Hibiscus extract launched for heart health

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Atherosclerosis

Ingredient firm BioActives has launched a hibiscus extract on the US market, which the firm is marketing for its heart benefits.

The company’s Cardio HB ingredient, a water soluble extract containing anthocyanins, phenolic acids and other bioactive flavonoids, is designed primarily for use in dietary supplements.

According to the Massachusetts-based firm, Cardio HB, which is extracted from Hibiscus sabdariffa, ​can help lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, and can be marketed for its overall heart health-promoting properties.

The ingredient helps reduce cholesterol by inhibiting synthesis of triglycerides and reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol formation, said BioActives. In addition, by inhibiting LDL oxidation it also helps reduce atherosclerosis, it said.

Sourcing and extraction

Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants that are native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions. The 200+ different species include herbaceous plants, shrubs and small trees.

BioActives sources its hibiscus from Thailand and extracts the active ingredient in India, in partnership with an Indian firm, which it says complies with new US supplement GMPs.

The ingredient is extracted via a proprietary process using pharmaceutical resins to concentrate the extract, said the firm.

Cardio HB is distributed in the US by New Jersey-based KDN-Vita International.

Daniel Kagan, PhD, managing partner at BioActives, told NutraIngredients-USA.com that supplement makers would need to use 160mg of the hibiscus extract in each capsule, which can deliver heart benefits if consumed twice daily.

The ingredient is sold at around $240/kg. Cardio HB, said Kagan, is standardized to 6 per cent anthocyanins and also to total phenolic acid content in order to ensure product consistency and quality.


Kagan said a number of animal and human studies published in peer-reviewed journals have identified the cholesterol lowering and blood pressure benefits of hibiscus extract, with the dosages in the studies leading the firm to recommend levels of 160mg twice daily.

Most of the studies have focused on the benefits of hibiscus tea. BioActives told NutraIngredients-USA.com that its extract contains the active ingredients “in a more purified state free of simple sugars and other inactive ingredients found in the tea.”

“The extract however retains all the active compounds that are present in the tea, at a higher concentration compared to the tea. So it is more suitable as a dosage form such as capsules or tablets.”

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