Brain Fitness webinar

WEBINAR - Brain Fitness

WEBINAR – Brain Fitness

Join us for a deep-dive webinar into Brain Fitness dedicated to the professionals operating in the nutraceutical industry. Together with our expert speakers, we will explore different facets of this “hot topic”, connecting the trends, clinical research and innovation.

Connecting trends, clinical research and innovation for nutraceuticals.

The human brain is our command centre and enables thoughts, memory, movement and emotions by a complex function. Maintaining a fit brain during one’s life is the uppermost goal in pursuing health and wellbeing.

Consumers are increasingly looking to improve Brain Fitness and focus. Nootropic ingredients have been on the rise due to more people looking to enhance their brain performance. Moreover, working remotely with many distractions further accelerated the popularity of such ingredients, which have become a must-have for many individuals.

Therefore, it is essential for professionals in the sector to understand what Brain Fitness really is, the consumers’ segmentation and key insights about this trend, and how the clinical research is performed to evaluate the potential of new nutraceuticals solutions.

Watch the webinar and find out more!

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Meet the Speakers:

Meet the speakers

What are you going to learn during this webinar?

The Brain Fitness trends & consumer insights

Who are these consumers and what are they looking for? Presentation by Marit Veenstra – Trends and consumers insights specialist, who will provide insights into the consumer trends driving the brain health product positioning of the nutraceutical and functional foods market.
Duration: 10 minutes

Clinical Research

How do you research Brain Fitness? Presentation by Sanne Ahles – Clinical researcher, who will dive into the science, explaining the relevant endpoints, tools and biomarkers, currently used in clinical research.
Duration: 10 minutes

Innovation

Brainberry®: Aronia melanocarpa extract to help consumers reach their Brain Fitness goals. Presentation by Cosimo Cisternino – Marketing & Account manager at BioActor, who will introduce the health ingredient Brainberry® – A natural, clinically validated Aronia berry extract targeting cognition.
Duration: 10 minutes

Q&A session

Duration: 10 minutes

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Berries anthocyanins

The effects of berry anthocyanins on cognition - New publication

The effects of berry anthocyanins on cognitive performance – New publication from BioActor in collaboration with Maastricht University

Maastricht, The Netherlands, July 8th, 2021

Press release
The systematic review recently published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences was conducted by BioActor in collaboration with Maastricht University and reviewed the effects of berry anthocyanins on cognitive performance.

Berries anthocyanins

Systematic review on berry anthocyanins and cognition

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences has recently published a systematic review about the Berry Anthocyanins’ effect on Cognitive Performance. The research was conducted by S. Ahles, clinical researcher at BioActor, in collaboration with the Maastricht University’s Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM).

This systematic review of randomized Placebo-Controlled Studies in Humans provides further evidence into the beneficial effects of berry anthocyanins on cognitive performance such as attention and psychomotor speed, executive function, and memory. Moreover, effects on vascular function and cardiometabolic risk markers were investigated.

Anthocyanins are a specific type of flavonoids abundantly found in various berries such as blueberry, black raspberry, and Aronia berry, to which these molecules confer the specific colours. These compounds offer a promising approach to improve cognitive performance and/or lower the risk of cognitive decline.

Ahles commented: “We are proud to report the achieved results providing evidence for the beneficial effects of berry anthocyanin on cognitive function. The observed health effects might be due to the anthocyanin-induced improvements in vascular function and blood pressure. Moreover, we found that the composition of the intervention product may play an important role as the bioactivity of anthocyanins is known to be dependent on their chemical structure. Future studies should focus on exploring a potential causal link between the beneficial effects on cognitive performance and improvement in vascular function and cardiometabolic risk markers.”

BioActor’s interest in berry anthocyanins has resulted in the development of the first-ever Aronia Berry extract targeting cognitive performance. The ingredient, branded under the name “Brainberry®”, was already tested in a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial in healthy individuals and an observational study conducted with e-sports gamers, while a second RCT study, assessing its acute effect on cognition, is ongoing.

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities Brainberry® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.brainberry.eu


6 ingredients for brain health

6 Best Ingredients For Brain Health

6 Best Ingredients For Brain Health

September 1st, 2021

If you are looking to include in your diet compounds to nourish your brain, you came to the right place; In this article, we explore six interesting ingredients that may improve your brain health

6 ingredients for brain health

What is a healthy brain?

The brain. This massive network of firing neurons is the center of each decision we make on a daily basis and in life. It consumes up to 20% of our total oxygen each day, while only accounting for 2% of our total body weight – underlining its importance [1]. Alongside oxygen, it also requires plenty of nutrients to keep processes running at all times, both when awake or sleeping.

