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K2VITAL®
 
Albion Minerals®
Weight Management Weight Management

While Ozempic, berberine and COVID-19 have impacted the weight-loss and management category, a natural, holistic approach still remains the gold standard for self-care.

Managing one’s weight can be a challenging feat. It isn’t always simply a matter of willpower or maintaining a caloric deficit, as many inaccurately assume. Every individual’s metabolism is different and subject to several factors, such as hormones, genetics, environment, social and economic class, and, of course, the high-calorie average American diet. Despite the challenges one may face, the desire to lose or manage weight is common and widespread in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “nearly one-half (49.1 [percent]) of adults tried to lose weight within the last 12 months” from 2013-2016. This trend continues year after year.

Consumers often want to manage their weight for aesthetic reasons; however, there are severe health consequences to being overweight or obese. The CDC states that compared with those who are at a healthy weight, people who have overweight or obesity are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. It lists these as all causes of death (mortality); high blood pressure (hypertension); high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia); type 2 diabetes; coronary heart disease; stroke; gallbladder disease; osteoarthritis; sleep apnea and breathing problems; many types of cancer; low quality of life; mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety and other mental disorders; and body pain and difficulty with physical functioning. Overweight, according to the CDC, “is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.”

Furthermore, there are economic repercussions to the overweight and obesity epidemic. The World Obesity Federation states, “The World Obesity Atlas 2023, published by World Obesity Federation, predicts that the global economic impact of overweight and obesity will reach $4.32 trillion annually by 2035 if prevention and treatment measures do not improve. At almost 3 [percent] GDP (gross domestic product), this is comparable with the impact of COVID-19 in 2020.”

As a result of these high stakes, consumers are turning toward the nutraceuticals industry to aid them in their weight-loss and management journeys.

State of the Market

Stephen O’Hara, CEO, U.K.-based OptiBiotix Health Plc, stated that “According to the latest global weight loss and management statistics, the market size is expected to grow by 6.84 percent to be worth $405.4 billion by 2030, with the growing obesity rate propelling its growth.” Furthermore, “Market insights indicate that there are additional factors fueling the obesity pandemic and growth drivers for the sector. Lifestyle habits is one of those—particularly sedentary lifestyle habits. This was initially kickstarted by COVID-19, when exercise took a dip with the closure of many gyms and activity centers. The sedentary lifestyle was further reinforced by the growing work-from-home culture.”

The strong market has resulted in the appearance of several key trends.

Natural Weight Management Industry Trends

Andrea Zangara, scientific communication and medical affairs, Euromed USA (Bridgeville, PA), noted that the market “is expected to witness some key trends such as product innovations by leading players, such as herbal and organic slimming products with natural ingredients; increasing demand for preventive health practices; and rising adoption of online weight-loss and management programs and apps.”

She continued, “As for recent developments, the COVID-19 pandemic has had mixed effects. On the one hand, the pandemic increased interest in health and wellness products, with rising awareness about the benefits of weight management supplements among consumers; on the other hand, it has also led to increased scrutiny of health claims made by supplement manufacturers, regulatory issues and safety concerns, and availability of counterfeit products.”

Furthermore, explained Zangara, “The weight management market is being driven by several trends, including growing obesity rates, increasing health consciousness, personalized nutrition, functional foods and beverages, demand for natural and organic products, clean and transparent labeling, sustainable and ethical practices, holistic approach, and plant-based and natural ingredients.” Additionally, “as the plant-based movement continues to grow, more consumers are seeking weight management products that are derived from natural, plant-based sources. This includes extracts from fruits, vegetables and herbs.”

According to Annie Eng, CEO, HP Ingredients (Bradenton, FL), “People are finding success in using meal supplements to help manage healthy weight loss. For example, according to Nutrition Business Journal’s 2022 Condition-Specific Report, meal replacements captured approximately 77 percent of market share in 2021. [However], the market research journal editors pointed out that there is some monotony in the category, but there certainly doesn’t have to be—they mentioned that exclusive and limited-edition flavors can help generate sales.”

Audrey Ross, ND, MH, senior national educator, Country Life Vitamins (Hauppauge, NY), added that “The growing popularity of cider vinegar supplements, chromium, vitamin B3 (niacin), branched-chain amino acids and milk thistle in the weight loss industry can be attributed to perceived benefits such as increased satiety, metabolism regulation, energy enhancement, muscle support and digestion/detoxification aid, respectively.”

