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Be well, stay well - bioactives ingredients for overall support of a healthy immune system

Bioactive solutions for supporting and maintaining immunity and wellness​    

By Bilva Trivedi, Product Strategic Manager, Glanbia Nutritionals & Sarah Flynn, Product Strategy and Technology Manager, Glanbia Nutritionals

The emergence of COVID-19 has not only changed the lives of people around the world but also brought along unparalleled changes when it comes to reshaping consumer habits. Whether it be in eating, expenditure or lifestyle, the pandemic has reformed consumer behavior in which desire to stay well at in the forefront.[1]​ In the recent past, the demand for immunity ingredients was increasing steadily year on year. However, with COVID-19, the growth in this segment has reached a peak never seen before. [2]​ Immune health has now become a long- term priority for consumers and this has consequently fueled demand for immune boosting ingredients. Additionally, consumer interest in preventative health has significantly increased which has caused a surge in dietary supplements and functional foods.[3]​ With respect to an increased interest for immunity as well as considering the importance of total wellness, Glanbia Nutritionals has developed a range of bioactive solutions that cater specifically to these global consumer demands.

Glanbia Nutritionals is a global nutritional company, grounded in science and nature. With research & development at its core, the purpose is to deliver better nutrition for every step of life’s journey through an extensive dairy and non-dairy portfolio. When it comes to immune boosting ingredients, Glanbia Nutritionals offers a range of bioactive solutions. These solutions can not only be added in a variety of end applications but also are scientifically supported which allows unique claim opportunities. The bioactive ingredients for immune support include Bioferrin®, Salibra®, NeoshieldTM​, Pepform Glutamine®, and Curowhite.TM

Bioferrin® is a milk derived lactoferrin.  Lactoferrin is a natural bioactive milk protein which is isolated from fresh, sweet whey using advanced fractionation and separation processing technologies. In Asia Pacific, around 70% of consumer’s associate iron with immune boosting properties[4]​. Lactoferrin fits in nicely with consumer perception and demand as it plays an active role in binding iron and transporting it within the body which lends itself to immune supporting properties [5]​. Lactoferrin is only partially saturated with two molecules of ferric iron, which allows it to bind to free form iron in the intestine.       This eliminates free iron that would otherwise promote growth of intestinal bacteria as well as generate free radicals that can cause inflammation and damage to tissues[6]​. Iron bound to lactoferrin is delivered to specific receptors on the mucosal cells of the intestine and is then carried in serum to target cells by transferrin. Studies have also shown that lactoferrin is able to bind to endotoxins as well as act as an immune system modulator. Endotoxins present in bacteria cause an inflammatory response when released and lactoferrin’s ability to bind to them lessens the immune challenge and localized inflammation7,8,9 ​. Furthermore, lactoferrin helps prevent overstimulation of the immune system by increasing anti-inflammatory factors in the body whilst reducing pro-inflammatory factors10​.  Lactoferrin has shown efficacy in different age groups including infants, children and adults making it not only an important immune boosting ingredient but also an ingredient that supports long term health and wellness11,12​. Bioferrin is suitable for ready to mix beverages, supplements, and its mechanism of action and subsequently claim opportunities make it an ideal ingredient in complying with the needs of today’s world. 

Salibra® is a bioactive rich whey protein concentrate that provides a strong nutrient foundation that supports immune health and wellness. Salibra is produced via a selective transfer membrane system that targets beneficial bioactive components such as Lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, phospholipids and glycomacropeptides. Lactoferrin and Immunoglobulins both act as a first line of defense, supporting the immune system. Lactoferrin is a natural immune modulator and plays a key role in innate and adaptive immunity7​. Immunoglobulins are specialized proteins that provide immunological protection against microbial pathogens5​. Both Lactoferrin and immunoglobulins are essential for immune system development and Salibra® is rich in both. In addition to this, Salibra® also contains phospholipids and glycomacropeptides which not only support immunity but also provide further health benefits such as supporting cognition, digestion, bone and muscle health making Salibra® a complete solution for overall health and wellness13,14,15,16​. There are 2 versions of Salibra® available- standard and a high lactoferrin version. Both are ideal for ready to mix applications. Salibra® not only contains immune boosting ingredients but provides a complete solution that aims to optimize overall health and wellness

