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20th annual NutrAward sees two new supplement categories take hold

Do you have the vision to talk about the gut-brain axis?

Todd Runestad, Content Director,, Sr. Supplements Editor

March 15, 2018

3 Min Read
20th annual NutrAward sees two new supplement categories take hold

The NutrAward competition awarded the best new ingredient and finished product featuring a functional ingredient to companies at the forefront of two emerging health categories—vision health protection against digital devices and cognitive health via the gut-brain axis.

The best new ingredient award went to OmniActive Health Technologies’ Lutemax 2020, a suite of three macular carotenoids that enjoyed a 2017 published human clinical study finding protection against blue light damage that emanates from digital devices.

“It is an honor to be awarded with such a prestigious award and to be recognized by our esteemed peers and industry members for our efforts,” said Brian Appell, activation marketing manager at OmniActive. “We set out to help reshape the narrative on lutein and zeaxanthin isomers through science and education. Through our campaign, “What’s Your B.L.U.E.,” we have been able to raise awareness on the importance of eye health across all age groups and the relevance of all three macular carotenoids—lutein, RR-zeaxanthin and RS (meso)-zeaxanthin—for the modern digital lifestyle.”

The blue-light exposure study (B.L.U.E.) was a six-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in young, healthy subjects with long-duration exposure to indoor and outdoor high-energy blue light who supplemented with the Lutemax 2020 combination of 20 mg lutein and 4 mg zeaxanthin isomers. At the end of the study, significant improvements were observed in visual performance, eye strain and fatigue as well as sleep quality.

The NutrAward received more than 60 submissions for both categories this year. A juried panel of industry insiders whittles the list down to three, which are then subject to a vote of Natural Products Expo West attendees.

For ingredients, selection criteria includes scientific merit, safety and efficacy, market potential, innovation, and ability to increase market credibility. See the OmniActive submission for Lutemax 2020.

For finished products, the selection criteria include a viable product, emerging category, creative product concept, distinct health application, unique packaging, and matchless marketing.

The winner for the best finished product featuring a functional ingredient went to Amare Global’s FundaMentals Pack.

The platform of nutrition products focused on modulation of the microbiome and optimization of the gut-brain axis to improve aspects of mental wellness.

"Receiving this award is confirmation that we are in the right place at the right time," said Hiep Tran, founder and chief executive officer of Amare Global. "We have a vision to lead the global mental wellness revolution. Our innovative products are a major piece of the puzzle in our mission to create a holistic mental wellness platform. We will be equally innovative in developing technology that will provide other modalities to help people live happier and healthier lives."

The pack consists of three supplements products consisting of probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fibers and “phytobiotic” nutrients that support mood, stress response and focus.

Specifically, the MentaBiotics SKU is a powder containing three probiotic strains, Lactobacillus helveticus R0052, L. rhamnosus R0011 and Bifidobaterium longum R0175. These strains have been shown to improve mood and well-being by reducing depression and anxiety indexes. Also in the blend are prebiotic fibers and a suite of branded ingredients that support the viability of healthy gut bacteria.

The MentaFocus capsules also feature branded ingredients and support the brain and mental clarity including brain blood flow.

The MentaSync capsules support cellular communication, immune system function and intestinal integrity.

"As The Mental Wellness Company, our mission is to harness the latest science around the microbiome and gut-brain axis to help people improve mood, sharpen mental focus, and enhance motivation," said Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., Amare's chief science officer. "Winning the NutrAward is strong support for our vision to lead the mental wellness revolution."

See the entire Amare Global NutrAward submission.

The NutrAward was bestowed at a ceremony at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, March 8.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Sr. Supplements Editor, Natural Products Insider

I've been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. I'm The content director for NaturalProductsInsidercom and digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still cover raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here

My daily vitamin regime includes a morning smoothie with a range of powders including protein, collagen and spirulina; a quality multi, B complex, C with bioflavonoids, >2,000IU vitamin D, E, magnesium, high-selenium yeast, PQQ, choline, alpha-lipoic acid with carnitine, coQ10, fish oil concentrate, probiotics and some adaptogenic herbs. 

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