Ageing in Japan: FANCL launches supplements to regulate uric acid levels in middle-aged men

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Fancl's new health supplement "Uric acid support" is meant to regulate uric acid levels in men.
Fancl's new health supplement "Uric acid support" is meant to regulate uric acid levels in men.

Related tags Uric acid gout Alcohol Seafood

Japanese skincare firm Fancl has launched a supplement to reduce uric acid levels in men, and claims it is the first supplement to do so in Japan.

Targeted at middle-aged men, the supplement named Uric Acid Support comes in the form of capsules and is registered as a Food with Function Claim (FFC)​.

An elevated level of uric acid is a cause for concern, as it may lead to hyperuricaemia and eventually, gout. In response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia​, a spokesman said the product was able to regulate uric acid levels due to the presence of ampelopsin and chitosan.

Ampelopsin is found in vine tea, a tea species native to China, and chitosan is a dietary fibre extracted from the shells of crabs and other crustaceans.

According to the company, ampelopsin inhibits the synthesis and excretion of uric acid in the body, while chitosan suppresses the absorption of purine – a compound that raises purine acid levels. Purine is found in high amounts in alcoholic beverages and seafood.  

The spokesman revealed that the firm took about four years to develop the product.

In Japan, it has been reported that there is an increase in numbers of middle-age men who are concerned with high uric acid level​. (The reason for developing the product) is to respond and aid those people in distress to lower their acid level,” ​he said.

From April 18, the product will be made available via catalogue mail order, retail shops, and drugstores in Japan. Currently, the product is only sold on FANCL’s website.

Trial findings

The supplement has shown to bring down uric acid levels amongst men aged 22 to 64 in a product trial.  ​The findings were made public by Life Science Publishing.

Seventy-eight males whose serum uric acid levels were between 6 mg/dL and 7 mg/dL were recruited into the randomised and double-blind trial.

During the trial, they consumed either the supplement containing 150 mg of ampelopsin and 100 mg of chitosan or the placebo for 12 consecutive weeks.

The changes in their baseline serum uric acid levels, urinary uric acid excretion, uric acid clearance, creatinine clearance, and the rate of uric acid clearance-creatinine clearance were measured throughout the course of the trial.

Findings showed that the serum uric acid level of the placebo group increased by 0.28 mg /dL by the end of the trial for the placebo group, whereas the group which took the supplement saw its serum uric acid level dropped by 0.15 mg /dL from the 8th​ week until the end of the study.

25 years of health food business

Fancl is not only a skincare and cosmetics brand, in fact, its health supplements business has entered its 25th​ year this year. The health food business is also a key focus under its business development strategy VISION 2030.

At present, the firm has introduced 22 health supplements that bear the FFC since the FFC framework was put in place in 2015. They range from probiotics to protein powder for muscle building and supplements to relieve tired eyes.

It also sells Aojiru​, a type of vegetable juice made from kale.

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