Looking to the future of antioxidants

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16 Aug 2017 --- As antioxidants maintain their popularity, companies that produce them are continually looking to future potential applications. Today, NutritionInsight concludes its special report by looking at the research that has been conducted into future opportunities for their use and ingredients that might be popular in the future. You can read the first part of our report here.

Research goes down interesting pathways
Research keeps throwing up new ways in which antioxidants can be put to use. One such use is through investigating their influence on genetic pathways.

“Some of the most interesting research is [into] how antioxidants can influence genetic pathways that can have profound and systemic influences on health,” Appell notes. “For example, OmniActive has done extensive preclinical work – including nutrigenomic, in vitro and in vivo research – on our [highly] bioavailable CurcuWIN curcumin formula. It’s [been] shown to have a significant impact on several key markers of health, one of which is cardiovascular health […] we found that supplementing with CurcuWIN can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 50 percent in healthy inpiduals.”

ExcelVite is excited by developments related to its EVNol SupraBio and EVTene products. Tocotrienol is an antioxidant that has been linked to neural protection, and according to See, EVNol SupraBio “guarantee[s] consistent and rapid tocotrienol [bioavailability].” See points to studies that show that the SupraBio system “improves oral bioavailability of inpidual tocotrienol isoform by an average of 250 percent (Ho D, et al., 2003).” Human tissue distribution study “provided further evidence of bioefficiency that after supplementation of EVNol SupraBio, tocotrienols are transported to vital human organs including the brain (Patel V, et al., 2012),” See adds.

EVTene is another one of ExcelVite’s flagship products, a palm mixed-carotene complex consisting mainly of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, gamma-carotene and lycopene. Among all carotene products in the market, ExcelVite asserts that palm based-carotene complex “has the highest alpha-carotene level.”

“A number of population studies on health benefits of carotenoids have recently been published and looked at how increased plasma carotenoids levels (particularly alpha-carotene) are positively linked to important health conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (Wu J, et al., 2015), type 2 diabetes (Sluijs, I. et al., 2015) (Sugiura M, et al., 2015) and bone mineral density (Zhang ZQ, et al., 2016),” notes See. “As there is a lack of studies using specifically palm-based mixed carotene, ExcelVite plans to work with research institutions to develop new studies to further provide scientific substantiation in the health benefits of EVTene.”

The potential role of antioxidants in atherosclerosis is the most interesting topic of research, according to Benny Antony, Ph.D., Joint Managing Director for Arjuna. “It is possible that a cocktail of antioxidants is more effective than one inpidual antioxidant in isolation,” he says. “More basic research, including the unequivocal demonstration of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the arterial wall, is important.”

“All antioxidants can potentially become pro-oxidants subject to their concentrations,” Antony continues. “It is, therefore, critical that guidelines for an effective dose level for each antioxidant are formulated.”

Ingredients to keep an eye on
Companies are beginning to look past obvious ingredients like curcumin to deliver new benefits to consumers. “It’s no secret that curcumin continues to surprise the industry because of its antioxidant potential and ability to impact so many biological pathways,” says Appell of OmniActive’s future interests. “But other ingredients like lutein and the macular carotenoids are showing promise in new condition-specific categories.”

Plants continue to intrigue in the antioxidant space, too. “We believe that in a world lacking in plant-derived sources of nutrients, microalgae has a key role to play,” says Kat of Algetech. “It could end up transforming our lives in ways we can’t even imagine. With so many strains still unexplored, who knows what life-changing compounds are waiting to be discovered within their fragile cell?”

Ingredients to target particular types of medical trauma are also coming into fashion, and Excelvite’s See points to its SupraBio as an ingredient that is particularly worthy of keeping an eye on: “Over a decade of US National Institutes of Health-funded in vitro and in vivo research has led to the discovery of tocotrienol’s (EVNol SupraBio) unique neuroprotective effect and elucidation of its mechanism in reducing damages from toxic – and stroke-induced brain injuries.”

Overall, it may be time to embrace a wider definition of antioxidants and what they can do. “We’re finding that antioxidants can play a greater role in supporting health than just quenching free radicals,” concludes Appell.

By Paul Creasy

References:
Ho D, et al. (2003). Drug delivery system: formulation for fat soluble drugs. U.S. Patent No. 6,596,306.

Patel V, et al. (2012). Oral Tocotrienols are Transported to Human Tissues and Delay the Progression of the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease Score in Patients. The Journal of Nutrition, 142(3), 513-9.

Wu J, et al. (2015). Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow-up. JAMA Ophthalmol., 133(12), 1415-24. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.3590

Sluijs, I. et al. (2015). Dietary intake of carotenoids and risk of type 2 diabetes. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, 25, 376-381.

Sugiura M, et al. (2015). High-serum carotenoids associated with lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes among Japanese subjects: Mikkabi cohort Study. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care:e00147, doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000147.

Zhang ZQ, et al. (2016). Greater serum carotenoid concentration associated with higher bone mineral density in Chinese adults. Osteoporos Int, 27(4), 1593-601.

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