Richard Kozlenko, DPM, MPH, PhD, scientific advisor, GCI Nutrients (Burlingame, CA), noted that “Trends are addressing obesity more in the framework of the type 2 diabetes model, with ingredients incorporated with pharmaceuticals or the design of botanical products in place of pharmaceuticals, recognizing the microbiome’s role, and using more prebiotic, probiotic and fiber ingredients.”

The Weight-loss Elephant in the Room: Ozempic

One trend that has also appeared is the use of Ozempic—a drug used to treat diabetes—to lose weight. “New developments like the injectable drug semaglutide (Ozempic, Wegovv, etc.), which has recently been approved by NICE, has also established a new paradigm in the weight management market,” stated O’Hara. “These injectable drugs that focus on reducing hunger and food cravings can feel like the ‘silver bullet’ to weight loss that consumers have been waiting for. Like them or loathe them, injectables are here to stay. We must recognize the viral media frenzy these drugs have caused and ensure we engage in conversation focused on what consumers want.”

“This may impact the sector,” echoed Zangara. “While [Ozempic’s] rise might fuel demand for effective weight-loss solutions, it might also pose stiff competition to the supplement industry, as consumers might opt for a prescription drug with proven efficacy over less regulated dietary supplements.” Furthermore, “The rapid viral popularity of Ozempic underscores the persistent quest for easy, rapid weight-loss solutions. However, a ‘silver bullet’ approach doesn’t fit everyone, emphasizing the need for diverse options and balanced, well-researched information,” she stated. “The excitement surrounding Ozempic also reveals how swiftly information can influence public opinion on weight-loss solutions. It’s critical to remember that an increasing number of consumers prefer holistic health and weight-management approaches. They value naturalness, clean labels and products resembling real foodstuffs … Therefore, it’s crucial for supplement manufacturers to consider this trend.”

According to Colleen Madden, vice president, Innovation, CK Nutraceuticals (Canada), “The major impact of Ozempic and other semaglutide drugs on the weight-loss category is unquestionable, dramatic and dynamic. Ozempic is the elephant in the room in our discussion about weight management, as consumers in the U.S. are so deluged by the waves of pharma industrial complex ad spending of over $180 million in 2022 alone. We are still working to understand what effects this will have on dietary supplement new product launches in the years to come.”

TikTok “Introduces” Berberine

Although the impact of semaglutide drugs is yet unclear, many consumers are still looking for natural ways to aid in their weight loss journeys. One significant trend that popped up on TikTok is the use of berberine, which, according to Marianne McDonagh, vice president of sales, Bioenergy Life Sciences (Ham Lake, MN) is labeled “nature’s Ozempic.” While berberine “appears to be the latest craze, it will likely run its course. What’s changing is consumers’ increasing focus on maintaining a healthier lifestyle.”

Zangara added, “Videos tagged with ‘berberine’ have eclipsed 100 million views on TikTok, where it’s now being called ‘nature’s Ozempic.’ Recently, the ingredient, which for years was associated with blood sugar management benefits, has become popular for its purported effects on weight loss … berberine is not nature’s alternative to Ozempic; however, this shows how strong the desire is for quick, easy weight-loss solutions and how quickly information can spread and influence public opinion. Berberine sales have risen by about 75 [percent] in less than a year following this social media hype.”

Although the desire for a “quick fix” for weight loss is strong among consumers, many of them still want to stick with natural approaches and have a few particular concerns and demands.

Consumer Concerns/Demand

“[Consumers] are increasingly seeking more natural and holistic approaches to weight management as they have gained a deeper understanding of the roles that underlying challenges and associated body systems play in maintaining healthy weight,” said Jim Roza, chief scientific officer, Layn Natural Ingredients, based in Newport Beach, CA. As a result, “manufacturers are introducing innovative products that help consumers connect the dots between stress, sleep, inflammation, oxidative stress and healthy weight. They are incorporating new ingredients, combining multiple ingredients for synergistic effects, and exploring novel delivery systems to enhance the effectiveness and appeal of their products,” he explained.