A well-known nutritious diet that packs a variety of nutrients is the Mediterranean diet – often described as a diet that supports a well-functioning brain. This is due to the wide variation of key nutrient-providing foods such as seafood, fruits and vegetables, olives and olive oil, nuts, beans and wine.

Supplementing your diet for optimal brain health

As healthy as a diet can be, every diet can still be supplemented with supplements, and more specifically dedicated ingredients. Although the Italians consume the Mediterranean diet, they also consume a lot of supplements: the Italian supplements market remains by far and large the biggest in Europe. Yet, also for individuals living in other parts of the world, with different food options, supplements can be a useful asset to optimize their diet.

In this article we take a deep dive into 6 of the best ingredients that you should be looking for on the label of supplements, that can aid you in sustaining a healthy brain:

1. Berry Anthocyanins
Anthocyanins are a group of compounds that belong to the flavonoid family. They are renowned for giving fruits and vegetables their vibrant dark blue/purple colours. Blueberries, raspberries and acai berries contain high amounts of anthocyanins but are all dwarfed by Aronia berries (also known as chokeberries), which contain by far and large the highest amounts of anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins exhibit their biological effects mainly through their strong antioxidant activity. By increasing perfusion to the brain and also improving neurotransmitter levels, anthocyanins aid in improving cognitive functions, notably executive & working memory, psychomotor speed, and attention [2,3].

Read more about the health benefits of Aronia berries

 

2. Phosphatidylserine
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid that forms the inner side of the cell membrane – a fatty layer that makes up the layer of human cells. As a supplement, PS or intermediates like citicoline are widely available and found in multiple products on the market.

Orally consumed PS is absorbed efficiently by the human intestinal system and crosses the blood-brain barrier. PS is the main phospholipid in the brain and is involved in the protection of nerve cells and aids in relaying information from one neuronal cell to the other. These key functions of PS lead to roles for this compound in a multitude of cognitive functions, amongst others: long-term memory, concentration, problem solving and locomotor functions [4].

 

3. Choline
Choline is an essential nutrient that acts as a precursor to phospholipids (Phosphatidylcholine), acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) and betaine (involved in amino acid metabolism). Choline levels may be low in lactating and pregnant women, older and younger individuals [5], so adequate choline intake for these populations is advised.

Dietary choline intake correlates with cognitive function and choline-containing compounds have been linked with a reduction in vascular dementia [6]. Of course, choline levels need to remain optimal to have sufficient building blocks for acetylcholine, the chief neurotransmitter for relaying information from one neuron to the other.

 

4. Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a polyphenol predominantly found in grapes, and as a result, in wine. It has been linked to the promotion of health by exerting neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and beneficial cardiovascular effects.

When we look at the cognitive benefits that resveratrol brings for a healthy brain, it improves blood flow in the frontal cortex; providing this decision-making area with more nutrients and oxygen. Resveratrol protects the brain from reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are formed as a by-product of the high energy and oxygen consumption of neurons. It scavenges the free radicals, protecting against damage to neurons and associated tissues [7].

 

5. Docosahexaenoic Acid
Abbreviated as DHA, this compound is a long-chain highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is found predominantly in fish, krill and algae, but also widely available in supplement formats as fish oil, krill oil or algae oil. All of these sources also often contain the complementary eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

DHA affects key neurological processes like neurotransmitter release, gene expression, signal transduction and differentiation of neurons. Especially the frontal lobes, which are responsible for executive functions like attention, planning and problem solving, are sensitive to DHA levels. Keeping DHA levels in check is key to cognitive performance, with researchers indicating that dietary DHA intake is required to maintain sufficient brain DHA levels [8].

 

6. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba extracts (GBE) come from the dried leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree. Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures have used extracts from this tree in their traditional medicines. GBEs have been linked to improving cognitive function and decelerating cognitive decline. This is due to their strong antioxidative activities, ability to improve neurotransmitter levels and neuroprotection potential.

GBEs have been used to treat dementia, with significant efficacy being demonstrated at high daily doses of >240mg. Yet, also for healthy people, GBEs might be a useful ingredient for enhancing blood flow to the brain combined with an anti-oxidant effect [9].


Boost Coffee

The health benefits of Aronia Berry: why should you consume this superfruit?

The health benefits of Aronia Berry: why should you consume this superfruit?

September 1st, 2021

Aronia berries are small dark fruits that are becoming increasingly popular amongst health-conscious consumers. Current research suggests that due to their excellent content in micronutrients and antioxidant properties, these berries may provide important health benefits on immune health, cardiovascular function, brain health as well as exhibiting anti-diabetic function.

