Blackcurrants for immunity: Vitality Wellness’s new launch amid COVID-19 health demands

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Vitality Wellness's immune health supplement is made from blackcurrant extracts. ©Vitality Wellness
Vitality Wellness's immune health supplement is made from blackcurrant extracts. ©Vitality Wellness

Related tags New zealand COVID-19 blackcurrant Immune health

New Zealand-based Vitality Wellness has expediated the launch of its immune health supplement made from blackcurrants to meet health demands arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The product containing blackcurrant 35% extract, vitamin C (300mg), vitamin D-3 (18 mcg), and zinc (10 mg) was launched in New Zealand in early April and is expected to enter the Singapore market in May.

The company, which already offers a range of brain and women’s health products, came up with the idea of extending its range​ since last year.

In its latest interview with NutraIngredients-Asia,​ the firm's director of Greater Asia, Michael Dunsire, said that there was evidence on how blackcurrants, with its rich anthocyanin and antioxidant content, could help improve the immune system and the inflammation of airways.

Citing a 2009 study​ from Hurst et al​, he pointed out that blackcurrant polyphenolic extracts have shown to suppress the activation of pro-inflammatory components in the immune system and alleviate lung inflammation.

Another paper published in 2017 by Shaw et al ​showed that blackcurrant anthocyanins could suppress allergic airway inflammation.

In Singapore, the product has secured a listing with Unity Pharmacy – part of the supermarket chain Fairprice. Other partners which have come on board include Eat Right Nutrition and Intermed, with the latter overseeing product distribution to the GPs.

Producing the supplements in New Zealand, Dunsire said that the company’s manufacturing operations has been exempted from the country's alert level 4 lockdown which had just ended. 

Blackcurrants for gut health

Earlier this year, the company has launched another blackcurrant-based product for gut health.

Acting as a prebiotic, blackcurrant can serve as a food source for the gut bacteria.

Dunsire said that the product had been certified by the Monash University’s FODMAP’s experts.

This means that their products are certified as a low FODMAP brand and could be taken by the IBS patients.

Blackcurrants as omega-3 source

Also a new launch, the company has introduced a plant-based omega-3 supplement with blackcurrant seed oil as the source of the fatty acids.

“The blackcurrant seed oil is very rich in omega 3,6,9. It is very stable and its more sustainable because it is a plant-based product,”​ Dunsire said, adding that the product did not have an aftertaste which could be found in fish oil.

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