Polyphenolics' new blood glucose management ingredient aimed at fringe of sports nutrition sphere

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Polyphenolics got its start mining the waste streams of wine production for functional ingredients.
Polyphenolics got its start mining the waste streams of wine production for functional ingredients.

Related tags: Blood glucose, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus

Polyphenolics is breaking into the sports nutrition game with the launch of a new version of its line of grape seed extracts called MegaNatural GL.  The prouduct is said to moderate blood glucose spikes after meals.

“At Polyphenolics we continue to diversify our line of grape seed products. This product can easily be incorporated into sports nutrition products because it can reduce oxidative stress along with supporting 'healthy' blood glucose levels,”​ Dr. Anil Shrikhande as the President of Polyphenolics told NutraIngredients-USA.

Broadening the scope

Sport nutrition is often seen as one of the fastest growing categories within the dietary supplement and fucntional food realm.  As such, many marketers are latching on to the concept, and many hardcore sports productd manufacturers that started out as niche products for gym rats have been diversifying their lines with offerings that include multivitamins, omega-3 supplements and the like.  This is intended to serve more of the needs of their core consumers who already have a loyalty to the brand but also to find new customers, those who might be seeking general health more than the latest way to amass muscle.

“When you are talking about using this product in sports nutrition,  you are going to bring all the people in who are on the boundary. They are not all sportsmen. A lot of people have started to realize that lifestyle modifications are the key to health,”​ said Dr Shrikhande.

It’s for products aimed at this latter type of consumer that Polyphenolics’ (a division of wine giant Constellation Brands) latest offering is most appropriate.  After all, hard core exercise enthusiasts are unlikely to have trouble with an unhealthy blood glucose response. But for an aspirational set of consumers, those who perhaps have been told they are pre diabetic and who have been advised to lose weight and increase their activity levels, Mega NaturalGL could have some benefits, said Dr C Tissa Kappagoda, MD, PhD director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at the University of California Davis who has worked with Polyphenolics on its research program for a number of years.

Development program

Kappagoda recently completed a pilot study that showed promising results for the ingredient’s effect on blunting post prandial blood glucose spikes.  The study was not powerful enough to make broad statements, but lays the groundwork for subsequent work on the ingredient. And it builds on earlier work done on the company’s MegaNatural BP product, which is marketed for its effect on supporting healthy blood pressure levels.  The new product has the same basic polyphenol molecule but with different functional groups attached, said Dr Shrikhande.

“I'm a cardiologist and I’d like to keep people from having heart attacks and atherosclerotic disease in their later years. My focus is also on people who would be liable to become diabetic down the road,”​ Kappagoda said.

“When we first started looking at blood pressure we were looking at this extract (MegaNatural). It had a very positive effect in that it relaxes the blood vessels. Then we started looking at these compounds in the development of athersclerosis in animal models and it had a profound effect on that, too,”​ he said.

“In our initial approach in looking at people with metabolic syndrome, we were looking at this extract because these people tend to have slightly elevated blood pressure. The last aspect we got into was insulin resistance which is the core of metabolic syndrome,”​ Kappagoda said.

Polyphenolics has already found some uptake with the brand-new ingredient.  GNC will reportedly feature the ingredient in a new product launch in Europe.

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