Can-Prebiotics-and-Probiotics-help-relieve-IBS-symptoms?

Can Prebiotics and Probiotics help relieve IBS symptoms?

Can Prebiotics and Probiotics help relieve IBS symptoms?

May 19th, 2022

Prebiotics and probiotics are an interesting topic for people with gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers have conducted various studies regarding their influence on improving IBS symptoms. In this article, we will explain the different types of IBS and how prebiotics and probiotics may be beneficial in managing this chronic long-term condition.

Can-Prebiotics-and-Probiotics-help-relieve-IBS-symptoms?

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the quality of people’s lives and includes symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea [1].

Some studies have estimated that more than 9% of the worldwide population suffers from IBS, with women 1.5 to 3 times more likely to experience IBS symptoms [2].

To date, IBS causes are still unknown and some possible factors that are responsible for IBS, include physiological disturbances, genetics, and digestive motility [3]. Based on the abnormal manifestation of the bowel movements, IBS has four subtypes [4, 5].

  1. IBS-C: Constipation prevailing
  2. IBS-D: Diarrhea predominant
  3. IBS-M: Mixed of Constipation and Diarrhea
  4. IBS-U: Unspecified when a patient does not belong to one of these categories

Probiotics and IBS

Although the causes of IBS are still unknown, it has been suggested that an imbalance of the gut microbiota can be responsible for IBS development.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host by decreasing the harmful bacteria and supporting the gut’s natural bacteria [6]. If you want to increase the good bacteria in your body, various fermented foods and supplements include probiotics.

As it concerns food, a few suggestions might be yoghurt, tempeh, kombucha and kimchi , while supplements usually include beneficial strains like Saccharomyces Boulardii, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Lactobacillus Plantarum.

Research has shown that IBS symptoms can be improved by the daily consumption of Probiotics, even if the exact mechanism is still not completely understood [7]. Probiotics can act in different ways depending on the type of IBS and other factors such as age and gender [8].

It is proposed that Probiotics may improve IBS symptoms by [9]:

• Inhibiting the colonisation of pathogens in the gut
• Enhancing the gut barrier function
• Boosting the immune system
• Improving digestive functions
• Reducing inflammation in the gut and gas formation

Prebiotics and IBS

Prebiotics are usually non-digestible fibre compounds that are fermented by the gut microbiota, stimulating the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in the gut [10]. To classify these compounds as prebiotics, they need to comply with three requirements [11]:

• be non-digestible and resistant to breakdown by stomach acid and enzymes in the human gastrointestinal tract
• be fermented by living microorganisms in the gut
• stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial bacteria (probiotics)

Research into the role of prebiotics in managing IBS symptoms is conflicting and shows that the beneficial effect may be subjective and depend on the IBS and type.

For example, some studies found that soluble fibres such as psyllium and inulin may provide significant pain relief for IBS patients with constipation and/or diarrhoea. In contrast, other studies found that the effect is limited.

Prebiotics act by stimulating the growth of a bacterium that produces lactic acid called Bifidobacterium. Interestingly, Bifidobacterium has been associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms in people with IBS. More specifically, this genus lowers the pH to desirable levels for beneficial microbes and undesirable levels for pathogenic bacteria
[12].

The consumption of specific prebiotics such as arabinoxylans from wheat (AX) can increase the amount of Bifidobacterium in the colon.

In addition, there are also molecules with known prebiotic activity, such as citrus-derived flavonoids. Research has shown that these compounds can reach the colon without being digested and are metabolised by the gut microbiota, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria..

These prebiotic flavonoids are different from prebiotic fibres because they are not fermented but rather deglycosylated by the gut microbiota. Furthermore, their ability to work at low doses is associated with their high tolerance as opposed to fibres. Finally, the lack of fermentation avoids gas formation and the resulting feeling of bloating and flatulence.

Multiple studies have shown better protection of gut mucosa against colonisation by pathogens and viruses. Also, citrus flavonoids allow greater production of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) like butyrate and propionate, important compounds for the immune system and metabolic functions.

The bottom line

IBS is a chronic condition that affects a large part of the world’s population.

There is no known cure for this condition, but there are many treatment options to reduce or eliminate symptoms, such as dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and prescription medications.

In many cases, probiotics and prebiotics may be beneficial in managing the IBS symptoms. However, the beneficial effect is subjective and depends on the IBS type. Therefore, it is essential to understand how dietary changes and supplementations affect the symptoms.


