COPPELL, TX, Sep 26, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- (MTEX) Mannatech, Incorporated announced today it has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Swiss-based Lonza to purchase and market worldwide a beneficial dietary fiber harvested from the American larch tree.
The agreement stipulates that Mannatech will be the only company allowed to purchase the fiber, arabinogalactan, from Lonza when it is to be used in nutritional supplements containing any two of the following ingredients: naturally derived gums and resins, aloe extract, algal extract or glucosamine. All these ingredients are found in Mannatech's flagship Ambrotose complex, the company's proprietary and best-selling nutritional supplement containing a patented blend of plant sachharides, including arabinogalactan.
Lonza currently is the only firm harvesting the soluble and odorless fiber from the American larch. Known as one of the fastest-growing trees in North America, the larch was a staple among early Native Americans, who used the tree's resin, leaves and bark for medicinal food and cosmetic applications. Arabinogalactan, which is the most abundant ingredient in Ambrotose, contains dietary sugars shown to benefit the immune system.
"This exclusive-use agreement with Lonza for arabinogalactan in combination with other ingredients for use in dietary supplements is evidence of the importance Mannatech places on providing glyconutritional products that are distinctly unique," said Sam Caster, the company's founder, CEO and chairman of the board. "The agreement further protects the ingredients in our top nutritional supplement, Ambrotose."
Because arabinogalactan derived from the American larch exists in much higher concentrations than the protein-bound arabinogalactan found in minimal quantities in many other plants, it can be extracted from the cell lumen in its natural state by soaking the wood chips in water. Unlike other processes that use chemicals to extract arabinogalactan from plants, Lonza uses a patented process that utilizes only steam and water.
Literature and historical archives note that Native Americans benefited from using portions of the American larch to improve health. Some tribes concocted tea from the tree's bark for use as a laxative, tonic and diuretic. Others used the bark and resin to wash wounds, to bathe children to make them strong or as an infusion for colds and tuberculosis. The Thompson Indians mixed the tree's resin with fat to treat sores, cuts and burns. Lewis and Clark noted the larch tree in their journals during their 1804-06 expedition of the Western United States.
Founded in 1993, Mannatech is a leading wellness company and a pioneer in the field of proprietary glyconutritional supplements and wellness products. The company announced a ground-breaking formulation in 1996 of a nutritional supplement comprised of a unique blend of plant-based sugars, which are also known as glyconutrients ('glyco' is the Greek word for 'sweet').
Medical research acknowledges that eight glyconutrient sugars are needed at the cellular level for optimum immune system function. Considering that six of these glyconutrients are often lacking in modern diets, Mannatech sought new and better sources of the nutrients. The effort culminated in 1996 with the Ambrotose complex.
Ten years of research, including in vitro studies, animal studies, human case reports and small human clinical studies suggest that Ambrotose provides a wide range of support for immune system functions. More than 20 patents worldwide -- including one from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office -- have been issued to Mannatech for technology related to the Ambrotose formulation.
Today Mannatech has more than two dozen glyconutritional products for adults and children that address health and nutrition, sports performance, weight management and skin care.
About Mannatech, Incorporated
Mannatech, Incorporated is a global wellness solutions provider that develops innovative, high-quality, proprietary nutritional supplements, topical and skin care products, and weight management products that are sold through approximately 526,0000 independent associates and members located in the United States and the international markets of Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Denmark and Germany. For additional information about Mannatech, please visit www.mannatech.com.