Black cohosh and Jamaican dogwood among ingredients in BioCeuticals' new women’s health range

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Black cohosh, a medicinal plant native to eastern North America, is one of ingredients in FemiPain, which also contains zinc, vitamin B1, and ginger.
Black cohosh, a medicinal plant native to eastern North America, is one of ingredients in FemiPain, which also contains zinc, vitamin B1, and ginger.

Related tags: women's health, Australia, botanicals

BioCeuticals has taken advantage of several uncommon ingredients to develop its latest offering, the BioCeuticals Women's Range.

The range consists of four products: Women's Essentials (for overall health and stress relief), FemmeBalance (for menstrual regulation and PMS), FemiPain (for menstrual pains), and MenoPlus 8-PN (for women going through menopause).

Black cohosh, a medicinal plant native to eastern North America, is one of ingredients in FemiPain, which also contains zinc, vitamin B1, and ginger.

The plant is said to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. BioCeuticals education manager Belinda Reynolds told NutraIngredients-Asia: "Black cohosh is quite new for us as we've never used it in any of our products before.

"We've understood its mechanism of action, whereby it interacts with neurotransmitters to help relieve premenstrual symptoms and menstrual pain."

The product, which comes in tablet form, also contains Jamaican dogwood, derived from a tropical tree native to the wider Caribbean region. Like black cohosh, it is believed to be anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.

Reynolds said, "Jamaican dogwood has been in clinical products before but not in a BioCeuticals range. We aimed to provide a combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients that were backed by evidence to support (the health of) women with period pain, while also being aware of other menstrual symptoms. 

"That was where the other ingredients like ginger and Jamaican dogwood came in, because they're known to help with pain, but ginger can also help with gut upset and Jamaican dogwood has been shown to help regulate menstrual blood flow as well."

She added that FemmeBalance might benefit women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as they tend to share similar symptoms with those who experience menstrual cramps, but said BioCeuticals could not make that claim officially as there had not yet been any clinical trials involving PCOS patients.

Vitamin variations

In addition to the new ingredients BioCeuticals incorporated into the Women's Range, it also introduced variations on its vitamins, namely, vitamins D and K.

Reynolds said, "Vitamin D deficiency is such a common problem, particularly for women in Australia. We thought it would be important to have 1,000 IU of that in the Women's Essentials supplement. We also recently changed our form of vitamin K, from K1 to K2.

"The formula now contains vitamin K2, which works with vitamin D to directly support bone health for women of all ages. It also contains a high dose of B vitamins — including biologically active forms such as B12 — along with vitamins A, C, D3 and E, and zinc and selenium."

While there have been clinical trials conducted on the individual ingredients in the range, the results of which informed the firm’s decision to use them, the products themselves have not been clinically tested.

Reynolds revealed: "We haven't conducted clinical trials on the products themselves, but what we've done is look at evidence behind each of the ingredients on their own.

"We kept in mind what we knew to be the two biggest contributing factors to period pains — a high level of inflammation, and pro-inflammatory cytokines that can trigger intense cramping in the uterine area — and the combination of ingredients was picked based on the evidence behind them individually."

However, she also said that BioCeuticals was looking into what clinical trials it can conduct in the near future to test the efficacy of the Women's Range products themselves.

The range is currently available behind the counter at pharmacies and at clinics for prescription in Australia and New Zealand, and according to Reynolds, several distributors in the US have expressed interest in carrying the products.

At the moment, there are no plans to export the range elsewhere.

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