The-link-between-gut-and-brain-health

The Link between Gut and Brain Health

The Link between Gut and Brain Health

February 21st, 2022

The bidirectional communication system between your gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis. These two organs are connected through the vagus nerve, neurotransmitters, production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by gut microbiota and the immune system. This gut-brain link works in both directions. Gut bacteria affect brain health and, therefore, altering your gut bacteria through compounds such as probiotics and prebiotics may improve your brain health.

The-link-between-gut-and-brain-health

The Gut-Brain Connection

Did you ever “go with the gut” to make a decision? Have you ever felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous? This is because the brain and the gastrointestinal system are closely connected.

The bidirectional communication system between your gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis. These two organs are connected both physically through the vagus nerve and biochemically through hormones and neurotransmitters.

Gut microbiota has an important impact on the gut-brain axis, interacting not only locally with intestinal cells and enteric nervous system (ENS), but also directly with the central nervous system (CNS).

The Vagus Nerve

Your gut contains 500 million neurons, connected to your brain through the nervous system [1].

One of the biggest nerves connecting your gut and brain is the vagus nerve, which sends signals both ways. Gut microbiota communication with the brain, therefore, involves the vagus nerve [2].

Conditions such as Chron’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) involve brain-gut dysfunctions where the vagus nerve is an important component.

People suffering from these conditions actually have a reduced vagal tone, which indicates a decreased function of the vagus nerve [3].

Neurotransmitters

Your gut and brain are also connected through neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters produced in the brain have an impact on our feelings and emotions.

Many of these neurotransmitters are produced by our gut cells and microbiota as well.

Around 90% of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness, is produced by enterochromaffin cells, a group of gut mucosal cells [4].

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps control feelings of fear and anxiety, is also produced by many species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in the gut microbiota [5].

Production of SCFAs by gut microbiota

Gut microbiota produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate, propionate and acetate.

SCFAs can affect brain function in different ways. They are able to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, mucosal serotonin release and influence the memory and learning process in the brain [6].

Immune system

Your gut and brain are also linked through the immune system. The microbiota provides essential signals for the development and function of the immune system.

The microbiota, its metabolites and components are not only necessary for immune homeostasis, but they also influence your susceptibility to many immune-mediated diseases and disorders [7].

If the gut barrier becomes leaky, bacteria and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) –an inflammatory toxin produced by some bacteria– can enter the blood, causing inflammation.

Inflammation and high LPS content in the blood are associated with brain disorders, such as depression and dementia [8].

The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Link between Gut and Brain

The gut-brain connection works in both directions. Gut bacteria affect brain health and, therefore, altering your gut bacteria may improve or worsen your brain health.

Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria. Psychobiotics are a class of probiotics that are able to produce and deliver neuroactive substances such as GABA and serotonin, which act on the brain-gut axis [9].

Studies have found that some psychobiotics have antidepressant or anxiolytic activity. These effects may be mediated via the vagus nerve, spinal cord, or neuroendocrine systems [10].

Prebiotics are compounds derived from non-digestible carbohydrates, mostly fibre. Prebiotics may also affect brain health by lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone [11].

Beneficial Foods for the Gut-Brain Axis

Some foods can be beneficial for the gut-brain axis. These include the following:

• Probiotic foods. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and drinks, such as yoghurt, kefir, tempeh or kombucha.

Prebiotic foods. Prebiotics can be found in high fibre foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole-grain products.

• Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve microbiota diversity [12]. These fats can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines.

• Polyphenol-rich foods. Polyphenols are found in foods such as cocoa, citrus, green tea, olive leaf and coffee. These compounds, digested by gut bacteria, increase healthy bacteria strains and may improve cognition [13].

• Tryptophan-rich foods. The amino acid tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin. Tryptophan is found in milk, cheese, oats, turkey and chicken, among others.


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.


Wheat arabinoxylans health benefits

What are the health benefits of arabinoxylans from wheat?

What are the health benefits of arabinoxylans from wheat?

December 10th, 2021

Arabinoxylans are soluble prebiotic fibres extracted from cereal grains, such as the wheat endosperm. Arabinoxylans can be used as dietary supplements or functional food ingredients due to their researched beneficial effects on gut health, glycaemic control and immune health.

