“Polyphenols are a broad range of plant derived compounds. They have historically been very easy to understand from a health standpoint. They are the second most abundant class of compounds in plants behind carbohydrates,” said Jim Kennedy, PhD, CEO of Polyphenolics. Kennedy spoke with NutraIngredients-USA at the SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas, NV.
“Polyphenols have been associated with a good diet, so it has been natural to want to understand what they do. What we have done as a company is to try to understand what is behind these things that could be beneficial to our health,” Kennedy said.
Wide range of polyphenols found in source material
Polyphenolics has developed a range of ingredients from the waste stream of wine production (Constellation Brands is the world’s largest producer by volume). At its plant in Madera, CA the company has delved into grape seed extracts and the anthocyanins contained within them. The early work focused on the tannins in the grape seeds and their antioxidant capacity, and from that the first product, MegaNatural Gold was developed. But the grape seeds were found to contain polyphenols with a wide array of molecular weights which led to the discovery of the company’s flagship product, MegaNatural BP, which has been shown to be able to support blood pressure in the normal range.
But more recently the company has broadened the message for MegaNatural BP (and sister product MegaNatural Gold which has effects on oxidized cholesterol) focusing on its effect on the blood vessels themselves instead of focusing only on the effect on blood pressure, which after all is a surrogate marker for vascular health. Looked at that way, the ingredient has powerful sports nutrition potential, Kennedy said.
“Both are rich in antioxidants and may reduce the free radicals produced by the oxidative stress our bodies experience during exercise. In addition, many athletes are seeking sports nutrition supplements that promote nitric oxide benefits. MegaNatural BP has been clinically shown to help support endothelial function,” Kennedy said.