CoQ10 gets Indena's Phytosome boost as firm targets APAC success beyond sports nutrition

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Based on an initial study conducted on athletes, Ubiqsome was found to have helped optimise CoQ10 levels in both human plasma and muscles, providing support for post-exercise recovery. ©Getty Images
Based on an initial study conducted on athletes, Ubiqsome was found to have helped optimise CoQ10 levels in both human plasma and muscles, providing support for post-exercise recovery. ©Getty Images

Related tags Sports nutrition Japan China delivery systems

Indena is striving for APAC growth with market entry in Japan and China, and launching a more bioavailable formulation of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which the firm believes has potential for success in sports nutrition and beyond.

Ubiqsome is the latest launch under its proprietary Phytosome delivery system range, and is standardised to contain at least 20% CoQ10.

Based on an initial study conducted on athletes, Ubiqsome was found to have helped optimise CoQ10 levels in both human plasma and muscles, providing support for post-exercise recovery.

Mechanisms and evidence

Explaining the underlying mechanisms of Phytosome, senior research scientist Elisabetta Frattini said: “Phytosome is a 100% food-grade biomimetic delivery system designed to optimise the bioavailability and pharmacokinetic profile of certain botanical ingredients by formulating them with lecithin, a natural surfactant involved in the physiological absorption process of lipophilic compounds.

“Phytosome allows active ingredients to obtain a solid dispersion (in the body) that can promote phytochemical solubility and bio-absorption through changes in the physical state of the active ingredients.”

She added that despite the promising potential health benefits of many botanical ingredients, nutraceuticals and natural compounds, they often came in formats with poor water solubility and limited intestinal absorption.

Some examples include compounds such as curcuminoids, boswellic acid triterpenes and quercetin, which have severely limited oral bioavailability and have benefited from Phytosome. More specifically, Indena’s curcumin ingredient Meriva, boswellic acid Casperome, quercetin ingredient Quercefit, and Ginkgo biloba​ extract Virtiva.

Frattini said: "We have conducted pharmacokinetic studies on humans that not only show the bioavailability but also the clinical efficacy of our ingredients that were developed using Phytosome.

“These studies clearly demonstrated the improvement of plasmatic levels of curcuminoids for Meriva, boswellic acids for Casperome, and quercetin for Quercefit, compared to the same botanical extracts that were not formulated with Phytosome.”

Sports nutrition "just the beginning"

While Ubiqsome was found effective in supporting muscular health and post-exercise recovery, Frattini was quick to emphasise that sports nutrition applications were “just the beginning”​ for the formulation in APAC.

Indena’s Phytosome has had a long history of sports nutrition applications, with the aforementioned ingredients having been used extensively in such supplements.

Frattini said, "As a starting point, Ubiqsome is definitely useful in sports nutrition, as the first study we did was on athletes.

“However, CoQ10 can be used in a huge range of applications in oral supplementation — there has been a lot of literature published on its efficacy in brain and cardiovascular health, sports nutrition, and beauty from within.

"Sports nutrition is just the beginning. In APAC, we are also focusing on bone and joint health, and gut health. Intestinal diseases are becoming more common, and from a commercial point of view, there has been a lot of attention given to these areas of health."

Multiple components, multiple applications

Indena’s Phytosome ingredients are used in supplements, health foods and pharmaceutical products sold in Australia, Taiwan and Thailand, featuring strongly in the sports nutrition, aged care and nutricosmetics sectors thanks to their cardiovascular, bone and joint, skin, and cognitive health applications.

Currently, the company is working on entering Japan and China.

APAC area manager Rosa Anna Cimino told NutraIngredients-Asia​:  “Our key customers are multinational companies driving innovation and trends in the APAC region. The best examples are Meriva in Australia andVirtiva in Thailand, and the growing interest we’ve received from Chinese and Japanese customers.

"Our ingredients are more suited to long-term health support, and each ingredient can have a multi-component application.

“For example, Meriva has been used in sports nutrition and wellness products in Australia. However, it is not designed to give an energy boost for sports performance, but to support recovery and longer-term bodily function."

She further said each ingredient had both health and beauty-from-within benefits, and that Indena had identified two major categories it could tap into within APAC: sports nutrition and gut health.

“We have also recognised trends in categories such as nutricosmetics, cardiovascular health, cognitive health, joint health, and liver and eye health.

"In Taiwan, our ingredients are also used in sports nutrition, but also in supplements designed to improve the health of the ageing population.

“Antioxidant applications for heart health and brain health are a common use for our ingredients, and Phytosome has helped to increase the bioavailability of these ingredients."

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