Behind the Big Story

How Aussie brand Bioglan hopes to pave way for muscle health understanding in relation to ageing across APAC

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bioglan Pharmacare Laboratories muscle health Hmb sarcopenia

Bioglan is hoping to foster a deeper understanding of muscle health and its relation to ageing, with plans to expand its current efforts from the domestic Australian market to other APAC countries, including New Zealand and China.

The brand has been dialling up on education around muscle health, ageing, and sarcopenia by engaging pharmacists especially in the past one year.  

Muscle health is often overlooked as compared to bone and joint care among the older demographic, Alex Porm, senior brand manager at Bioglan pointed out.

“Muscle mass is kind of underplayed, especially within the older demographic.

“While the bone and joint health markets are well established, muscle health is still somewhat neglected,” ​Porm told NutraIngredients-Asia ​in the latest episode of Behind the Big Story.

Yet, it is an area not to be neglected, especially for elderly with sarcopenia – the progressive and generalised loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength – are more likely to suffer from a fall.

Bioglan, a brand under Australia’s Pharmacare Laboratories, believes that there are untapped market opportunities in the muscle health and ageing supplement sector.

This is especially since indications around muscle mass​, such as helps enhance / promote healthy muscle mass”​ and “maintain / support muscle mass” ​are permitted by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) based on scientific or traditional evidence.

The brand saw the chance to utilise these benefit claims in its portfolio about two years ago, which eventually led to the development of Bioglan Muscle Protect.

Formulated with TSI’s patented β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid (HMB) commercially sold as myHMB and vitamin D3, the product claims to “support muscle mass in ageing individuals by reducing protein breakdown in the muscles”.

While the muscle health supplement category is currently dominated by magnesium, protein, amino acids, and creatine, Porm believes that there is a market gap that such a formula could fulfill, especially for the older population.

He explained that both HMB and vitamin D3 have shown to improve muscle mass for people leading a sedentary lifestyle. This means that they could be useful to seniors who are unable to exercise.

“These two key ingredients are backed by science to support both sides of the muscle mass equation. On one side, it ensures that the protein that our body consumes is adequately synthesised to build muscle mass.  

“On the other side of the equation, it helps to reduce the major pathways of protein breakdown to ensure our muscle stays stronger for longer,” ​he said.

Currently sold in Australia, Bioglan Muscle Protect was recently named Australia’s Product of the Year for Wellbeing Support by Consumer Survey of Product Innovation.

Plans are in place to introduce it to New Zealand, China, and further afield in Malaysia where there is a growing ageing population, said Adam Browne, director of PharmaCare APAC International.

“They are the market where there’s a growing ageing population, so there is a need to help those people improve their health long term and make sure that they maintain their muscle density.

“Those markets are also more advanced in their understanding of how muscle is important as you age and maintaining that strength, so that will be our focus as a business moving forward,”​ said Browne.

New growth categories

Aside from muscle health, Bioglan also hopes to drive market share in other emerging categories, including eye health, krill oil, and brain health.

“We see huge potential in a number of other categories which are growing rapidly, and they are categories like eye health, using ingredients like lutein and zeaxanthin. That’s a big market in China, in particular.

“We also see red krill oil as a growing opportunity, purely because fish oil is very common. It is a commodity type of product and red krill oil offers a really unique form of EPA and DHA that puts a real premium on the DHA market and omega-3 in general and gives people another opportunity to find a product to help them better,” ​he said.

At the same time, the brand is also keen to expand the market presence of its men’s health and specialised probiotics across APAC.

Watch the video to find out more.

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