Wheat arabinoxylans health benefits

What are arabinoxylans?

Arabinoxylans are soluble fibres extracted from cereal grains. Arabinoxylans have been identified in all major cereal grains, including wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, sorghum, maize, and millet.

In cereal grains, arabinoxylans are localized mainly in the cell walls of starchy endosperm and the aleurone layer, in the bran tissues, and in the husk of some cereals.

Depending on the genus and species, the amount and structure of arabinoxylans in a particular tissue may vary. For instance, in wheat, there is more arabinoxylan in the walls surrounding the cells of starchy endosperm than in those of aleurone.

Not all arabinoxylans are the same. They vary on the degree of polymerization, which represents the length of the arabinoxylan chains, and on the soluble arabinoxylan content.

As with all fibres, their physicochemical characteristics affect the degree to which they are utilised by the gut microbiota. Higher degrees of polymerization and concentrations of soluble fibre are related to greater bifidogenic effects. [1]

Arabinoxylans can be used as a dietary supplement due to their beneficial effects on gut health, glycaemic control and immune health.

Moreover, due to the physicochemical and technological properties of these molecules (e.g. water-binding capacity, gelation), arabinoxylans can also be used as a baking additive to improve dough consistency, increase loaf volumes and improve crumb structure.

The health benefits of arabinoxylans

Research around arabinoxylans has suggested that these compounds, as part of dietary fibre, have many beneficial physiological effects along the entire human gastrointestinal tract.

These effects are dependent on a complex mixture of molecular and physical properties of arabinoxylan preparations, as well as on the site, rate and extent of their digestion and fermentation in the gut.

• Arabinoxylans have strong prebiotic properties

Arabinoxylans have demonstrated to have prebiotic properties, by selectively stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon, such as Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides species. [2,3]

This change in the microbiota is associated with positive health outcomes, such as improved overall health, decreased gut infections and enhanced mineral absorption.

Additionally, the fermentation of prebiotics by intestinal bacteria results in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which have numerous favourable effects.

These effects include the inhibition of harmful bacteria, colon cancer prevention or improvement of glucose tolerance, among others. [4]

• Arabinoxylans improve glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity

Evidence suggests that arabinoxylans from wheat may improve metabolic control in people with impaired glucose tolerance and with Diabetes type 2, by improving blood glucose and insulin levels.

The short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) formed from the metabolization of arabinoxylans by the gut microbiota are mainly butyrate, acetate and propionate. Acetate and propionate can bind to a specific protein called GPCR43 in the colon.

After binding, the secretion of two peptides (PYY and GLP-1) is increased. This leads to a lowered intestinal motility and a decrease in the levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. These processes are key to improving glucose handling. [5,6]

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that there is sufficient scientific evidence to substantiate the health claim that the consumption of arabinoxylans produced from wheat endosperm contributes to a reduction of the glucose rise after a meal. [7]

Some other soluble fibres have also been associated with this health benefit; however, one of the advantages of arabinoxylans lies in their higher palatability.

• Arabinoxylans boost immune health

Arabinoxylans have shown to boost the immune system. Specifically, they may enhance adaptive immunity, innate immunity and gut barrier integrity:

1. Adaptive immunity. Arabinoxylans may enhance vaccination efficacy against influenza, resulting in fewer adverse events, fewer respiratory tract infections and an improved seroprotection rate. [8]

2. Innate immunity. As mentioned, arabinoxylans may promote a beneficial short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profile. This leads to increased cytokine production, improved monocytes recruitment capacity, and activation of regulatory T-cells, resulting in an increased immune system vigilance. All these cells are involved in keeping the immune system in check by making sure that it returns to a stable state after invaders have been successfully cleaned up. [9,10]

3. Gut barrier integrity. The short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) butyrate provides additional energy to the gut cells and strengthens the mucus layer. Arabinoxylans further induce the upregulation of tight junction proteins, protecting the human body against foreign invaders and strengthening the immune system. [11,12]

How can you add arabinoxylans to your diet?

Arabinoxylans can be found in cereal grains. Arabinoxylan supplements can also be purchased in health food stores and online. They can be found in capsule form, in powder blends or even in bars.

Generally, 1 to 5 grams of arabinoxylans daily are enough to benefit from their prebiotic effect. Regarding EFSA’s health claim on glycaemic control, at least 8% of arabinoxylan-rich fibre produced from wheat endosperm per unit of available carbohydrates should be consumed.

