The two supplements, Mannas All and Mannas Well, were first released in South Korea and Hong Kong in 2019.
According to Mannas’ marketing manager Sarah Kwon, interest boomed amid the pandemic, because “people were using their time during lockdown to lose weight.”
Before the pandemic, Mannas was already in discussions with local partners to expand into Asia and the US, but COVID-19 halted its overseas plans.
Kwon said the company had received orders from Taiwan, the Philippines, and Singapore, which it ships from Hong Kong and Korea since it does not have any retail store presence in these markets.
The company, which is part of BotaMedi, is now restarting its expansion plans and actively looking for online partners in Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan.
In Korea, the supplements are sold on Mannas’ online store, and e-commerce platforms such as Coupang, 11street, and Gmarket.
In Hong Kong, they are available on its Hong Kong online store and HKTVmall, a grocery and health supplement platform.
The Mannas products contain Seanol - BotaMedi’s brown marine algae extract (MOP) functional ingredient, derived from Ecklonia cava.
The patented ingredient is internationally recognised by US FDA as a New Dietary Ingredient in 2008, by the EU EFSA as Novel Food Ingredient in 2018, as well as South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS).
Seanol was originally used for cognitive health benefits, but Kwon added: “BotaMedi has been doing research on metabolic diseases and with Seanol’s clinical effects found in cholesterol and blood sugar reduction, we decided to expand the product line with Mannas to support people who have diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, as prevalence is rising worldwide.”
Clinical studies conducted on Seanol, have reported beneficial effects in blood glucose and weight reduction.
In a human clinical trial published in Food & Function, supplementation with Seanol for 12 weeks significantly reduced post-meal blood glucose levels in pre-diabetic adults compared to placebo.
In animal studies, Seanol intake was also shown to reduce blood glucose by up to 28%.
According to the company, Seanol is able to inhibit α-glucosidase, the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrate into glucose. It can also regulate PI3K insulin signalling and secretion to reduce insulin resistance.
In another human clinical trial published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, consumption of Seanol (400mg) daily for 12 weeks saw cholesterol levels significantly reduced in adults with high cholesterol.
Another human study published in Phytotherapy Research found that 12-week supplementation (between 72mg to 144m daily) of Seanol on overweight adults was able to significantly reduce BMI, cholesterol and blood pressure.
The company explained that Seanol may inhibit fat accumulation, since cells are prevented from differentiating into fat-storing cells, which limits brown fat and unhealthy weight gain. Fat-induced inflammation and oxidative stress are also reduced.
The weight management supplement (Mannas Well) is in the form of flavourless drops, which can be added into any beverage (water, juice, tea, coffee, smoothies).
The company recommends taking five drops in the morning, and another five at night.
For the diabetes supplement (Mannas All), the flavourless powdered supplement can be added into any beverage, and it can also be used as a marination for meats, fish, or cook in soups and stews. The company recommends taking 1.4g of powder daily.
According to Kwon, Seanol has been analysed and found to be stable even when heated. It is said to enhance the flavour with its slight seaweed taste and texture of cooked food from its structured hydro-network.