“Osteoimmunology”: Japan’s Wada Calcium Pharma launches new FFC for older adults

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Wada Calcium Pharma's Bone Density & Immune Care Tablet is formulated with Kirin’s Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-plasma) postbiotics and calcium maltobionate. © Kirin
Wada Calcium Pharma's Bone Density & Immune Care Tablet is formulated with Kirin’s Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-plasma) postbiotics and calcium maltobionate. © Kirin

Related tags Kirin FFC Immune health Bone health

Japan’s Wada Calcium Pharmaceutical has launched a new Foods with Function Claims (FFC) targeted at supporting bone and immune health in older adults.

The over 110 years old company specialises in calcium ingredients and has launched its first FFC containing postbiotics and calcium maltobionate.

Known as Bone Density & Immune Care Tablet, the FFC is formulated with Kirin’s Lactococcus lactis ​strain Plasma (LC-plasma) postbiotics and its calcium maltobionate ingredient.

This is said to be the first FFC containing LC-plasma that makes a double health claim on immune and bone benefits, according to Kirin.

It added that in recent years, there has been a growing amount of research on osteoimmunology – the interconnection between bones cells and the immune system.

For instance, various immune health related biomarkers, such as IL-6, IL-11, IL-17, and TNF-α, have been found to be​ crucial in bone formation and resorption.

“Bone density decreases with age, so in Japan's aging population, maintaining bone density is an important health issue to extend healthy lifespans.

“In addition, various studies on immunity are being conducted in Japan, and in recent years, the field focusing on the immune system and bone metabolism has been called osteoimmunology, and much research has been conducted.”

LC-plasma has been shown to support the immune system by stimulating the plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). These cells act as the first line of defence against viral infection by producing large amounts of interferons, which are responsible for the inhibition of viral replication and spread.

For instance, the supplementation of LC-plasma has been shown to reduce absenteeism​ due to cold and flu among school kids.

Calcium maltobionate, or the calcium salt of maltobionic acid, on the other hand, is said to promote mineral resorption and improves bone mineral density – both of which are features that decrease with age.

For example, intake in postmenopausal women also demonstrated​ the suppressive effects of deoxypyridinoline (DPD), a bone-resorption marker. Bone resorption involves both dissolution of bone mineral and degradation of organic bone matrix.

Due to its high water solubility, calcium maltobionate is said to better promote calcium absorption​.

The product is available in a 7-day, 15-day, and 30-day pack, and will be retailed at around JPY$1,000 (US$6.46), JPY$2,000 (US$12.92), and JPY$4,000 (US$25.85) respectively.  

They are sold via Wada Calcium Pharmaceutical Mail Order, e-commerce platforms Rakuten, Amazon, drug stores, and co-ops.

LC-plasma is a flagship ingredient of Kirin. In recent years, Kirin has worked with various other brands in developing FFCs that produce dual-benefits on top of immune health benefits, such as visceral fat reduction​ with Kao, gut health​ with Kellogg’s, as well as developing an immune care and muscle support product​ on its own.

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