Arabinoxylans are generally considered safe and well tolerated by the gut, meaning that they do not cause intestinal discomfort. [13,14]


What are postbiotics

What are postbiotics? Let's find out!

What are postbiotics? Let’s find out!

December 7th, 2021

Probiotics and prebiotics are very popular nowadays for their positive effects on gut health. Most recently, postbiotics, which are products or metabolites released from microbial fermentation, have also gained attention due to their health benefits. However, they are still unknown to the majority of consumers.

What are postbiotics

What are postbiotics?

Postbiotics are defined as a “preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host”. In other words, they are the bacterial products or metabolites released from microbial fermentation.

For this reason, postbiotics include several types of compounds, such as short-chain fatty acids, microbial cell fragments, functional proteins, extracellular polysaccharides, cell lysates or teichoic acid.

Unlike probiotics, postbiotics do not need to be alive to be beneficial, so they are more stable than the living bacteria they are derived from. [1]

Why postbiotics?

Why postbiotics when I can already take probiotics and prebiotics? This may be a question that comes up.

It is important to understand that gut microbiota composition varies between individuals. This means that the degree to which different components are metabolized may be different among persons.

As a result, probiotics and prebiotics may have different health effects between individuals. Moreover, temporal changes in our gut microbiota composition could also influence the effects of these compounds.

On the other hand, many positive health effects of probiotics and prebiotics are due to the production of components such as short-chain fatty acids, microbial fragments, functional proteins or teichoic acid.

As mentioned before, these components are postbiotics, which means that when postbiotics are taken, these components are directly ingested.

If you want to know more about prebiotics, check this article.

What are the health benefits of postbiotics?

Research suggests that postbiotics may have several health benefits. These include the following:

 

• Modulation of the microbiota. Postbiotics components such as butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, are beneficial for gut health. [2]

 

• Modulation of the immune system. Butyrate can stimulate the production of T cells in the intestine, which helps control immune responses. Other components such as microbial cell wall fragments can increase the production of cytokines, which are chemical messengers that help reduce inflammation and boost immune responses. [2,3]

 

• Modulation of the metabolism. Propionate, a short-chain fatty acid, can help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. On the other hand, butyrate can stimulate the production of an antioxidant called glutathione. [1,2]

 

• Weight loss aid. Short-chain fatty acids may help weight loss through the modification of eating behaviours. This is due to the release of hormones that increase satiety. [1]

 

• Reduction of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. A study in 443 individuals with IBS involving orally administered, heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium bifidum, found that the postbiotic substantially alleviated symptoms associated with IBS, such as abdominal pain or discomfort, abdominal bloating and abnormal bowel habits. [4]

 

• Other potential benefits. Orally administered, inactivated lactic acid bacteria may help eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection, chronic unexplained diarrhoea and the abrogation of the negative effects of stress. [1]

How can I add postbiotics to my diet?

Postbiotics are not as easy to find as probiotics and prebiotics, but they can be purchased in health food stores and online. They are generally considered safe and well-tolerated.

As postbiotics are generated from fermentation by the bacteria in your gut, you can increase postbiotics production by eating foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and drinks, such as yoghurt, kefir, tempeh or kombucha. Prebiotics can be found in high fibre foods, such as vegetables and whole-grain products.


Arabinoxilan vaccine efficiency.j

Naxus® positive clinical results on its contribution towards an effective vaccination in elderly individuals

Naxus® positive clinical results on its contribution towards an effective vaccination in elderly individuals

Maastricht, The Netherlands, September 8th, 2021

Press release
The results of the recent clinical trial displayed the significant benefits of Naxus® towards the efficacy of vaccines . Naxus® led to a significant positive changes in parameters such as, cytokine production, microbiota composition, and fecal PH compared to other non-digestible polysaccharides.

Arabinoxilan vaccine efficiency.j

The Clinical Benefits of Naxus®

Immunosenescence is the process of deterioration of immune system functionality, mostly present in the elderly. Effective vaccination of the older adult is therefore a rising concern and a point to consider. BioActor has published the results of its recent clinical trial on Naxus®, an arabinoxylan extract from wheat endosperm on vaccination efficiency in Nutrients (Laue et al. 2021). Naxus® was compared to other non-digestible polysaccharides (NSPs): Wellmune®, Oatwell®, a beta-glucan from shiitake and exopolysaccharide preparation from L. Mucosae. NSPs are known for their promising effects on improving the immune response. From all investigated products, daily supplementation of Naxus® improved vaccination efficiency most effectively. Naxus® was further found to be safe, tolerable and feasible as a supplement.