Another offering in the space of immunity is NeoshieldTM​. Neoshield is a concentrated whey protein produced using selective transfer membrane system which concentrates whey components such as milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) phospholipids, lactoferrin and immunoglobulins targeted at supported cognition and immunity. MFGM is found naturally in milk and is a complex structure comprised primarily of lipids and proteins that surround the milk fat globule. MFGM has well documented research when it comes to its role in supporting cognitive function especially in the early years of life and fetal development17​. Another key role of MFGM is to support the immune system. The proteins and lipids present in MFGM display an immune response especially in gut immunity. They are also able to target incoming pathogens, promote antibacterial interactions as well as exhibit antioxidant effects18,19,20​. Apart from MGFM, NeoshieldTM​ also contains lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Whilst individually both are able to lend immediate and long term immunity support, there is evidence suggesting that the combination of the two work well together especially in supporting respiratory health21,22​. Neoshield™ contains optimal levels of lactoferrin, immunoglobulins and MFGM. It is ideal for ready to mix applications and complies with the needs for immune boosting ingredients and functional food trends.

Pepform Glutamine® is a soluble and bioavailable glutamine.  Glutamine is one of 20 naturally occurring amino acids and it plays an important role in amino acid metabolism and in supporting the immune system against pathogens23​. It provides an essential source of fuel for the generation of immune cells that are needed to kill harmful pathogens. Glutamine also elicits antioxidant activity and has been noted to help with the maintenance of a healthy gut barrier24​. ​Pepform Glutamine® is essentially free form of glutamine combined to peptides isolated from fresh sweet whey through advanced fractionation and separation technologies. The combination of glutamine bound to a peptide allows increased solubility which results in improved bioavailability making Pepform Glutamine® an ideal ingredient for optimizing immunity.​ Pepform Glutamine® can go in a vast range of finished product matrices including ready to mix and ready to drink beverages, tablets, capsules, gels as well as functional foods.  

Turmeric, the bright yellow spice extracted from the tuberous rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa has long been used in this part of the world as a spice and medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Curcumim, extracted from the dried turmeric root, is a polyphenol that has been found to modulate the growth and cellular response of various cell types of the immune system and is reported to have several pharmacological properties25​. Curcumin supports immune modulation by either enhancing or suppressing the immune response26​. It also has potent antioxidant properties which prevent free radical damage to cells and has been shown to play an inhibitory role against infection of numerous viruses and bacteria27​CurowhiteTM​ provides the same immunity benefits of regular curcumin without the yellow pigment which is completely extracted through a hydrogenation process, leaving a colorless curcumin powder. This eliminates the common manufacturing issues that exist with yellow curcumin such as staining, cleaning and production downtimes. The lack of color also allows CurowhiteTM​ to be suitable for a wide range of applications such as tablets, capsules, powdered drink mixes, functional foods and gummies. Furthermore, CurowhiteTM ​is protected in a β-cyclodextrin encapsulant which gives it an increased bioavailability and solubility enhancing its immune boosting properties28 ​.

The pandemic has not just reshaped consumer habits but has also fundamentally elicited awareness and interest in taking control of health. This heightened conscious awareness has led the food and supplement industry to develop innovative customized solutions that meet these consumer demands.[7]​ Glanbia Nutritionals offers specific science-led solutions for boosting immunity and wellness. Additionally, Glanbia Nutritionals portfolio also consists of a wide range of proteins, bioactives, botanicals and micronutrient premixes alongside formulation and application expertise which aim to deliver tailor made innovative nutritional solutions.       

[1]​ Global Immunity Trends for 2022 and Beyond-Glanbia Nutritionals, 2021

[2]​ Euromonitor International CONSUMER HEALTH: IMMUNE SUPPORT DURING CORONAVIRUS: HOW VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS ARE RESPONDING

[3]​ Global Immunity Trends for 2022 and Beyond-Glanbia Nutritionals, 2021

[4]​ FMCG Gurus, Insights & Opportunities – Immunity – Global 2020, January 2020 Base: 26,000 global consumers from 26 countries

[5]​ El – Loly, Bovine Milk Immunoglobulins in Relation to Human Health. International Journal of Dairy Science Volume 2 (3): 183-195, 2007

6 Goswami, T., Rolfs, A., Hediger, M. A. Iron transport: emerging roles in health and disease. Biochem Cell Biol. 2002;80(5):679-89.

