover, randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 14;23(20):12282. doi: 10.3390/ijms232012282.