What are prebiotics

What are prebiotics? Types and health benefits

What are prebiotics? Types and health benefits

February 7th, 2022

Prebiotics are a big topic in nutrition these days. As with probiotics, their relationship with human health has gathered a lot of interest in recent years. Prebiotics are compounds derived from non-digestible carbohydrates that confer health benefits to the host by selectively stimulating the growth of intestinal bacteria.

What are prebiotics

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that confer health benefits to the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of a limited number of our intestinal bacteria [1].

Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and trans-galacto-oligosaccharides (TOS) are the most common prebiotics.

Fermentation of prebiotics by gut microbiota produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as lactate, butyrate, and propionate. These products have multiple beneficial effects on the body, as SCFAs are small enough to enter blood circulation through gut cells.

The difference between probiotics and prebiotics is that, while probiotics are beneficial bacteria, prebiotics are the food for these bacteria. Both are important for human health, but they have different roles. Probiotics are live bacteria and prebiotics are compounds derived from non-digestible carbohydrates –mostly fibre.

What are the different types of prebiotics?

There are various types of prebiotics. These include:

• Fructans. In this category, we can find inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). Several bacterial species can be promoted directly or indirectly by fructans.

• Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). GOS can greatly stimulate Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, as well as Enterobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes to a lesser extent [2].

• Hemicellulose-derived oligosaccharides. These are derived from hemicellulosic macromolecules such as arabinoxylans. Arabinoxylans have demonstrated to produce a strong prebiotic activity, in particular bifidogenic.

• Starch and glucose-derived oligosaccharides. Resistant starch, a type of starch resistant to the upper gut digestion, can stimulate the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) [3]. Polydextrose, a glucose-derived oligosaccharide, can also stimulate Bifidobacteria [4].

• Pectic oligosaccharides (POS). Some oligosaccharides come from a polysaccharide called pectin. This type of oligosaccharide is called pectic oligosaccharide (POS).

• Non-carbohydrate oligosaccharides. Although carbohydrates are more likely to meet the criteria to be considered prebiotics, there are other compounds not classified as carbohydrates, but that can be classified as prebiotics, such as some flavanols [5].

What are the health benefits of prebiotics?

Research shows that prebiotics have several health benefits. These include the following:

• Modulation of the microbiota. Prebiotics provide energy sources to gut microbiota. This way, they are able to modulate the function and composition of these microorganisms [6].

• Modulation of the immune system. SCFAs have multiple benefits in the immune system, such as increasing antibody responses toward viral vaccines, like influenza and measles [7].

• Prevention of colorectal cancer. Fermentation products of probiotics, such as butyrate, have protective effects against the risk of colorectal cancer [8, 9].

• Prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis. Prebiotics can prevent the development of this life-threatening disease in preterm infants [10].

• Decrease the risk of allergic skin diseases. Prebiotics decrease both the risk of development and the severity of atopic dermatitis [11, 12].

• Reduction of the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Prebiotics are able to lower the risk of CVD by reducing the inflammatory elements, improving lipid profile [7].

• Increase in calcium absorption. Some prebiotics can help increase calcium absorption [13].

How can I add prebiotics to my diet?

Prebiotics play an important role in human health, so it is important to consume them. They can be found in foods that are high in fibre, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole-grain products. Foods that are high in prebiotic fibre include:

• Wheat
• Soybeans
• Oats
• Bananas
• Tomatoes
• Berries
• Asparagus
• Garlic
• Leeks
• Onions
• Chicory

Another option to increase prebiotic intake are supplements. They can be purchased in health food stores and online. They can be found in capsule form, in powder blends or even in bars.

Prebiotics are generally considered safe. They can have some minor side effects, such as diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. However, prebiotics’ chain length is the main parameter related to the development of these side effects.

Prebiotics with a shorter chain length have more side effects because they are fermented earlier and more rapidly, while longer chain prebiotics –such as arabinoxylans from wheat– are fermented later and slower.


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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.

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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, an important molecule that has been reported to exhibit 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.


Cordiart® and Bonolive®obtained registration by the Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Cordiart® and Bonolive®obtained registration by the Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency

Maastricht, The Netherlands, September 15th, 2017

Press release

Both Cordiart® and Bonolive® obtained registration by the Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency. Both finished capsule products of which one containing Cordiart® and the other Bonolive® are now officially registered and can be sold on the Malaysian market.

