East Asia focus: New NMN trial, krill oil in Japan, Korea’s booming probiotics sector

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

East Asia focus: NMN trial, krill oil, probiotics in the spotlight

Related tags Taiwan South korea Krill oil

This round-up will feature the booming probiotics sector in South Korea, krill oil’s common uses in Japan, the findings of a new human clinical trial involving nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and Taiwan’s efforts in banning unnecessary animal tests.
Prioritising human studies: Grape King Bio latest Taiwan firm to ban animal tests not required by law

Health foods firm Grape King Bio is the latest company in Taiwan to announce a ban on animal test not explicitly required by law.

The company, known for its energy drink brand ComeBest, probiotics, and lion’s mane health foods, said it would be prioritising human clinical studies instead. 

“Grape King Bio aims to reduce animal tests on our Health Foods and FMCG products or ingredients anywhere in the world, and only done in the situation where required by law, or where a feasible alternative does not exist,” ​the company said in a statement.

Krill oil for beauty: Ingredient gaining traction in Japan for skin health benefits – Aker BioMarine

Krill oil supplementation is gaining traction amongst Japan’s beauty seekers, claims supplier Aker BioMarine, which recently set up an office in Tokyo.

The company has been active in the Japanese market for over 10 years but says it has seen strong growth especially in the past one to two years.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia,​ ​Anette Yamamoto-Hansen, representative director at Aker BioMarine Japan K.K., said krill oil was increasingly popular in Japan as consumers recognised its beauty benefits.

Probiotics in South Korea: How brands and retailers are finding opportunities with premium products

The probiotic market in South Korea has witnessed robust growth in recent years and is set for further growth, according to a raft of probiotic companies​, including Cell Biotech, AceBiome, and Amorepacific.

Red ginseng and probiotics were respectively the first and second bestselling health functional foods in South Korea as of year 2020, according to​ the country's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS).

“The volume of probiotics sold in the market is slightly lower than the vitamin and mineral products, but the profit coming from the sales of probiotics is much higher than vitamins and minerals.

NMN lessens drowsiness, improves lower limb function in older adults: Japan RCT

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) intake improves lower limb function and reduces drowsiness in adults agreed 65 and above, according to an RCT​ funded by Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences Ltd.

The 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, conducted by researchers from the University of Tsukuba and Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, involved 108 adults aged 65 and older who were independently mobile, did not suffer from dementia, and had no need for long-term care service.

To compare the effect of NMN intake at different times, they were each supplemented with 250 mg of NMN daily, either between waking up and noon, or between 6 PM and bedtime. Based on this, they were divided into four groups: two taking NMN either in the morning or evening, and two taking a placebo in the same periods.

‘Significant positive effects’: South Korea’s AceBiome launching immune probiotic tested on COVID-19 patients

South Korea probiotic firm AceBiome will be launching an immune formula​ in April that was the subject of a clinical trial involving COVID-19 patients.

The product is a collaboration with ingredient supplier AB Biotics and will contain the firm’s four-strain probiotic blend AB21.

The blend has been shown in a clinical trial to improve COVID-19 in patients, including reduction of viral load, shorten the duration of symptoms and improve the rate of remission.

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