From muscle to metabolic health: Synbio Tech, Cosmax NBT to explore probiotics’ potential

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

The probiotic strain Lactiplantibacillus plantarum TWK10 has shown potential in reducing weight gain in an eight-week mice study. © Getty Images
The probiotic strain Lactiplantibacillus plantarum TWK10 has shown potential in reducing weight gain in an eight-week mice study. © Getty Images

Related tags South korea metabolic health Probiotics Weight management

Taiwanese probiotic manufacturer Synbio Tech is joining hands with South Korean contract manufacturer Cosmax NBT Inc. in exploring the use of probiotics for metabolic health.

The probiotic strain of interest is Lactiplantibacillus plantarum ​TWK10, which is Synbio Tech’s proprietary strain that has shown to increase muscle mass​ and improve hand grip strength​.  

The strain, isolated from Taiwanese fermented cabbage, has been approved to make exercise-related claims.

In South Korea, for example, it is allowed to claim“may help to improve endurance of exercise performance capability”.

In Taiwan, it is permitted to make the claim “based on animal experiment results, TWK10 can claim to help delay the onset of exercise fatigue and promote the elimination of fatigue after exercise”.

New findings published in the Journal of Functional Foods​ on April 30 reported that TWK10 has the potential in reducing weight gain, adipose tissue mass, as well as improving glucose and lipid profiles.

The eight-week animal study compared the effects of low, medium, and high doses of TWK10 and AB-Kefir (ABK) – which has already been demonstrated to reduce body weight – in high-fat diet-induced obese mice.

The researchers reported no significant difference in body weight between ABK- and TWK-administered mice on medium and high doses.

However, the body weight of mice in the TWK group was lower than that in the ABK group.

In addition, serum triglyceride levels were significantly reduced in mice supplemented with above medium doses of TWK. In the case of mice supplemented with ABK, only high dosage of ABK has shown to reduce serum triglyceride levels.

The study also showed TWK10’s benefits in regulating adiponectin-leptin ratio, protecting liver function, and optimising energy metabolism.   

Based on these findings, the two companies have entered into a strategic research and development collaboration to explore the strain’s potential in addressing metabolic syndromes.

Synbio Tech’s CEO Dr. San-Land Yang believes that the partnership marks a new milestone in the probiotic health industry.

“TWK10 results from 10 years of research, culminating in five clinical trials that solidified it as the world's first probiotic to enhance athletic performance and muscle quality.

“This collaboration not only encompasses commercial aspects but also includes clinical trials and marketing strategies, setting a new milestone in the probiotic health industry," ​he said.

Cosmax NBT’s CEO Wonil Yun, on the other hand, said that he hoped to expand TWK10’s product applications for further success in South Korea.

The company is also the exclusive distributor of TWK10 in South Korea, where the strain has been used in products by big brand names such as CJ Wellcare’s BYOcore.  

Cosmax nbt and synbio tech
COSMAX NBT and Synbio Tech sign a research cooperation agreement. ©Synbio Tech

“We eagerly anticipate collaborating closely with Synbio Tech to maximise TWK10's functional benefits.

“TWK10 is the first probiotic in South Korea with athletic performance benefits, with several products already launched in the South Korean market.

“Moving forward, the two companies will strengthen their partnership to conduct in-depth research on TWK10's potential in metabolic syndrome, combining our market insights and R&D strengths to expand product applications and drive greater success in the Korean market,”​ said Yun.

Metabolic health, especially weight management and body fat reduction, is of high interest in South Korea​, with companies launching products spanning across probiotics and botanicals in tackling the issue.

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