Antioxidant derived from bamboo close to market entry

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

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Antioxidant derived from bamboo close to market entry
Long development work in China on an antioxidant chemical found in bamboo leaves has finally yielded an ingredient with intriguing potential for dietary supplement applications.

Called AOB (Antioxidant of Bamboo), the ingredient was developed by Chinese company BamDion Biotech, headed by Dr Ying Zhang, who has worked on the ingredient for more that 20 years.  In bringing the ingredient to the US market Zhang had help from Florida-based consultant Dr Marvin Heuer, MD who helped shepherd through the company’s GRAS filing on the ingredient.

Food additive

This filing pertains to the ingredient’s first target in the market, for use as an antioxidant additive to foods to reduce the acrylimide formation that typically arises from the Maillard (browning) reaction as foods are cooked.

“It has the ability to block acrylimide formation. It can also lessen the amount of nitrosamines needed in the curing of bacon, ham and other foods,”​ Heuer told NutraIngredients-USA.

Acrylamide, a known animal carcinogen, neurotoxicant, animal reproductive and developmental toxicant. Because of this, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified acrylamide as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."​ Heuer said AOB has been shown to reduce acrylamide up to 90% in certain applications. 

But Zhang found many other potential uses for the ingredient in her research, Heuer said.  She found that AOB is also an effective antioxidant and has been shown to significantly lower blood lipids in both animal and preclinical  human studies. Preliminary studies have also shown potential in weight management applications, Heuer said. And Zhang has evidence in three species that the ingedient can stimulate lean muscle growth and increased mitochondria formation, leading to potential sports nutrition applications.

Multi-faceted ingredient

AOB is a n-butanol fraction of the bamboo leaf. Recent characterization research conducted by Zhang and others shows it has a high total phenolic content (49.93%), total flavonoids content (24.11%), and has characteristic flavonoids and phenolic acids, such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, orientin, homoorientin, vitexin, and isovitexin.

Heuer said the intriguing results in the muscle studies are planned for further developement.

“We evidence in three species, a freshwater fish, a saltwater fish, and in poulty, that AOB can increase muscle fiber thickness, mitochondrial growth and muscle endurance. Probably by the end of 2015 we are planning to launch muscle biopsy trials in human subjects,”​ Heuer said.  A human trial is also planned to further examine the ingredient’s weight management potential, he said.

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