The granddaddy of nutrition categories took a body blow when ephedra was taken off the market, but there is no shortage of ingredients vying to succeed it. From fellow botanicals such as green tea, Garcinia cambogia and Coleus forskohlii; to bioactives including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), Phase 2 and Slendesta; to high-intensity sweeteners; fibre and satiety ingredients, there are numerous ways for manufacturers of both supplements and foods to introduce or reformulate their products with weight management in mind.
It's been noted that there are actually five distinct categories in the weight-management sector: boosting fat burning/thermogenesis, inhibiting protein breakdown, suppressing appetite/boosting satiety, blocking fat absorption and regulating mood.
"There will always be some who are looking for the quick fix, regardless of potential dangers," says Paul Dijkstra, CEO of InterHealth, which markets Super CitriMax brand of garcinia-derived hydroxycitric acid (HCA). "At InterHealth, we firmly believe that the game will be won on research that clearly proves a product's efficacy and safety. Science is the key to differentiating safe and effective products from the rest."
Research has been the linchpin of green tea's success — for everything from general anti-ageing (cue picture of an ancient Asian sipping green tea) to weight control.
"DSM has invested heavily in research on various health aspects of Teavigo," says Lynda Doyle, director of functional-foods marketing at DSM, which markets its branded green tea named Teavigo. "In particular, thermogenesis and enhanced metabolism, as well as cardiovascular health and glucose metabolism. Our marketing efforts focus on a combination of consumer concerns, consumer health needs and the science to support these conditions."
Another multi-faceted ingredient that may begin making real headway in this sector is fish oil — DHA can activate enzymes that burn fat, while EPA can inhibit the binding of hormones in the brain that cause hunger. This was verified in a human trial comparing fish oil to sunflower oil, with the fish-oil group losing 4.5 more pounds of weight over the course of the study.
Satiety — the feeling of fullness or a reduction in the desire to eat after a meal — presents opportunities for manufacturers of functional foods and beverages. Protein is more satiating than fat and carbohydrates. Fast-digesting proteins, such as whey, are more satiating than slow-digesting proteins, such as casein, and as a result are more likely to be effective ingredients in satiety-inducing products.
"Soy protein is unique among plant-based proteins in that it is a complete protein and is nutritionally equivalent to meat, dairy and eggs," says Elaine Krul, PhD, science fellow of nutrition science at Solae. "Consuming protein while dieting is required to retain lean body mass and protein provides better post-meal satiation and induces increased calorie burning post meal compared to carbohydrates and fat. Studies have indicated that soy protein provides these benefits as well as having additional advantages for those trying to lose weight, namely, lipid and blood pressure lowering effects."
VitaSugar: An isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) mixture. Both a natural, reduced-calorie sweetener and a natural, soluble prebiotic dietary fibre. Diverse raw-material supply sources enable ingredient price stability for formulators and processors. Functional benefits include mouth feel, soluble fibre with 65 per cent base relative sweetness for digestive health, and weight management. GRAS food ingredient.
+1 780 466 1481
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Cargill Health & Nutrition
Zerose Erythritol: An organic, natural, zero-calorie bulk sweetener. Suitable for weight management, sugar avoidance and dental health. Works well with new natural intense sweeteners, as well as artificial intense sweeteners, to round out the sweetness profile.
+1 866 456 8872
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Draco Natural Products
Yumberry Extract, 20:1: Rich in cyanidin-3-glucoside, which studies have shown reduces appetite and positively improves hormones that govern fat metabolism. Also contains myricetin, which works similarly to resveratrol on the anti-ageing SIR2 gene.
+1 408 287 7871
San Jose, California, USA
DSM Nutritional Products
Fabuless: A patented emulsion of formulated lipids for weight management. Reduces hunger, decreases food intake, promotes weight maintenance and reduces body fat. Available in lipid emulsion and powder forms for easy incorporation into many weight-management applications.