The participants that completed the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study were 231 of 239 subjects. Participants where split into six groups, each consuming a different non-digestible polysaccharide or control: Naxus®, Oatwell®, Wellmune®, a beta-glucan preparation from shiitake prepared according to a pre-specified procedure or an exopolysaccharide preparation from L. Mucosae for the duration of 5 weeks. The study showed significant beneficial changes in the Naxus® group compared to control in several parameters such as, cytokine production, microbiota composition and fecal pH.

Some of these beneficial changes could be linked with the significant increase in the abundance of Bifidobacterium in the gut that Naxus® demonstrated in the study. This increase is associated with a reduced infection, duration of influenza and severity of the common cold. Furthermore, an increase in IFN-γ was observed as a result of Naxus® consumption. IFN-y cytokines are produced by natural killer cells, which function as the first in line of defense against viral infections.

The researchers conclude that Naxus® is the most effective compound tested, compared to other NSPs, in this study to promote an adjuvant effect on the immune response to vaccination.
Although lack of understanding of the underlying mechanism, strong immunomodulatory are likely to explain the effect. Previous In-vitro work already demonstrated convincing links between the innate immune system and Naxus®. An enhanced vigilance of the immune system could therefore be the key to an explanation of the vaccination efficiency.

In conclusion, the findings in this study show a valuable contribution of Naxus® to our body, functioning as a prebiotic and enhancing protection against unwanted intruders!

BioActor’s Chief Scientific Officer, Yala Stevens says: “I am very happy with the publication of the vaccination trial, as it is the culmination of a great effort and collaboration involving multiple partners. These interesting results I believe are also very relevant and deserve to be shared within the scientific community and beyond.”

Naxus® can be applied in various finished dosage forms, including bars, granola, flapjacks, capsules, stick packs, scoopable powder.

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 Naxus® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.naxus.nl


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, 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.


Gut microbiome

Partnership between BioActor and Wageningen University to integrate microbiota and immunity into a miniaturized assay

Partnership between BioActor and Wageningen University to integrate microbiota and immunity into a miniaturized assay

Maastricht, The Netherlands, June 28th, 2021

Press release
The intestine-on-a-chip model is a promising technology to revolutionize the currently used in vitro methods to better emulate the complex in vivo human intestinal physiology

Gut microbiome

The project

BioActor is thrilled to be an industrial partner of the INIMINI project, in partnership with Wageningen University & Research. The project “INIMINI-health: immune- and microbiota-competent intestine-on-a-chip to study health-promoting nutrition and drugs”, funded by Health Holland, aims to integrate microbiota and immunity into a miniaturized assay.

The intestine-on-a-chip model is a promising technology to revolutionize the currently used in vitro methods to better emulate the complex in vivo human intestinal physiology, providing an alternative for animal models in which species differences and ethical concerns are problematic. With this innovative tool, it will be possible to explore food interventions (and food-drug interactions) that can be used to prevent a compromised intestinal immune system and/or to treat the consequences.

The project consortium is a unique combination of knowledge partners (TO2 and academic institutes), six industry partners (Dutch and international) along the value chain, and the Dutch Maag Lever Darm Stichting (MLDS) as the key patient organization. BioActor will provide its knowledge on the physiological effects of flavonoids and arabinoxylans on the gut microbiota and the immune system.

This embodies the ‘quadruple helix’ approach that contributes to the overarching mission of “vital functioning citizens in a healthy economy”.

About BioActor
BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands, is a life science company that develops and markets proprietary bioactives for the nutrition & healthcare industries. The company focuses on clinically validated innovative bioactives that address active living and healthy ageing. The goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer real health benefits to the consumer.