The Cordiart® and Bonolive® In Malaysia

Cordiart® and Bonolive® containing finished capsule products, named Smoozflo and Bonee Care, have been officially approved and registered in Malaysia by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency. Cordiart® finished capsule products are registered to be used for improving blood circulation under registration number MAL16110075TC. Bonolive® finished capsule products are registered to be used to strengthen bones and joints under registration number MAL16060038TC.

 

Both Cordiart® and Bonolive® have been clinically evaluated to have significant effects:

Two studies have shown that Cordiart® provides a triple protection of the arteries by improving arterial flexibility, reduces plaque formation, and lower arterial inflammation. The first study targeted patients with metabolic syndrome and impaired endothelial function, whilst the second study was looking at healthy overweight people. In both studies Cordiart® increased flow-mediated dilation compared to placebo. In addition the second study showed a reduction of the levels of adhesion molecules, responsible for plaque formation, and a reduction of the levels of inflammation markers, reflecting the inflammatory status of the arteries.

 

A 12-month double-blind, placebo-controlled study on a group of osteopenic patients consuming 250 mg/daily of Bonolive® showed a 32% significant increase in serum osteocalcin levels. This validates that Bonolive® prevents bone loss by strengthening bone metabolism and stimulating bone-building cell activity.

 

If you are interested in these products please feel free to contact our distributor for the Malaysian market, Membra Health, at info@membra.com.my.

 

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 Cordiart® and Bonolive® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.cordiart.com and www.bonolive.com


Clinical results published in a leading nutrition journal provide novel evidence supporting the beneficial effect of consumption of citrus flavanones on postprandial endothelial function.

Clinical results published in a leading nutrition journal provide novel evidence supporting the beneficial effect of consumption of citrus flavanones on postprandial endothelial function.

Maastricht, Netherlands, April 6, 2017

Press release

The British Journal of Nutrition has published results revealing that an acute, sole dose of citrus flavanones may counteract the transient decline in endothelial function, 7-hours postprandially. However, no effect was found 2-hours postprandially. This study corroborates findings from the latest clinical study on Cordiart®, a sweet orange extract. Moreover, it was shown that a repeated daily dose of standardized citrus flavanones may impart already 2-hours postprandially, a faster recovery in FMD response as compared to a sole dose.

The Clinical Benefits of Cordiart®

A recently published randomized, controlled, double-masked, crossover study (2017) has evaluated the acute impact (0-7 h) of flavanone-containing (mg) 240 ml beverages (orange juice: 128.9 mg; flavanone-rich orange juice: 272.1 mg; homogenized whole orange: 452.8 mg) on postprandial (Western diet/double meal with 81 g of fat) vascular function among middle-aged healthy men (30-65 years, N=28). Subjects had mild cardiometabolic risk factors with a baseline FMD (flow-mediated dilation) of 4.8 units and fasting lipids in the upper half of the normal range (TAG 0.8-3.2 mmol/l, total cholesterol 6.0-8.0 mmol/l) or BMI 25-32 kg/m2.

After 2-hours postprandially, there was no detected improvement in % FMD for all three interventions, despite differing flavanone concentrations. By 7-hours postprandially, all interventions were able to attenuate temporary impairments in FMD to that of baseline levels (7-hours post intake, P<0.05). This was suggested to be due to probable actions of citrus flavanone metabolites on nitric oxide.

Even though these results are promising, it can also be implied that an individual is exposed to endothelial dysfunction for up to 7-hours. By this time, it is common to have already consumed another meal (Western diet), reflecting that the majority of the day is spent in a postprandial state. This absence of a rapid postprandial effect may also be attributed to low flavanone bioavailability.

The article concludes that a daily intake of citrus flavanones may be an effective dietary strategy and ‘such temporary vascular changes repeated on a daily basis can critically impact long-term vascular health and overall chronic disease risk

Given the former, it’s important to have a rapid improvement in endothelial function postprandially. This was shown in a 6-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that investigated the effects of a daily repeated intake of 500mg of Cordiart® on endothelial function. Already 2-hours after the consumption of a high-fat meal, 6-weeks of Cordiart® supplementation was shown to significantly increase and recover FMD (mean) by approximately 8.9% when compared to the mean baseline fasting level, in individuals with borderline chronic endothelial impairment (FMD≥3%). Therefore, Cordiart® may provide a faster recovery in FMD response as compared to a sole dose of non-standardized flavanones.

Moreover, orange juice is known to contain a high amount of sugar and is not standardized for active flavonoid content. Overall, Cordiart® provides a standardized dose of flavonoids, serving as an optimal solution for preserving endothelial function and supporting healthy blood flow.