“Consumer demand for trust and products that work with their bodies’ natural processes has never been stronger,” McDonagh stated. “We believe ingredients that activate AMPK and regulate blood sugar (the healthy way) will soon be accepted by consumers and will disrupt the weight management market.” Furthermore, according to McDonagh, the company educates “consumers about how weight loss works. Once they understand that there is no one-size-fits-all, they will also understand there is certainly not one magic ingredient that will produce true weight loss.”

Zangara added that consumers are “increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impact of the products they buy. This trend has been seen in the weight management category as well, with an increasing preference for products that are sustainably and ethically produced,” she said. Other concerns include “The safety and side effects of these ingredients, especially if they interact with other medications or supplements, or cause allergic reactions cardiovascular problems, liver damage or other health issues; the quality and purity of these ingredients, especially if they are contaminated with harmful substances, such as heavy metals, pesticides or microbes, or if they contain less or more of the active ingredient than claimed on the label; and, lastly, the effectiveness and evidence of these ingredients, especially if they are based on weak or insufficient scientific research, or if they do not produce the desired results in terms of weight.”

According to Roza, “Consumers today are seeking more natural and lasting solutions for weight management. They are increasingly looking for deeper solutions as they continue to connect the dots and gain more understanding about the interconnected role that stress, sleep, oxidation and inflammation play in weight management strategies. Botanical extracts are highly sought after as consumers are looking for holistic, natural and lasting solutions versus quick fixes. They are also demanding scientific evidence and transparency for the ingredients in the products they purchase.”

Roza continued, “the weight management industry has sometimes been associated with misleading or exaggerated claims. Consumers can see right through false claims about effectiveness. Ensuring consistent quality accurate labeling and adherence to good manufacturing practices are important for consumer safety and confidence.”

Although consumers are looking for ways to accelerate their weight loss, there are consequences, said O’Hara. “Losing weight rapidly without following a healthy balanced diet and exercise regime can increase certain health risks, muscle wastage and can cause the inability to shift excess skin … Western culture has focused on consumer demand to the extent that convenience food has become the norm and is easy to access, but with this comes consequences to our health. If there are shortcuts to weight loss, then there will be side effects. At what point do consumers simply say no?”

Natural Ingredients for Weight Management

Irvine, CA-based BGG Americas, according to CEO Shaheen Majeed, offers ApplePhenon and ThinOgen ingredients for weight management. “ApplePhenon isn’t about losing 50 pounds in a few months, but it is about a healthy, sustained weight loss,” he noted. “In particular, ApplePhenon has been clinically proven to reduce visceral fat which accumulates around vital organs in the abdomen area. This is of particular interest, since visceral fat is extremely unhealthy as an indicator of cardiovascular disease.” ThinOgen Fucoxanthin is a natural carotenoid extracted from two sea plants and produced using BGG’s proprietary technology, according to the company’s website. Its primary source is an edible brown seaweed called Laminaria saccharina (L.) LAMOUROUX (Alga Kombu).

One of the benefits of these weight management ingredients “is that they can help improve body composition, which is the ratio of lean mass (such as muscle and bone) to fat mass. A favorable body composition is important for maintaining physical function, strength and mobility,” said Majeed. “With some weight-loss ingredients, solubility in water and stability can be major concerns. But not with ApplePhenon. It fully dissolves in water and has outstanding stability even after three full years,” he stated. “ApplePhenon is a newcomer with great promise due to the sustained loss of visceral fat. That’s the most important thing consumers should be concerned about.”

For more than 30 years, BLS’ Bioenergy Ribose ingredient “has been a popular ingredient for promoting energy, improving endurance and shortening recovery time after exercise,” said McDonagh. “The latest development is that after exciting preliminary research, we have determined that RiboActiv, a precision hermetic dose of Bioenergy Ribose, activates Adenosine 5’ monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that stimulates fat burning and boost energy, among other health benefits.”

Furthermore, the company’s most successful ingredient, “RiboActiv’s unique mechanism of action is through the purine salvage pathway. This enables it to also help optimize mitochondrial function and upregulate PGC-1a, an important molecule for fat loss and energy metabolism regulation.” Ingredients shown to activate AMPK, added McDonagh, can help formulas become category heroes because a higher, stronger metabolism is associated with targeted weight loss and sustained energy while cutting calories.”