Boost Coffee

What is Aronia berry?

Aronia berries, are little dark fruits, belonging to the Rosaceae Family. Aronia is native to easter and North America but it is also commonly found in the Baltic region of Europe where it was introduced in the first half of the 20th century.

The reason why these berries are also called “Chokeberries” is that when consumed fresh off the shrub, they make your mouth tickle due to their incredibly strong tart taste and mouth-drying effect.

Though many people have never heard about them, Aronia berries are becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers and are considered a real superfruit.

What are the health benefits of Aronia berries?

To answer this question we need to first take a step back in the past where, traditionally, Aronia was used by the North American Forest Potawatomi tribe as a cold remedy.

They called these fruits “nîki’mînûn” and used them to make a traditional tea. The reason why Aronia berry was found to be so effective in treating common cold symptoms is probably linked to their extremely powerful antioxidant capacity.

Nowadays, it is well-known that antioxidants in Aronia outperform any other fruits, even elderberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Aronia berries contain high levels of vitamin C, but the real claim to fame is their high level of polyphenols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins [1]. These are types of antioxidants that help to fight the damages caused by free radicals in the body, and it is these antioxidants where Aronia berries can have their greatest impact on our health and wellbeing.

Aronia Antioxidant

In fact, Aronia is considered a real superfruit due to its high level of antioxidant phytonutrients that can be beneficial in many ways.

Research around Aronia berries have focused on several health benefit areas, and there is evidence to suggest that these fruits may have the potential to:

 

  • Strengthen the immune system [2].
  • Improves cardiovascular function [3].
  • Improve brain health [4].
  • Help against metabolic syndrome [5].
  • Prevent urinary tract infections [6].

Nutritional Facts

Aronia berries are low-calories fruits, full of important micro-nutrients accountable for their numerous health benefits.

100 g of Aronia berries provide the following nutrients [7]:

  • Calories: 47.0 (197 Kj)
  • Carbs: 9.6 g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1.4g
  • Fiber: 5.3g
  • Vitamin A: 350 IU (7% DV)
  • Vitamin C: 21 mg (35% DV)
  • Vitamin K: 13.6 mcg (17% DV)
  • Manganese: 0.6 mg (32% DV)

Moreover, researchers have identified a total of 7 different anthocyanins in Aronia berries. These include phytocompounds such as cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, a key molecule for brain health. It has been reported that cyanidin-3-O-glucoside exhibits anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic activities, while also enhancing spatial memory, cognition and psychomotor control.

How to get more Aronia berries in your diet

Unfortunately, it is not easy to commonly find fresh Aronia berries on the shelf at the grocery store.

However, there are many alternatives. Especially in specialised stores or online it is possible to buy Aronia in form of frozen or dried fruits, tea, jams, juice and wines.

Another effective way to include Aronia in your diet can be through the use of dietary supplements. This can be a great way to ensure you are getting the most out of the health benefits of Aronia berries.

Curious to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about Aronia berries and brain health!


E-Sports athlete

New Open Label Study: Brainberry® improves cognitive parameters in young, healthy e-gamers

New Open Label Study: Brainberry® improves cognitive parameters in young, healthy e-gamers

Maastricht, The Netherlands, March 25th, 2021

Press release
Brainberry® was tested in amateur female and male gamers showing a significant improvement in relevant measures for gaming performance such as eye-hand coordination, focus, reaction time and energy.

E-Sports athlete

Open-label study in active gamers

According to Statista, there are currently over 2.4 billion gamers in the world, about one-third of the world’s entire population. Online gaming has definitively changed as it moved from being viewed as just a recreational activity to a proper industry. The annual revenue for gaming in 2017 has been estimated to cross over $100 billion and will climb to expected total revenue of $132 billion by 2021, even surpassing the movie industry revenue.

BioActor was the first to perform a clinical study that linked an Aronia Berry Extract (BrainBerry®) to cognitive performance (Ahles et al. Nutrients, 2020). This study showed a significant increase in eye-hand coordination for the group that consumed 65mg of BrainBerry®. Moreover, a significant post-hoc improvement was found for focus in the BrainBerry® group.

Recently, BioActor completed an open-label study in active gamers that consumed BrainBerry® for seven days. Acute (one time intake) and seven-day improvements in several cognitive performance measures were assessed via an online questionnaire. Twenty-one amateur female and male gamers participated in the trial (mean age 25.6 years of age). The participants were active gamers with an average of 2,5 hours of gaming per day. They were allowed to choose their own action-related game, provided they played the same game on all test days.

