A novel ingredient that addresses the dual health challenges of unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood is this year's winner of the prestigious NutrAward for best ingredient at the SupplyExpo convention in Anaheim, California.
Made by Enzymotec LTD, CardiaBeat strives to offer total lipid control for cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients or individuals at high risk of CVD such as those suffering from diabetes or obesity.
The ninth-annual award recognizes the industry's most innovative ingredient, judged on the basis of scientific merit, efficacy, safety, innovation, market potential and ability to increase industry credibility. The winner is selected based on a weighted vote by the selection committee, as well as by a vote of Nutracon and SupplyExpo attendees.
Whereas other CVD solutions on the market often only address one aspect of CVD risk factors (LDL and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, oxidative-stress), CardiaBeat, a unique combination of phytosterols and DHA and EPA, is capable of simultaneously lowering 'bad' cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while also improving the ratio between total cholesterol and 'good' cholesterol levels. This is achieved without the main weakness of phytosterols, which is reduction of fat soluble vitamin absorption (such as beta-carotene).
The formula consumed at 2g per day delivers 1.6g of conjugated phytosterol-DHA and phytosterol-EPA (full RDA of phytosterol-esters) and up to 650mg of DHA and EPA. Thus, products containing CardiaBeat can claim both cholesterol and CVD-risk reduction. The ingredient acts through a different mechanism than lipid-lowering pharmaceuticals (statins). Thus when consumed in combination with statins it might improve the lipid-lowering effect or enable the reduction of statin consumption.
CardiaBeat is ideal for incorporation into dairy products, due to its healthy market image and the natural presence of fat, which can be substituted or augmented by the ingredient. Its use in food applications has just been launched in Europe, which has thus far been the focus of Enzymotec's investments.
CardiaBeat's ability to reduce CVD risk factors in healthy human subjects was clinically evaluated at McGill University in Canada, under the supervision of Prof Peter Jones [Demonty, et al. AmJ Clin Nutr Dec 2006;84(6):1534-1542]. In this study, the ingredient's hypolipidaemic effects were compared to supplementation with fish oil and phytosterol esters of sunflower oil. All supplements were administered on top of an olive-oil based diet and tested in a semi-randomised, single-blind, crossover intervention design.
Furthermore, in comparison with fish-oil consumption, it decreased:
The study results demonstrated that in comparison with an olive-oil based diet, CardiaBeat reduced:
- LDL levels by six per cent (measured as apolipoproteon B concentration)
- Total cholesterol/HDL ratio by eight per cent
- Fasting triglycerides by 47 per cent
- Postprandial triglycerides by 42 per cent
- Fasting triglycerides by 10 per cent
- Postprandial triglycerides by 15 per cent Additionally, results showed a 16 per cent increase in plasma beta-carotene levels in comparison with the conventional phytosterol-esters group (manuscript in preparation).
"This research clearly shows that CardiaBeat reduces CVD risk factors — LDL, triglycerides, and total/HDL ratio — while increasing fat-soluble vitamin absorption compared to commercially available plant sterol esters," says Dr Dori Pelled, the company's CTO. "CardiaBeat supplementation may be effective for the prevention or treatment of CVD, while potentially reducing the daily intake levels of lipid-lowering drugs."
Based in the Migdal Ha'Emeq Industrial Park in northern Israel, Enzymotec is a developer and manufacturer of lipid-based biofunctional ingredients for dietary supplements, functional foods, clinical nutrition and advanced infant nutrition. "Our strategy is to leverage basic ingredients by enhancing their efficacy and bioavailability by utilizing novel state-of-the-art technologies," explains company's CEO, Dr Ariel Katz. "This is achieved through continued investment in R&D, clinical trials, regulatory approval and patent protection."