Resvida: Branded, nature-identical trans-resveratrol. Only known resveratrol with a safety package and proven bioavailability.? High-potency (99 per cent crystalline, 90 per cent tablet grade) and free from pesticides. A powerful antioxidant polyphenol, increasingly known for its anti-ageing effects.
Teavigo: Caffeine-free green-tea extract provides foods and beverages the healthful benefits of green tea with little to no impact on taste. EGCG (min. 90 per cent). Free of pesticide and herbicide residues. Backed by clinical research and a comprehensive safety package. www.unlimitednutrition-na.dsm.com
+1 800 526 0189
Neuravena Wild Green Oat: A new bioactivity green-oat extract for mental health and cognitive function, tested in both human and animal studies.
+1 952 920 7700
North Bergen, New Jersey, USA
Nopal: A dehydrated powder from the opuntia indica ficus, aka, prickly pear cactus. Processed in low-vacuum drying units where temperature and air flow are monitored to produce pure high-quality powder. Thought to aid in regulating blood sugar and to bind fats, making this powder ideal for weight-loss and other products.
+1 972 230 9155
DeSoto, Texas, USA
ChromeMate: A patented form of biologically active chromium called chromium nicotinate or polynicotinate. Dramatically increases the effectiveness of chromium. Helps insulin metabolize fat, turn protein into muscle and convert sugar into energy.
Super CitriMax: An all-natural, safe and effective plant extract containing (-)hydroxycitric acid (HCA). A clinically proven diet ingredient that suppresses appetite and inhibits fat production, without stimulating the central nervous system.
+1 800 783 4636
Benicia, California, USA
Clarinol CLA: Highest concentrated CLA for weight management. Clinically demonstrated to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.
PinnoThin: Derived naturally from the Korean pine nut. Clinically demonstrated to increase the levels of CCK and GLP1, which may help promote satiety and provide control over hunger.
+1 815 730 5244
Channahon, Illinois, USA
SX-Fraction: A patented glycoprotein derived from maitake mushrooms. Researched to promote healthy blood-sugar levels and healthy insulin function. Works synergistically with many other ingredients.
+1 800 747 7418
East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
National Starch Food Innovation
Hi-maize Natural Resistant Starch
Nutriose Soluble Fiber
+1 800 743 6343
Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA
Viscofiber: A multi-functional ingredient suitable for functional foods and dietary supplements. Provides the highest quality of oat-soluble fibre available today, with an enhanced concentration up to 12 times more than oat bran. GRAS affirmed.
+1 780 436 6444
Svetol: A slimming ingredient with a fat-burning action demonstrated in a published clinical study (400mg/d). Unique and demonstrated mechanism of action with an inhibitory effect on glucose-6-phosphatase. Supported by bioavailability studies. Specific composition, guaranteeing an extract with a particular profile in active molecules, free of cafestol and kahweol, with a caffeine content lower than two per cent.
+33 (0)5 57 55 31 58
FucoPure 10% Fucoxanthin: The only high-quality fucoxanthin material on the market made from pure Japanese wakame. www.nutraceuticalsintl.com
+1 201 796 4041
Elmwood Park, New Jersey, USA
Advantra Z: Citrus aurantium extract. Patented thermogenic weight-management and sports-nutrition ingredient.
+1 973 882 7773
West Caldwell, New Jersey, USA
San Francisco Herb & Natural Food Company
FATLESS: Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a fruit extract obtained from the South Asian shrub (Garcinia cambogia) that suppresses appetite and contributes to weight loss by reducing the conversion of carbohydrates to stored fat. Each Capsule contains 505mg of HCA (50%) and 70mg of standardized St. John's Wort extract (0.3% hypercine).
+1 510 770 1215
Fremont, California, USA
Soft Gel Technologies
Loquoro: Standardized extract of loquat leaf with one per cent corosolic acid. Loquat leaves are abundant in triterpene acids, notably corosolic acid, which stimulates uptake of blood glucose, thereby helping to regulate it. Aids in glucose transport, but also inhibits the differentiation of pre-adipocytes into adipocytes.
+1 323 726 0700
Los Angeles, California, USA