BLS recently launched RiaGev-SR, “the first-ever sustained release tablet to contain a patented blend of Bioenergy Ribose and vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) that has been proven to regulate blood sugar and therefore promote long-term weight loss,” according to McDonagh. “Sustained-release (SR) technology has proven to be far more effective than non-SR technology for weight-loss products.”

At Euromed USA, according to Zangara, “we provide Pomanox, a natural pomegranate extract with a standardized punicalagin content of 30 [percent], as well as ABAlife, a fig fruit extract with varying concentrations of abscisic acid (ABA). These ingredients have been the subject of clinical studies that demonstrate their ability to regulate blood glucose and insulin levels, enhance cardiovascular and metabolic function, reduce inflammation, promote feelings of fullness and support gut health. These outcomes are crucial for managing weight and maintaining overall health.”

Zangara explained, “The polyphenols in pomegranates influence satiety signaling through hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which impact hunger and fullness. Consequently, they suppress appetite, improve metabolic health by reducing insulin resistance, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. These polyphenols may also increase adiponectin levels, potentially influencing fat metabolism and positively impacting the gut microbiome. Moreover, they have the potential to affect the gut/brain axis by modulating gut peptides involved in satiety signaling.”

Several studies have been published on both Pomanox and ABAlife, according to Zangara. “Pomanox has shown promise in weight management based on several clinical studies. In a recently published trial, individuals who consumed Pomanox experienced significant increases in urinary excretion of total phenolics and antioxidant capacity. Simultaneously, they exhibited reductions in salivary cortisol levels, blood pressure, body fat, and fat mass, while lean body mass increased. These findings corroborate previous data on the extract, which reported decreases in insulin resistance, salivary cortisol levels, and cortisol/cortisone ratios.”1

Likewise, ABAlife has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and glycemic control by influencing metabolic activity in skeletal muscle, potentially impacting weight management.2 In the fig extract, ABA binds to the LANCL2 receptor and initiates cellular signaling that improves glucose uptake and enhances the expression and membrane translocation of a glucose transporter protein, thus improving glucose homeostasis and increasing insulin sensitivity with a sparing effect on its secretion,” Zangara explained. “This shows an ability to support insulin-independent glucose disposal. The mechanism of action of ABA shares similarities with semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, which interacts with cellular receptors to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce appetite, and promote feelings of fullness. Given their shared mechanisms of action, ABAlife may offer potential benefits in weight management with fewer potential side effects compared to synthetic weight management drugs such as Ozempic.”

HP Ingredients, according to Eng, offers two ingredients for weight management supplements. “CitruSlim is a proprietary blend of a full-spectrum Italian Citrus Bergamot Polyphenolic extract (Bergamonte) and a potent Malaysian Eurycoma longifolia extract (Adapticort). This innovative nutritional supplement is formulated to support healthy metabolic function, which results in accelerated fat and weight loss,” she explained. “Studies show that bergamot flavonoids activate AMPK … Adiponectin is a collagen-like protein found in the adipose tissue that stimulates fatty acid oxidation through the activation of AMPK and plays an important role in glucose and lipid metabolism. Overweight individuals have significantly lower adiponectin levels than individuals in a healthy/normal weight range,” said Eng.

Furthermore, “CitruSlim helps support weight loss through modulating appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is produced in the gut, and it sends a signal to the brain to increase appetite when the stomach is empty. Too much causes excess consumption of food, thus, calories and fat storage are increased. Leptin is produced by fat cells. It inhibits hunger and regulates energy balance. When the body is functioning properly, excess fat cells produce leptin that signals the brain to reduce the appetite, allowing the body to dip into the fat stores to feed itself,” Eng explained.

The company’s other ingredient, Adapticort Tongkat Ali, contributes to healthy weight management via stress response control,” according to Eng. “Chronic high levels of cortisol create opportunity for the body to retain fat, notably in the abdominal area. Excessive cortisol moves fat from elsewhere in the body to the abdomen. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study of Adapticort demonstrated reduced cortisol levels in participants who reported moderate stress.”

