Vectomega retail product 'to change omega-3 category'

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acid Fatty acid Triglyceride

Europharma has signed a deal with New Chapter to take Vectomega
into theretail sector, a move it expects will up the stakes in
bioavailability ofsupplement products available on the US market.

Originally researched by France's Laboratoires Le Stum, Vectomega is said to differ from other omega-3s on the market since the patented cold water and enzyme process by which it is extracted form Atlantic salmon does notdestroy the composition of the compounds' natural phospholipids.

This is said to result in higher bioavailability and efficacy of the DHA and EPA, as the phospholipids act as a vehicle to transport them into cells. The branded product with New Chapter is expected to be a trailblazer, and Lemerond said it will be "the beginning of great changes in the omega-3 category."

Since Europharma launched Vectomega as an ingredient, in dry water-solublepowder form, in early summer, formulators wishing to follow suit have thetools at their disposal to do so.

For formulators, the benefit is that the same level of absorption andefficacy may be delivered using a smaller ingredient volume, whichtranslates into lower costs and may leave room for additional nutrients.

The Vectomega process uses no heat, solvents and chemical modifications,which gives it a positive natural profile. From New Chapter's point of view, this sits perfectly with its mission.

"We have never made products with chemical isolates or harsh solvents,and we won't,"​ said Paul Schulick, co-CEO and founder of the Vermontmanufacturer.

Interest in omega-3 has mushroomed over the past few years as the sciencehas stacked up in favour of its manifold health benefits, including areduced risk of heart disease, improve arthritis symptoms and have cognitive development and antioxidant benefits.

The past year has seen a number of new sources come onto the market, witheach ingredient supplier pointing out features that competing offerings maynot possess - for instance, advanced microencapsulation technology toprevent a fishy taste and smell in finished products, ratios of DHA:EPA tosuit the needs of specific consumer groups.

Europharma places great store by the science behind its products, and TerryLemerond, the company's president, has frequently spoken out about the needfor the supplement industry to invest in science.

The company says that research conducted using Vectomega has shown that 50per cent more DHA and EPA crosses the cell membrane compared to otherproducts available at retail.

Although it has not specified which products Vectomega was tested against,but in June it said that two tablets (600mg) of Vectomega are equal to 16capsules (7,200 mg) of standard fish oil.

Since the announcement of the Vectomega powder's launch, Europharma saidthat a pilot study has indicated that it could improve cholesterol levels.

The trial, which was neither placebo-controlled, nor blinded and is not tobe published in a peer-reviewed journal, recruited 40 healthy volunteers inthe age range 18 to 75 and provided them with Vectomega supplements.Compliance was reported to be 100 percent.

EuroPharma reported that, after 60 days of supplementation, the Vectomegagroup had lower levels of triglycerides (17 percent) and higher levels ofHDL-cholesterol (13 percent). NutraIngredients-USA has not seen the fulldata.

Further trials are understood to be in the pipeline.

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