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 Cordiart® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.cordiart.com


Hearth health

BioActor’s Research Director Sam Possemiers Introduces Cordiart® at MIS 2014: 21-22 May, Quimper- France

BioActor’s Research Director Sam Possemiers Introduces Cordiart® at MIS 2014: 21-22 May, Quimper- France

Maastricht, The Netherlands, March 3rd, 2014

Press release
Cordiart® clinically shows high bioavailability and improvements in endothelial function proving to be a great rutinoside formulation for cardiovascular health. The results of the clinical trial will be discussed in more detail in the Molécules & Ingrédients Santé (MIS) by BioActor’s research director Dr. Sam Possemiers.

Hearth health

Cordiart® in the spotlight at Molécules & Ingrédients Santé

For the 5th time, Molécules & Ingrédients Santé (MIS) will gather during 2 days industrial scientists, university researchers as well as experts to focus on last advances and future prospects in terms of new active ingredients, clinical tests and legislation.

BioActor’s research director Dr. Sam Possemiers will give a lecture on BioActor’s innovative cardiovascular ingredient Cordiart®. Cordiart®, a specific rutinoside formulation for cardiovascular health, has shown strong clinical data on the improvement of endothelial function. Cordiart® stimulates the eNOS-enzyme which plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of Nitric Oxide, one of the most important regulators of vascular elasticity. Parties have completed a pharmacokinetics study showing the high bioavailability of Cordiart®.

MIS 2014 will take place in Quimper, capital city of Cornouaille with a high industrial, R&D and training potential in the fields of nutrition and marine ingredients. The health products field still represents a strong profitable industry with a US $11 billion global market and a 5% annual growth. In the same time, dietary supplements turnover is now exceeding US $50 billion in spite of recent regulatory limitations. In this context and because of stronger requirements of consumers regarding efficacy of ingredients, innovation remains the keystone of this high value-added economy.

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 Cordiart® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.Cordiart.com


Metabolic Syndrome

BioActor receives EUROSTARS grant for the FlaMeS project “Flavonoids and metabolic syndrome”

BioActor receives EUROSTARS grant for the FlaMeS project “Flavonoids and metabolic syndrome”

Maastricht, The Netherlands, October 22th, 2012

Press release
BioActor leads the international FlaMeS-consortium to develop novel in-vitro cell technology and clinical validation of Cordiart® for the prevention of the metabolic syndrome. The FlaMeS consortium is a collaboration between two innovation driven SMEs, BioActor (Netherlands) and AdipoPhyt (France). The project will result in the development and clinical validation of novel 3-D cell assays for adipose tissue development and in the clinical validation of a proprietary citrus flavonoid extract for the improvement of glycaemic control and endothelial function.

Metabolic Syndrome

The FlaMeS project

BioActor BV announced today that EUREKA has approved the FlaMeS project, submitted by BioActor and AdipoPhYt. The FlaMeS Consortium has two objectives: (1) validating novel 3-D cell-based assays to screen for effects of compounds on adipose tissue development, and (2) clinically test and validate effects of Cordiart®, a citrus peel extract, on markers associated with the metabolic syndrome.

Prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome is rapidly increasing, affecting millions of people in Europe alone. Public health authorities have recognized the need for prevention of these chronic diseases. BioActor addresses this need by developing a unique, natural product for improved functioning of blood vessels, glycemic control and heart health: Cordiart®.

Cordiart® is a natural flavonoid citrus peel extract with optimized bioavailability. This ingredient commands a high content of natural bioactive flavonoids. A number of in-vivo and human studies have shown very promising effects for Cordiart® in use for blood vessel function, glycemic control and heart health.

In order to test novel substances regarding their effects on adipose tissue (fat storage cells), new ‘humanized’ in vitro models are needed. AdipoPhYt is currently developing a cutting edge new technology “AdipoGut”, combining all present techniques and knowledge into a high quality and predictive test system. The FlaMeS project will result in a marketable functional food ingredient “Cordiart®”, with proven beneficial effects on blood flow, glycemic control and heart health and a cutting edge new in vitro screening technology.

“We are very happy with the Eureka/Eurostars commission’s trust in our project, as this clearly shows that they recognize our serious efforts in developing cutting edge food ingredients and food development technology at BioActor and our partner AdipoPhYt. This grant will enable us to further enhance our scientific knowledge on the effects of polyphenols on the human body and validate our product Cordiart®, which may even revolutionize the health market in cardiovascular disease prevention,” says Hans van der Saag, CEO 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 Cordiart® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.cordiart.com