Layn Natural Ingredients offers a plethora of weight management ingredients. The company recently “completed an exciting new clinical study of overweight, high BMI individuals that have conditions associated with oxidative stress, metabolic disorders and inflammation,” said Roza. “Results from the study demonstrated that Layn’s flavonoid-rich formula SophorOx was able to significantly reduce oxidative stress, which led to a reduction in BMI, weight and waist circumference in the study population, thereby providing natural support for a healthy inflammatory response and maintaining weight.”

Furthermore, Layn recently introduced its Botanical Ingredient Library, “a free online botanical library and search tool that enables manufacturers and brands to explore key botanical extract ingredients and solutions and easily map them to targeted applications and functions,” Roza explained. “Searching the library reveals targeted botanical extracts in the Layn portfolio that provide different types of support for weight management, including andrographis; bitter orange; cinnamon; dandelion; Eucommia leaf; fenugreek; ginger; green coffee bean; green tea; pu-erh tea; Rhodiola rosea; and schisandra.”

O’Hara added that in OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome ingredient, “the mineral enriched prebiotic fiber complex has been shown in studies to significantly reduce body weight by 3-4 pounds per week, BMI, body fat percentage, waist and hip circumference, and systolic blood pressure.”3 Furthermore, “In addition to weight loss, SlimBiome supports a healthy gut. A healthy gut microbiome is pivotal to successful weight loss. Not only can a healthy gut help with the adverse effects of bloating, but gut microbes can also influence energy metabolism by regulating glucose, appetite and fat storage.”4,5 He further explained, “As a patented formulation, SlimBiome contains a unique formulation of these ingredients at concentrations to help optimum efficacy, reduce side effects and be complementary in its mechanism of action. All these ingredients help consumers reach their weight loss goals without compromising on their gut health or energy intake.” When consumers take SlimBiome “as part of their structured calorie-controlled diet, they are mixing the fiber and mineral formulation with water to activate the mechanism of action. Here, the ingredients in our formulation enable it to gently expand in the stomach to delay gastric emptying, making them feel fuller longer. The effects of SlimBiome are multiplicative as using chromium ensures blood glucose levels are maintained, thereby avoiding dips in blood sugar or what’s known as ‘sugar crash.’ It also limits the consumer’s temptation to reach for unhealthy snacks that only offer a ‘quick fix’ in blood sugar and little in the way of nutrition, thereby reducing their daily caloric intake.” SlimBiome is backed by three human clinical studies and won the “Weight Management Ingredient of the Year” award in Nutrition Industry Executive’s (NIE) Awards in 2021, along with several other international awards in weight loss.

Last year, OptiBiotix launched LeanBiome, “another mineral enriched prebiotic fiber complex that supports sports enthusiasts and facilitates lean muscle mass,” said O’Hara. “By regulating macronutrient metabolism and supporting the diversity of the microbiome, LeanBiome improves gut health through dietary and prebiotic fibers, particularly targeting the sweet cravings that can detrimentally impact a sports enthusiast’s ability to stay lean.” LeanBiome launched with MyProtein, “another major health brand focused on the global sports nutrition market.” LeanBiome is currently in two MyProtein products: the Impact Diet Lean product and the Breakfast Smoothie, both in a variety of flavors.

East Windsor, NJ-based Sabinsa Corporation, according to Dr. Kalyanam Nagabhushanam, president (R&D), manufactures CurCousin, its most recent weight management ingredient,which “has demonstrated benefits in weight and sugar level management. A published clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy of the product in the management of obesity.” She continued, “There were statistically significant reductions in body weight, BMI and waist circumference. Furthermore, the study showed additional benefits in lipid profile, including a detectable increase in HDL. Obesity is always underlined with chronic inflammation, a reduction of which was observed in subjects receiving CurCousin.” The company also conducted another independent study to confirm the major findings of the first study, which will be published in Food & Function soon.

Sabinsa’s ForsLean ingredient, “well-known for its promotion of lean body mass, was recently shown to help in the conversion of white fat cells to beige cells. This demonstration helped to refocus sustained interest since the percentage of brown fat is quite low in adult individuals and any supplement showing promise of white to beige or brown cells conversion fills a pharmacological gap admirably,” said Nagabhushanam. Every weight-management product introduced by Sabinsa is “highly researched with findings published as peer-reviewed papers in high-quality journals.

