The ingredient, called Boswellin PS, is a combination of acids from the Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) plant and polysaccharides derived from the plant’s gum resin.
A company spokesperson said clinical trials are underway using the ingredient some studies have indicated can benefit joint health.
Sabinsa said the extraction methods were proprietary for the ingredient that recently received bad news in Europe where the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a negative opinion to a health claim submission linking Boswellia serrata and joint flexibility and comfort.
That opinion can be found here.
One of the acids contained in the extract - Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBBA) has demonstrated the most pronounced ability to reduce inflammation biomarkers.
The company said the interaction between the acids and the polysaccharides delivered a two-stage action, with the polysaccharides being absorbed more quickly than AKBBA.
The existence of the polysaccharides delivered an extract that was closer to the molecular structure of the whole plant, said Dr Lakshmi Prakash, Sabinsa’s vice president of innovation and business development.
This aligns the offering more closely with its traditional consumption in Ayurvedic medicine.
Boswellia extracts from Sabinsa and other players such as PL Thomas are present on the US market in dietary supplements that frequently make joint health structure/function claims but no qualified or unqualified health claim has been made as far as this publication is aware.
The Sabinsa spokesperson said the company was “not too concerned” about the EFSA opinion which rejected joint health claims from a host of herbal and other ingredients including bilberry and curcuma.
“Our main sales area for now is the USA market,” she said, but didn’t rule out entry into the European market at some future date, perhaps when data from the clinical came in.
A 2008 double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study study utilizing PL Thomas's boswellia 5-Loxin ingredient, and published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, found significant improvements in knee health and performance were detected after seven days in the group given 250mg of 5-Loxin daily.
Osteoarthritis is estimated to affect 21 million people in the US.
Mintel statistics show there were between 24 and 36 boswellia-containing products launched each year between 2006 and 2009, mostly in the skin health area.