For further information, see www.bioactor.com


Naxus®| Results of a randomized controlled trial on reinforcement of intestinal epithelial barrier by arabinoxylans in overweight and obese subjects published in high impact journal

Naxus®| Results of a randomized controlled trial on reinforcement of intestinal epithelial barrier by arabinoxylans in overweight and obese subjects published in high impact journal

Maastricht, Netherlands, March 8, 2017

Press release

The Clinical Nutrition Journal has published the results of the latest clinical study on the effect of arabinoxylans on gut barrier. Naxus® is a clinically evaluated wheat arabinoxylan concentrate produced by BioActor BV for the support of digestive health. The article concludes that “regular consumption of arabinoxylans results in a more beneficial fermentation profile in overweight and obese individuals.” Such a fermentation profile may lead to improved gut barrier function and immune health.

 

The Clinical Benefits of Naxus®

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study the effect of 6-weeks daily intake of 7.5g or 15g arabinoxylans, supplied as Naxus® by BioActor BV, on intestinal permeability was evaluated.

Obesity and metabolic diseases are associated with alterations in microbial composition and impaired gut barrier. The aims of the study were to investigate the effect of Naxus® on intestinal permeability, on gene transcription and protein expression of tight junctions, intestinal microbiota composition and activity, immune response and metabolic markers in overweight and obese individuals. Modulating gut microbiota composition, which influences its effect on intestinal homeostasis, appears to be a promising strategy to treat and prevent chronic diseases.

Gut biopsy specimens showed an upregulation of gene transcription of tight junction and associated proteins in both the 7.5g and 15g Naxus® group compared to placebo. Moreover, intake of Naxus® significantly decreased fecal pH and increased fecal concentrations of total short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), acetate, propionate and butyrate, compared to placebo

In conclusion, regular consumption of Naxus® resulted in a more beneficial fermentation, i.e. SCFA, profile in overweight and obese individuals. Such a fermentation profile could translate into improved gut barrier function and immune health. Furthermore, an increased gene transcription of several transmembrane proteins was observed. Finally it was shown that 15g Naxus® might have an anti-inflammatory potential and the intake of Naxus® is well-tolerated.

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 Naxus® has to offer.

Further information can be found on: www.naxus.nl


Wheat arabinoxylan extract

BioActor acquires Arabinoxylan-assets from DF3-WITAXOS and obtains positive EFSA opinion for its Arabinoxylan ingredient

BioActor acquires Arabinoxylan-assets from DF3-WITAXOS and obtains positive EFSA opinion for its Arabinoxylan ingredient

Maastricht, The Netherlands, April 12th, 2012

Press release
BioActor has acquired patents, know-how and clinical data relating to short-chain wheat arabinoxylans from DF3-WITAXOS. BioActor’s arabinoxylan ingredient obtained positive EFSA opinion for glycaemic control.

Wheat arabinoxylan extract

Arabinoxylan extract from wheat endosperm

BioActor BV announced today that it has acquired certain patents, manufacturing know-how and clinical data from DF3-WITAXOS. Moreover, DF3-WITAXOS’ managing director, Yann Dugenet, has joined BioActor as Director Product Development.

BioActor has already a long-chain Arabinoxylan ingredient derived from wheat endosperm in its portfolio, Naxus®, which recently obtained a positive EFSA Opinion for glycaemic control, and for which promising scientific evidence was recently obtained towards other health endpoints. Hans van der Saag, BioActor’s managing director comments; “The addition of short-chain Arabinoxylans which are derived from the same raw material source as our long chain Arabinoxylans-ingredient, further strengthens our portfolio of patented speciality fibers with clinically proven health effects”.

DF3 WITAXOS obtained excellent clinical data on prebiotic effects of its short-chain Arabinoxylans in a collaborative clinical trial with Institut Pasteur in Lille. Those results were consistent with earlier positive results from in-vitro experiments and in vivo tests on animal models. The integration of this ingredient in the Naxus® range of Arabinoxylan speciality fibers will allow for economies of scale in manufacturing and offers customers more choice in application possibilities.

EFSA has issued a positive opinion for a health claim on glycaemic control in connection with arabinoxylans produced from the wheat endosperm. EFSA proposes the following wording for the health claim: “Consumption of arabinoxylan contributes to a reduction of the glucose rise after a meal”. Naxus® is wheat endosperm derived arabinoxylan, which has been tested in several human studies and directly benefits from this health claim.

Naxus® is also being studied for immune modulation in the context of a 6 million Euro European research project – FIBEBIOTICS –, which is coordinated by Wageningen University (www.fibebiotics.eu).

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 Naxus® has to offer.
Further information can be found on: www.naxus.nl