Tablets & Capsules


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Tablets & Capsules July/August 2021 32C Researchers Vinod K. Gupta, Sandip Paul, and Chitra Dutta examined the differences in the composition of the human microbiome between geographically and ethni- cally diverse population groups [8]. As part of their obser- vational study, they summarized that the typical lifestyle practiced by the inhabitants of developed, industrialized nations, including "indoor-based" living, "consumption of refined high protein foods," and "habitual use of antibiot- ics," has negatively affected the diversity of the western population's microbiome. They link this phenomenon to the growing prevalence of modern "diseases of civili- zation" such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity. Research like this, highlighting the potential connections between microbiome diversity and the prevalence of met- abolic conditions, has allowed researchers to investigate whether certain combinations of pre-, pro-, and post- biotic ingredients might have a positive effect on the management of weight and weight-related conditions, in turn opening up new possibilities for producers looking to appeal to consumers with clinically backed supplement ingredients and products. One such example of an ingredient proven to target fac- tors related to consumer concerns surrounding metabolic health and weight management is BPL1 (Bifidobacterium ani- malis subsp. lactis CECT 8145), ADM's proprietary micro- biome solution. Two clinical trials have demonstrated the potential beneficial effects of BPL1, and its heat-treated version HT-BPL1, in multiple markers that are linked to metabolic health, including waist circumference (heat- treated BPL1), abdominal fat mass proportion (live BPL1 in Prader Willi children over 4.5 years of age), and body mass index (live BPL1) [9, 10]. In addition to this evidence, ADM has also carried out studies on the strain's mecha- nism of action, and in a pre- clinical model, has identified a molecule that promotes fat reduction [11]. BPL1 can be formulated as capsules, tablets, sachets, and a wide range of other formats to help manufacturers create on-trend products that address consumers' weight-related concerns. Botanical extracts can also contribute to a wide variety of wellness needs. One such extract, guarana, is a rich, natural source of caffeine, which has been shown to sup- port weight maintenance. As 28 percent of US consumers are actively seeking out botanicals in their diets–and 23 percent seeking out caffeine–supplement producers can leverage an engaged market by offering botanical ingre- dients in convenient formats [12]. Seeking comfort: The microbiome and the mind Optimizing mental well-being is another priority for today's health-conscious consumers, increasing the demand for solutions that tackle stress, low mood, and fatigue. In a recent survey, almost half of buyers around the world reported suffering heightened anxiety as a result of the pandemic, while 24 percent cited more frequent feelings of depression [13]. As months of working from home have eroded the divide between work and home life, consumers are seeking supplements with ingredients that can help alleviate anxiety, aid stress relief, and sup- Previously seen as a peripheral area of study, a grow- ing clinical evidence base supports the importance of the microbiome in maintaining overall wellness. More than 900 peer-reviewed papers are now available on the subject of microbiome and health related to human clinical trials, according to a PubMed search using specified criteria [1]. This rising interest within the scientific community has had an impact on the commercial market, with the indus- try predicted to see a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent over the next five years to reach $77 billion by 2025 [2]. As shoppers make increasingly mindful deci- sions to promote their physical, mental, and emotional well-being and look for products to help address specific concerns, it's crucial that manufacturers understand the factors shaping consumers' shifting priorities so they can meet market demand. The microbiome and the supplements market The human microbiome broadly refers to the complex communities of microorganisms that live in (and on) our bodies. While in recent years the evidence base has grown for other microbial ecologies (including the skin, lung, and oral cavity), the majority of research published to date relates to the gut microbiome, and it's this space that offers the greatest potential for supplement consumers. Fueled by the growing body of scientific evidence, today's well- informed shoppers recognize the links between a robust microbiome and other health areas and are therefore seek- ing out products that care for their gut microbiota. Indeed, 57 percent of US consumers already take supplements to support their microbiome, while 22 percent of European adults do so to manage their weight [3, 4]. The physical and emotional pressures of the pandemic have also boosted demand for probiotic or live culture supplements. Almost two-thirds of global consumers now associate these ingredients with immune health, and 24 percent say that aiding their mental well-being is the main reason they purchase supplements [5, 6]. With knowledge of and demand for microbiome supplements still growing, the opportunities for supplement producers are clear. The next step is to identify consumers' specific priorities around weight management, mental wellness, and immunity and combine these with the latest clinical research to develop novel products. Taking back control: The microbiome and weight management The stresses of the last 12 months have had a signifi- cant impact on consumers' attitudes towards their bodies. In 2020, almost a third of respondents to ADM's propri- etary OutsideVoice research said the pandemic made them more conscious of their weight. This concern has only increased in 2021, with 83 percent of US consumers citing their weight as a health area they'd like to improve [7, 4]. Understandably, buyers are looking for solutions to these concerns and, according to emerging clinical research, cultivating a more diverse microbiome could hold the secret to maintaining a healthy weight.

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