Lastly, CK Nutraceuticals, according to Madden, offers CardiaSlim, launched this year, which “has three human clinical trials published in reputable peer-reviewed journals so we broadly share the full text papers with brands and product manufacturers,” she said. “Gold standard human clinical research is critical for weight-loss data. CardiaSlim has three excellent studies in humans proving not only weight and inches lost but also very significant improvements in cariometabolic measures like cholesterol, blood sugar and triglyceride levels.” CariaSlim, Madden continued, “turns on metabolic master switch AMPK, regulating cellular glucose uptake and oxidation of fat. This makes CardiaSlim not only great for weight loss but also for overall metabolic health and wellness,” she concluded.

Advice for Manufacturers

“To stand out in a very crowded and competitive category, it is essential to communicate what is called your ‘unique selling proposition.’ That is what you can say about your product’s benefits that the competition cannot. This is why working with branded, science-backed ingredients can be a major advantage,” said Penny Porter, director of marketing, BLS. In addition, she advised manufacturers to “collaborate with ingredient suppliers who know and understand your market. Take advantage of what your suppliers can share with you about how to tell your brand’s story in a way that resonates with consumers.” Lastly, Porter added, “don’t be afraid of over-communicating. Most people must see, read or hear the same message at least seven times before they move to the next step of the buying process. Working with your ingredient supplier, such as BLS, will help you use the keywords and phrases that will help to make your products more discoverable.”

Zangara said that manufacturers should “identify and target their niche audience: manufacturers should define their ideal customers and understand their needs, preferences, goals, challenges and behaviors. They should also segment their market based on demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral criteria. By doing so, they can tailor their products and messages to suit their specific audiences and stand out from the crowd.” Furthermore, she added, “Create a unique value proposition: communicate the benefits and advantages of products in a clear, concise, and compelling way. Highlight how products can solve the problems or fulfill the desires of their customers, and how they are different or better than their competitors. Use multiple channels and platforms: leverage various online and offline channels and platforms to reach and engage customers using a mix of media, such as social media, websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars, content marketing, SEO, PR, events, trade shows, etc.,” concluded Zangara.

“There is so much competition, repetition and hype,” said Kozlenko. “In my opinion, neutral third-party science research studies evaluate and compare specific biological markers, precedence of use, and success in a statistically significant number of ultimately human studies that may use other products or comparable pharmaceuticals as controls.”

O’Hara pointed out, “Now more than ever, there is a focus on building trust with the consumer. Health claims must be backed by scientific evidence—and brands that invest in their own scientific studies are now forging ahead compared to others in the industry. This is particularly evident in the weight management market where those evidence-backed claims increase consumer trust and enhance brand loyalty … Placing the science front and center of your product is certainly one way that manufacturers can succeed in this market,” he concluded.

“Finished product manufacturers should insist on safety data of the ingredient as the first step. They must obtain the correct dosing information as well as dosage form preferences. They must insist on, preferably, published information on the product and review the data. And always use the amounts that are supported by research,” added Nagabhushanam.

“Manufacturers know that consumers want products with “demonstrable results apparent to themselves and others; stacked benefits for more than one angle of their health and wellness; easy to ingest formats that they can take easily and habitually, like gummies and beverages, and; excellent clinical proof of efficacy and safety,” advised Madden. NIE

References:

1 Al-Dujaili, E.A.S.; Casey, C.; Stockton, A. Antioxidant Properties and Beneficial Cardiovascular Effects of a Natural Extract of Pomegranate in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Preliminary Single-Blind Controlled Study. Antioxidants 2022, 11, 2124. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11112124.

2 Leber, A., Hontecillas, R., Tubau-Juni, N. et al. Abscisic acid enriched fig extract promotes insulin sensitivity by decreasing systemic inflammation and activating LANCL2 in skeletal muscle. Sci Rep 10, 10463 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67300-2.

3 E. Keleszade et al, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2020.104157.

4 www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38778-x.

5 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6244749/.

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Q&A with Rajat Shah, Co-founder and Executive Director, Nutriventia Inc.

Question: What trends are you noticing in the weight management category and how are you responding to them?

