The ingredient, a water extract from the Quercus Robur species that are grown sustainably in the forest of the Massif Central region in France, was launched worldwide without much fanfare in 2015 because the company couldn’t satisfy everyone’s demand. It was initially only available from Life Extension, Swanson, and Dr Fred Pescatore’s NuLogic Nutritionals brands.
Supply challenges are now a thing of the past, however, Victor Ferrari, CEO of Horphag, told NutraIngredients-USA.
“We wanted to ensure we had the proper logistics and a dedicated production and extraction lines, and now everything is set up. We already have consumers and volumes lined up,” he said.
And to coincide with the increased availability, Horphag is rolling out an education campaign to inform consumers, manufacturers and wellness professionals about Robuvit’s support for vitality, renewed energy and detoxification.
According to the company, the active compounds in Robuvit are roburins and other flavonoids unique to oak wood. Possible mechanisms of action include changes in the function of the cellular protein factories called ribosomes. “Support for ribosomal function may prove to be an entirely new approach to managing chronic fatigue syndrome,” says the ingredient’s website. “Even for those who do not suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, Robuvit may be considered a novel method of maintaining one’s cellular protein synthesis machinery.”
The ingredient is already the subject of ten published papers listed on PubMed, with more papers coming soon, said Ferrari.
“The roburins and unique and not found elsewhere, and that gave us the opportunity to patent,” he said. The company has US patents for the Quercus extracts for mood and energy (US Patent #9,060,999) and sexual health (#9,066,924).
“Energy is a big question in the US,” said Ferrari. “There are a lot of caffeine products, but I think the market is looking for caffeine alternatives.”
Data from researchers in Slovakia and Italy have indicated efficacy in improving energy, tiredness, and tension in both healthy people (Phytotherapy Research, 2015, Vol. 29, pp. 1219–1224) and individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences, 2015, Vol. 59, pp. 105-117). There was also a study with triathletes, which reported significant improvements in training performance and recovery, compared with controls (Minerva Cardioangiologica, 2015, Vol. 63, pp. 403-409).
There is also data to support potential liver health benefits, with results of a study from Italy reporting benefits in people with temporary alcoholic hepatic damage (Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica, 2016, online ahead of print).
“There are very few ingredients positioned for liver health,” noted Ferrari. “You have milk thistle, and some botanicals and Ayurvedic herbs, but not much, probably because the liver is complicated and mechanisms of action are difficult to establish, but liver health is an interesting angle.”
With the supply, science and IP all lined up the company is now ready to expand the availability in the US and other select markets like Japan and Europe. “I think you’ll see new products relatively quickly,” said Ferrari. “New launches are imminent.”