New perspectives in prevention

Quality and clinical substantiation are the key elements in giving the appropriate answer to the increasing needs from consumers and the market

Scientific research has already demonstrated that silent inflammation is a common factor in many chronic diseases, some of them listed by OMS among the “10 big killers”.

Besides this, an extensive amount of evidence suggests that many foods, nutrients and non-nutrient food components are able to modulate inflammation, thus selected plant derivatives may represent a valid nutraceutical option.

At the same time, the global dietary supplement market sales reached $121.2 billion in 2016, with a 6% growth, and is expected to reach $155 bn by 2020. The category Herbs & Botanicals accounts more than 20% of the total supplements market.

But, what differentiates the thousands of botanical extracts available in the market? Which are the trends, the new perspectives and the most recent innovations in this field?

To deeply investigate these topics Indena, the Italian company dedicated since 1921 to the identification, development and production of high quality active principles derived from plants, for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and personal care industries, organised the “Indena Innovation Seminar”, which took place recently in Stresa, Italy.

Some of the most authoritative experts - Professor Attilio Giacosa, Scientific Coordinator of the Department of Gastroenterology at the Policlinico of Monza, Professor Andrea Poli, President of NFI – Nutrition Foundation of Italy and Professor Francesco Visioli, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Padua – discussed about the latest findings in some of the most common health issues: gastrointestinal functional disorders, cardiovascular health and silent inflammation, bringing new perspectives and solutions to manage them efficiently, in particular after supplementation with some botanical extracts.

It emerged that currently the possibilities of pharmacological therapy for some health conditions, for example gastrointestinal ones, is still limited. At the same time, despite the common belief, dietary interventions for cholesterol control have a limited impact on LDL cholesterol, the key lipid determinant of Coronary Heart Disease risk; and ageing, that is characterised by an increase in the concentration of inflammatory markers in the bloodstream – a phenomenon called “inflammaging” - is becoming a public health concern with an important socio-economic dimension, increasing burden on National healthcare system.

In addition to the clinical point of view, Pietro Allegrini, Elisabetta Frattini and Cosimo Palumbo – respectively R&D Director, Researcher and Marketing Director at Indena - brought the experience of one of the main players in the market of botanicals with the most recent clinical evidences supporting the efficacy and safety profile of some of its botanical extracts, particularly rich in active ingredients for the following health conditions:

  • cardiovascular health: Vazguard (Bergamot Phytosome)
  • gastrointestinal health: Prodigest (unique Artichoke and Ginger extract) and Casperome (Boswellia Phytosome)
  • inflammation modulation: Meriva - the life guardian.

The demand for natural and herbal products is unstoppable, consumers look for products able to help maintain overall wellbeing and to make effective prevention.

There is a growing need of scientifically supported information around health foods and supplements, to make informed choices: especially young people, that are becoming conscious consumers of preventive supplements, ask for products supported by transparency, scientific substantiation and validation profiles, obtained from production chains and processes carried out in full accordance to best practices and consistent with traditional dietary uses.

Nature confirms to be an invaluable source of substances that give new perspectives in prevention of some of the most common and threatening health conditions and the scientific literature confirms the potential role of well-tolerated natural products to manage several disorders.

The key point – quality – remains: only a rigorous scientific and quality approach in all areas, from the field to the extract, can guarantee the highest levels of authenticity of supplements via testing and certification, and Indena strives to be at the forefront of this.

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