7 Actor, J. K., Hwang, S.-A., & Kruzel, M. Lactoferrin as a natural immune modulator. Curr Pharm Des. 2009 ; 15(17): 1956–1973.

8 Kruzel, M. Role of lactoferrin in development of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. Infection and Immunity; 2nd International Congress on Intensive Care; Wroclaw, Poland. 1998.

9 Kruzel, M.; Zagulski, T.; Zimecki, M. Lactoferrin and insult-induced metabolic imbalance. Excerpta Medica International Congress Series; 4th International Congress on Lactoferrin; Sapporo, Japan. 1999.

Global Immunity Trends for 2022 and Beyond-Glanbia Nutritionals, 2021

10 Legrand D. (2016) Overview of Lactoferrin as a Natural Immune Modulator J Pediatr J Pediatr 2016 Jun;173 Suppl:S10-5.

11 Giansanti, F., Panella, G, Leboffe, L., Antonini, G. Lactoferrin from Milk: Nutraceutical and Pharmacological Properties Pharmaceuticals (Basel).​ 2016 Dec; 9(4): 61

12 Egashira M.,  Takayanagi,T.,  Moriuchi, M., Moriuchi, H.,Does daily intake of bovine lactoferrin containing products ameliorate rotaviral gastroenteritis? Acta Paediatr. 2007 Aug;96(8):1242-4.

13 Vakhapova V., Cohen, T., Richter, Y., Herzog, Y., Korczyn AD. Phosphatidylserine containing omega-3 fatty acids may improve memory abilities in non-demented elderly with memory complaints: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2010;29(5):467-74

14 Patel S. Emerging trends in nutraceutical applications of whey protein and its derivatives. J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Nov; 52(11): 6847–6858

15 Mastromarino P., Capobianco, D.,  Campagna, G., Laforgia, N., Drimaco, P., Dileone, A., Baldassarre, M.E. Correlation between lactoferrin and beneficial microbiota in breast milk and infant's feces. Biometals. 2014; 27: 1077–1086

16 Kerstetter J.E., Kenny, A.M.,  Insognac,. K.L. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2011 Feb; 22(1): 16–20. Dietary protein and skeletal health: a review of recent human research

17 Rueda R. The role of dietary gangliosides on immunity and the prevention of infection. Br J Nutr (2007) 98 Suppl 1:S68–73

18  Pellegrini, A., Thomas, U., Bramaz, N., Hunziker, P., von Fellenberg, R. Isolation and identification of three bactericidal domains in the bovine alpha-lactalbumin molecule. Biochim Biophys Acta (1999) 1426:439–48. 

19 Martin, H.M.,  Hancock, J.T.,  Salisbury, V.,  Harrison, R. Role of Xanthine Oxidoreductase as an Antimicrobial Agent. Infect Immun. (2004) 72:4933–9.

20 Harrison, R. Physiological roles of xanthine oxidoreductase. DrugMetab Rev. (2004) 36:363–75.

21 Crooks, C., Cross, M.L.,  Wall, C.,  Ali, A. Effect of Bovine Colostrum Supplementation on Respiratory Tract Mucosal Defenses in Swimmers.

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22 Vitetta, L., Coulson, S., Beck, S., Gramotnev, H., Du, S., Lewis, S. The Clinical Efficacy of a Bovine Lactoferrin / Whey Protein Ig–rich Fraction (LF/IgF) for the Common Cold: A double blind randomized study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2013;21:164-171

23 Shah, A. M,. Glutamine Metabolism and Its Role in Immunity, a Comprehensive Review. Animals 2020, 10(2), 326

24 Wischmeyer PE. Glutamine: role in gut protection in critical illness Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Sep; 9(5):607-12

25 Sidhu G. S. Enhancement of wound healing by curcumin in animals. Wound Repair Regen 6:167–177, 19

26 Jagetia, G. C., Aggarwal, B.B.  "Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin Journal of Clinical Immunology, Vol. 27, No. 1, January 2007

27. Mathew, D., Hsu, W. Antiviral potential of curcumin. Journal of Functional Foods 40, 1 2018,692-699

28  Joby, J.,  Amalraj, A., Jithin Raj K.K., Divya, C., Kunnumakkara, A.B., Gopi, S. A novel bioavailable hydrogenated curcuminoids formulation (CuroWhite™) improves symptoms and diagnostic indicators in rheumatoid arthritis patients - A randomized, double blind and placebo controlled study. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 9 (2019) 346e352