Frutarom: Echinacea's immune-boosting benefits backed by trials

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07 May 2018 --- Echishield, an all-natural Echinacea ingredient produced by Frutarom Health, enhances immune function by restoring stress-induced changes to levels similar to those in healthy controls, a study has found. The ingredient is water-soluble, safe and suitable for supplement, beverage and confectionary applications.

“This study indicates that this sustainable, pure ingredient is beneficial for the immune system,” says Maider Gutierrez, Director of Marketing for Frutarom Health.

Echishield (formerly Echinacea EFLA 894) is obtained from the dried pressed juice of the Echinacea purpurea. The study, conducted at the Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, South Korea, investigated the protective effect of the Echishield ingredient against stress-induced changes in immunological function in vivo.

Results showed that Echishield enhanced immune function, restoring stress-induced changes to levels similar to those in the normal group, as measured by splenocyte proliferation and NK cell activity, both of which recovered following treatment. Additionally, Echishield modulated blood T-cell distribution, normalized upregulated serum levels and mRNA expressions of cytokines (such as IL-6, IL-10, and IL-17), which are responsible for inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

“The spleen is responsible for differentiation and maturation of lymphocytes and induction of T-cells mediated cellular and B-cells mediated humoral immunity. NK cells are important in innate immunity, acting against pathogens infected-cells or cancerous cells,” Gutierrez further explains to NutritionInsight.

This study is only the latest in a series of preclinical and clinical trials conducted by Frutarom that support the hypothesis that Echishield has a positive, beneficial effect on the immune system.

Echinacea's health benefits are increasingly honed for food and beverage applications. Innova Market Insights data demonstrates this, reporting an eight percent average annual growth in new product launches with echinacea from 2013 to 2017. Regarding food & beverage application areas, echinacea as an ingredient was most widely used in supplements (56 percent), hot drinks (28 percent) and lastly, soft drinks (eight percent). Hot drinks proved to be the fastest growing category for echinacea, posting an average annual growth rate of 23 percent from 2013 to 2017.

Echishield touts being preservative and colorant free, as well as gluten-free, non-allergenic and non-GMO. Frutarom health also asserts that Echishield is obtained from fresh, aboveground plant parts which are harvested at flowering time, when the plant expresses its full potential, at a German location. The supply chain used adheres to full transparency and safety regulations, supported by Frutarom Health’s 25 years of experience from working in the particular area of Germany. The transparency is “controlled through the whole process, from the field to active ingredient,” notes Gutierrez.

Gutierrez adds that there may be future NPD in the pipeline that utilizes possible echinacea ingredient combinations.

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