Answer: A trend has been the concept of weight health rather than weight loss. Weight health focuses on ensuring the body is well-nourished and fit for optimal wellness. Weight loss and management is much easier to achieve when addressing energy improvement, better sleep and stress management. If these three areas are in good shape, the individual can successfully manage his/her weight and fitness.

Nutriventia (India) is responding by encouraging formulating a supplement line or pack that addresses stress and sleep, as well as energy enhancement, for weight loss/management.

Question: What are some of the latest innovations you’ve seen in the weight management category?

Answer: A singular innovation that consumers will find attractive is extended-release efficacy. For example, our CaffXtend uses our proprietary modified-release technology platform. The individual can take only one dose and enjoy energy benefits for up to eight hours. Our caffeine ingredient is differentiated by the ability to provide higher output in minimal dosage, creating higher brand value.

Question: Are consumers beginning to conduct more research about weight management ingredients than they used to?

Answer: This is a given today, where any question can be answered on the internet. But it can be a landmine of misinformation, which can be dangerous. For example, there are some sites touting unproven and poorly formulated supplements that claim to drop pounds too quickly. A quality weight management supplement is one that does no harm and works to improve the weight loss effects with a healthy diet and exercise than just the healthy diet and exercise alone.

According to a report published on FOXBusiness.com (Genovese, June 12, 2023), a trend on TikTok is referring to an herbal bioactive called berberine as “nature’s Ozempic.” As such, retailers may be approached by customers asking about berberine and weight loss and their expectations may need to be managed.

Question: Which mechanisms of action are gaining strength for weight management ingredients?

Answer: One tried-and-true mechanism of action is improving energy production in the body, which increases metabolism. It also allows for greater calorie burning ability, hastening loss of pounds. Energy is crucial for individuals focused on managing their weight, and consumers know they can rely on caffeine to provide the extra energy they need.

Question: What has been your most successful weight management ingredient and what is your newest ingredient/ingredient innovation? Please elaborate.

Answer: Healthy weight loss and management often begins with addressing the reduction of stress and supporting the body’s response to stressors. And while not a direct weight loss ingredient, our Prolanza ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) should be considered as part of a weight loss/management supplement protocol. Prolanza is a long-acting once-daily dose that has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which reduces the impact of stress. Next to address is encouraging energy production for longer duration of exercise and for more calorie burning. Here is where CaffXtend comes in.

Question: Can you provide the most recent supporting scientific research for those ingredients? Is this research you make available to finished product manufacturers? To consumers?

Answer: Although not CaffXtend specifically, one study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Ruiz-Moreno, 2022) observed that consuming caffeine may support weight loss maintenance. In the study of 15 healthy adults who were instructed to exercise at a moderate intensity after consuming 3 mg caffeine and again without, there was a total energy expenditure increase when they ingested the caffeine.

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Q&A With Vaughn DuBow, Global Director of Marketing—Microbiome Solutions, ADM Specialty Ingredients

Question: What trends are you noticing in the weight management category and how are you responding to them?

Answer: The awareness of the gut microbiome is increasingly more prevalent among consumers. With this, many consumers are beginning to connect the dots between metabolic and gut health to support weight management, with research showing that 58 percent of global consumers perceive a connection between the function of bacteria in the gut to wider aspects of well-being.1 As such, products that showcase microbiome-supporting solutions, including prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics, are trending within the weight management arena, especially in convenient formats that enable consumers to easily incorporate these products into their daily routines.

At ADM, we’re dedicated to researching and uncovering new microbial strains and functional ingredients that target the gut microbiome and help support consumers’ weight wellness journeys. With solutions such as our award-winning BPL1 (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CECT8145), ES1 (Bifidobacterium longum CECT7347), spore-forming probiotic DE111 (Bacillus subtilis) and ADM/Matsutani LLC’s Fibersol, we’re assisting brands in developing products that can target a variety of consumers’ different weight wellness goals, from metabolic health to body composition and digestive support. Additionally, we have recently launched a new active lifestyle blend that incorporates ES1, BPL4 (Lactobacillus casei CECT9104) and BPL15 (Lactobacillus rhamnosus CECT 8361), supporting consumers exercise efforts and helping them reach their wellness targets. The blend has been shown to support certain biomarkers related to post-exercise oxidative stress.2

Question: What are some of the primary consumer concerns re: weight management ingredients and how are suppliers like yourself creating ingredients that will help manufacturers create finished products to address those concerns? Are there any particular formulation or delivery concerns with some weight management ingredients that make others more appealing?

