Japan focus: Welcia-BHG's expansion plans, beta-glucan as COVID-19 adjunctive treatment in the spotlight

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

See the new developments in Japan's health and nutrition industry in this round-up. ©Getty Images
See the new developments in Japan's health and nutrition industry in this round-up. ©Getty Images

Related tags Japan COVID-19 retail channels

In this round-up, we look at how Japanese health and wellness retailer Welcia-BHG plans to expand its presence in Singapore, GN Corporation's clinical trial on using beta glucan as an adjunct treatment for COVID-19 treatment and more.
Offline still king: Japanese supplement, beauty retailer Welcia-BHG on track with Singapore store expansions

Japanese health supplement, personal care and beauty product retailer Welcia-BHG is on track to expand its offline presence in Singapore, with five new stores planned for this year​, despite concerns on how COVID-19 could affect foot traffic.

Its first new store is expected to open in Q2 this year and will mostly likely be located in the republic’s heartlands.

We previously reported​ in 2019 that Welcia-BHG is planning to open 29 outlets in Singapore in five years’ time. It currently operates 10 stores, of which, four were opened last year, despite COVID-19. 

Fighting central obesity: Thai ginseng intake reduces visceral / total fat in 12-week Japan RCT

Individuals consuming Thai ginseng for 12 weeks saw a significant reduction to their visceral fat​ and total fat areas, according to the findings of a new RCT.

The visceral fat area of those who took the ginseng went down from 85.17 ± 1.86 cm​to 81.62 ± 2.35 cm2   ​by the end of the study.

In comparison, those who did not consume the botanical saw their visceral fat area increased from 83.03 ± 2.00 cm2​ to 84.98 ± 2.63 cm2​.

Healthy snacking in Japan and China: Italy’s Frutteto enjoys rich pickings with innovative ‘ambient frozen’ range

Italian frozen fruit snack company Frutteto will start manufacturing part of its products in Japan, its largest market, and is on-track to launch in China​ this year.

First launched in Denmark in 2019, the Italian firm is known for its frozen natural fruit puree products, touted as a healthier alternative to sugar-ladled ice pops.

Although it is a frozen fruit snack, it is sold as an ambient product: “The idea is that the consumer takes it home, and put it in the freezer​,” said Greig Gilbert, managing director of Frutteto.

WATCH: Ajinomoto and AstaReal on amino acids and astaxanthin for preserving muscle mass in elderly

In this month’s Nutrition Asia, we hear from Ajinomoto and AstaReal​ – two companies which have been researching and developing nutrition products for improving muscle health among older adults.

Recent scientific findings are showing how incidence of falls in elderly is not merely a case of weak bones, but also due to the reduction in muscle mass​.

The focus of Ajinomoto for muscle health has been in amino acids, in particular, branched-chain amino acid leucine.

Japanese beta glucan supplement clinically studied as an adjunct treatment for COVID-19 in India

A Japanese beta glucan food supplement is being studied as an adjunct treatment for COVID-19​ patients in a clinical trial in India.

The supplement, Nichi Glucan, manufactured and distributed by Japan-based GN Corporation, is typically consumed for maintaining overall health and immunity.

Nichi Glucan is derived from Aureobasidium​ (black yeast). It contains beta-D-glucans which are the active compounds found in the cell walls of yeast, fungi and seaweed.

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