Oct. 18, 2006, Las Vegas – A compromised immune system makes people more prone to contracting a cold or flu, and Cognis is helping companies meet the growing demand worldwide for immunity boosting dietary supplements and functional foods.
Colds and flu are the most frequent infections across all age groups. Each year, Americans suffer from one billion colds, 100,000 are hospitalized and about 36,000 die from the flu and its complications. Immune health is also a global concern with frequent colds and flu ranked as one of the top three health problems by consumers in China, India and Latin America.
“These startling statistics are nothing to sneeze at,” said Christine Peggau, Senior Marketing Manager, Cognis Nutrition & Health. “The need is clear with 36% of U.S. consumers extremely or very concerned about a weak or stressed immune system. The challenge is to identify clinically proven ingredients that strengthen the immune system and keep it in balance.”
Among the ingredients Cognis recommends to enhance immune health are:
• Covitol® natural-source vitamin E
• Betatene® natural beta-carotene
• Tonalin® CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Covitol® natural-source vitamin E
Vitamin E is the most important fat-soluble antioxidant in human tissues, protecting cells from oxidative damage. Results from human trials show that vitamin E supports cellular immunity, increases response to vaccinations, and reduces the risks of getting colds and respiratory infections. Manufacturers may use the powerful structure function claim on their packaging and marketing materials: “Helps preserve a healthy immune system.”
Betatene® natural beta-carotene
Beta-carotene is a precursor for vitamin A, highly recognized for its importance in maintaining immune responses. Research in humans shows that beta-carotene increases natural killer cell activity, thus enhancing the body’s innate defenses. Findings suggest that high beta-carotene levels in blood may be related to a lower risk of infections, and prevent immune-suppression from UV-light exposure.
Research is emerging with numerous animal studies and several human intervention trials suggesting that CLA may enhance the effect of vaccinations, increase antibody levels, and reduce symptoms of the common cold, especially cough and sore throat.
Because the immune system is complex, Ms. Peggau explained that optimal immunity products should contain an ingredient blend including natural-source vitamin E, natural beta-carotene and CLA. “A well-positioned, immunity-boosting product is most likely to succeed if it contains an ingredient blend that meets four criteria: Has multiple modes of action, efficacy of individual ingredients is demonstrated by published human clinical trials, addresses dietary gaps, and is cost effective. Those dietary supplements and functional foods with ingredient blends that meet these criteria will continue to drive the lucrative immunity market.”
Ms. Peggau and David Cai, Ph.D., Cognis’ Senior Scientist, will present a seminar at SupplySide West, “The Future of Immunity-Boosting Ingredients—Which Ones Lead and Why.”
Cognis (www.cognis.com) is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 8,000 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural-source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles, as well as agriculture and mining. The company holds a 50-percent stake in the joint venture Cognis Oleochemicals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of oleochemicals.
Cognis is indirectly owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2005, Cognis recorded sales of 3.18 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and exceptional items) of 356 million euros.
Cognis Nutrition and Health, a business unit of Cognis Group, offers one of the industry’s largest portfolios of natural-source, non-GM, health-enhancing ingredients for dietary supplements, functional foods, medical nutrition, pharmaceutical and healthcare products. As a global supplier, Cognis partners with industry leaders to provide science-backed products to meet today’s most pressing consumer health needs. Cognis also manufactures emulsifiers, emulsifier-based compounds, and numerous other specialty products for the food industry worldwide.