Answer: The weight management and weight wellness landscapes continue to shift with consumer behaviors and concerns impacting product manufacturers’ offerings. Specifically, consumers are seeking more convenient, functional formats like gummies, stick packs, clusters and beverages that also taste great.

Foods, beverages and dietary supplements that are accessible and have positive sensory attributes can help consumers that are looking to consistently add functional products to their everyday routines, as adherence is important in achieving wellness goals. However, many of these applications undergo harsh processing conditions, such as high heat, making it difficult for certain microbiome-supporting ingredients to survive.

Postbiotics and spore-forming probiotics are exceptional solutions for this concern, opening the door to new application possibilities. Markedly, postbiotics, such as our heat-treated BPL1 and heat-treated ES1, do not contain live microorganisms, so they remain stable during tough formulation environments, making it possible to incorporate them into various applications, including gummies, quick melts, high-protein shakes and sports drinks.

Question: What has been your most successful weight management ingredient and what is your newest ingredient/ingredient innovation? Can you provide the most recent supporting scientific research for those ingredients? Is this research you make available to finished product manufacturers? To consumers?

Answer: At ADM, we’re committed to helping our customers develop innovative, tailored offerings with solutions backed by science, supporting new product developments for weight wellness, digestive health and beyond. Our research studies are extensive, and we study the safety and efficacy of each solution in accordance with the scientific standards—including randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials that conform to scientific and regulatory guidelines or that follow FDA guidelines. Once published, these studies are publicly available for all to review.

Metabolic and digestive health are focus areas for weight wellness product shoppers, as they consider their overall wellness goals. Helping support these increasing areas of interest, our BPL1 and heat-treated BPL1 target factors relevant to metabolic health.3 Additional emerging evidence suggests that BPL1—in combination with diet and exercise—may help support positive changes to body composition and other factors associated with metabolic health.

Notably, in a recent study, the effects of DE111 were examined during the offseason training of female collegiate athletes. In this study where the probiotic was consumed with a post-workout recovery beverage, female athletes in the DE111 group showed decreased body fat percentage and an increased rectus femoris thickness compared to the control group.4

Plus, fiber continues to be a highly sought-after ingredient for weight wellness product shoppers. In fact, fiber is the number one ingredient consumers want to add to their diets for reasons like digestion and satiety.1 Backed by more than 30 years of research, Fibersol, an innovative dietary fiber, has been shown to minimize blood sugar spikes after a meal in healthy individuals.5 Research studies also show that 10 grams of Fibersol with a meal may stimulate the production of satiety hormones that are associated with delayed post-meal hunger in healthy adults.6

Additionally, sugar and calorie reduction are important factors to consumers seeking weight management support. Fibersol can support reduced-sugar and -calorie applications, as it can help build back integrity through structural and binding qualities that can be lost when reducing sugar in products.

References:

1 ADM Outside Voice.

2 Macarro, MS; et al. (2021) Antioxidants. 10(2): 323.

3 Pedret, A., et al. (2019) Int J Obes (Lond). 43(9):1863-1868.

4 Toohey J.C., et al. (2020) J Strength Cond Res., 34(11):3173-3181.

5 Ye, Z. (2015). Nutritional Research, 35, 393-400.

6 Livesey, G. (2009). Am. J. Clin Nutr., 89, 114-125.

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For More Information:

ADM Specialty Ingredients, www.adm.com
BGG Americas, www.bggworld.com
Bioenergy Life Sciences, www.bioenergylifescience.com
CK Ingredients, www.ckingredients.com
Country Life Vitamins, www.countrylifevitamins.com
Euromed, www.euromedgroup.com
GCI Nutrients, www.gcinutrients.com
Glanbia Nutritionals, www.glanbianutritionals.com
HP Ingredients, www.hpingredients.com
Layn Natural Ingredients, www.layncorp.com
Nutriventia, www.nutriventia.com
OptiBiotix, www.optibiotix.com
PLT Health Solutions, www.plthealth.com
Sabinsa Corporation, www.sabinsa.com

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K2VITAL®
 
Albion Minerals®