Study design

The study results

After acute intake, participants reported a significant improvement in relevant measures for gaming performance: eye-hand coordination, focus, reaction time and energy. Importantly, these improvements were sustained even after a seven-day intake. Moreover, we did not see any negative effect on sleep quality for the participants after seven-days intake.

Open label study result

In conclusion, BrainBerry® results in a significant improvement in eye-hand coordination, focus, reaction time and energy in amateur female and male gamers. BrainBerry® is a healthy, natural and effective ingredient to include in gamer (nootropic) supplements to aid performance. It also serves new consumer demands by providing similar benefits to caffeine, without the negative side effects like jitters, anxiety feelings or sleep deprivation. The current open-label study adds to previous positive effects of BrainBerry® on cognitive performance found in the placebo-controlled clinical study conducted by BioActor.

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities BrainBerry® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.brainberry.eu


BioActor and Biovital extend their partnership to include the distribution of Brainberry® for the compounding pharmacy market in Brazil

BioActor and Biovital extend their partnership to include the distribution of Brainberry® for the compounding pharmacy market in Brazil

Maastricht, The Netherlands, February 18th, 2020

Press release
Biovital Ltda. and BioActor B.V. entered into an agreement that appoints Biovital as exclusive distributor of BRAINBERRY®, BioActor’s proprietary brain fitness ingredient, for the compounding pharmacy market in Brazil.

INSERT HEADER

BioActor and Biovital signed a partnership agreement for the exclusive distribution of BRAINBERRY®, BioActor’s science-based brain fitness ingredient. Under this partnership agreement, Biovital is appointed as exclusive distributor of BRAINBERRY® for the compounding pharmacy market in Brazil. BioActor will actively support Biovital with scientific input, as well as formulation advice.

Biovital Ltda. is a dynamic Brazilian distribution company with high qualitative standards and ample know-how to import unique raw materials in Brazil. BioActor and Biovital are already successfully working together on the marketing of MICROBIOMEX® in Brazil. BioActor is delighted to extends its partnership with Biovital Ltda. to launch BRAINBERRY® in the rapidly growing compounding pharmacy market in Brazil.

BRAINBERRY®, is a unique Aronia berry extract with a high concentration of cyanidin 3 glycosides. BRAINBERRY® was tested in a placebo-controlled and double-blind study for effects on cognitive performance. The results show that BRAINBERRY® consumption leads to a significant improvement of eye-hand coordination.

BRAINBERRY® can already be found on the European market. The next step is to expand the footprint of BRAINBERRY® in the Americas, starting with the compounding pharmacy market in Brazil.

Are you a compounding pharmacy in Brazil interested in BRAINBERRY®?
Please feel free to reach out to Biovital via: maria.alice@biovital.ind.br

About Biovital Ltda.
Biovital is a Brazilian distributor of cosmetics, dermocosmetics, food and pharmaceutical raw ingredients to the compounding pharmacy market and to cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries. With a highly specialized team and complete laboratory, logistics and operational infrastructures, Biovital is able to provide assistance to consumers in all aspects for the development of products and innovative solutions.

For further information, see www.biovital.ind.br

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities BRAINBERRY® has to offer, feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com


BioActor receives grant from LIOF and Provincie Limburg for the BrainWave project

BioActor receives grant from LIOF and Provincie Limburg for the BrainWave project

Maastricht, The Netherlands, February 27, 2018

Press release

Biactor and the Nutrition and Health Faculty of Maastricht University are collaborating on the BrainWave Project. This project aims to develop new nutritional solutions to specifically aid cognitive performance. The Project has been given a grant by the LIOF and Province Limburg.

The BainWave Project

BioActor recently started the BrainWave project in collaboration with NUTRIM, a 12 months project which is financially supported by a grant from LIOF and Provincie Limburg. LIOF has initiated the Limburg Business Development Fund, an investment fund that provides knowledge, networking and financial support to reach Proof of Principle for promising innovations with business potential.

BrainWave aims to develop new nutritional solutions to support cognitive performance in middle aged adults. The project has two main thrusts; (i) screening for the candidate nutritional substances with the potential to modulate the mitochondrial respiration and performance; (ii) and to study the most promising candidate substance in a placebo-controlled clinical study. The clinical study will moreover focus on the link between cognitive performance and brain perfusion. The BrainWave project will be run in close collaboration with NUTRIM, the nutrition and health faculty of Maastricht University.

About BioActor

BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a product development company that has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. The company focuses on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy aging. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

Feel free to contact us via info@bioactor.com for more information