New OptiBiotix weight management product on European market

Weight loss aid contains three functional ingredients, two (glucomannan and chromium) that have EFSA health claims, and a third that is a prebiotic fibre

OptiBiotix's CEO, Stephen O'Hara, has spoken out about weight management devices that show promise but aren't available on the market, and sometimes never make it to market.

The life science business develops compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes by harnessing the power of the human microbiome.

O'Hara's thoughts come after the FDA's recent approval of a new weight loss device, Plenity, which has been cleared for overweight or obese adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25 to 40. Previously, approved devices were only for adults with a BMI above 30, or those in the 'obese' category. OptiBiotix's own offering, SlimBiome Medical, is similar but O'Hara here examines the differences.

Recent approval

Plenity, a weight management medical device which is supposed to be used with diet and exercise, is a hydrogel capsule made with a propriety blend of cellulose (a type of fibre) and citric acid. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 436 adults with a BMI between 27 and 40, participants who had been using the Plenity product lost 6.4% of their baseline weight versus 4.4% in the placebo group.

The capsules are taken with water 20 minutes before a meal and absorb the water and swell in the stomach to leave a feeling of fullness resulting in less food intake

Plenity has appeared in mainstream media recently due to the fact it has traditionally been difficult to find science-backed, non-surgical weight loss aids that work, but despite its publicised promise, the product is not currently available on the market. However, Plenity isn't the only weight loss aid that has emerged in recent years, several similar interventions options do exist and are available on the market now.

Stephen O'Hara commented: “The majority of weight loss products currently on the market lack strong scientific rationale and rely on customers' self-control to restrict calories and as a consequence have a high failure rate. The lack of effective products has fuelled interest in the use of functional products which help manage weight loss by impacting on hunger and food cravings to sustain long term weight management.”

OptiBiotix offering

“OptiBiotix's SlimBiome Medical” is similar to Plenity, in that it has strong science, published clinical studies, is medically regulated, and it reduces hunger by expanding in the stomach.

The main difference, however, is that it has clinical studies which show that in addition to reducing hunger, it reduces cravings for sweet and savoury food and fat intake, leading to reduced calorie intake and weight reduction (on average 2-3lbs per week). These factors influence the amount and type of food consumed helping users modify their food choices to make healthier choices to manage and sustain their weight loss.

The other major difference is that is has won the two industry awards: 'Weight Management Ingredient of the Year' (Vitafoods 2018) and 'Best Functional Ingredient for Health and Well Being' (Food Matters 2017), and most importantly it's available now.

Developed by leading UK universities, SlimBiome Medical is made up of 3 functional key ingredients backed by science for weight management, two of which (glucomannan and chromium) have EFSA health claims. The third ingredient is a prebiotic fibre which enhances satiation and improves the diversity of the gut microbiome, and in particular, the numbers of a bacteria called Christensenelleae.

A number of studies have shown enhanced microbiome diversity, particularly in the presence of Christensenelleae, is associated with leanness. SlimBiome is backed by a growing body of independent human studies which demonstrate its effectiveness in helping users manage their weight.

SlimBiome Medical is manufactured in Europe and available in boxes of 30 single dose sachets in pharmacies and major retailers. OptiBiotix commercially launched the weight management solution to the European market at Vitafoods 2019.

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