The company helped co-develop a clinical trial in the latter part of 2016, crunched the data around March 2017, presented a poster of the study at a sports nutrition conference, and is now waiting for the data to be published in a peer-reviewed journal sometime early next year, according to Dan Murray, VP of business development at XSTO Solutions.
This latest study adds to the building science of the benefits of cucumber phytochemicals to muscle and joint health, though most of the studies so far have been unpublished, open-label ones, Murray told NutraIngredients-USA. Still, “the results have been encouraging.”
Positive effect on muscle damage and exercise performance in healthy males
A team of researchers from Central Michigan University, as well as two independent clinical trial labs (QPS Bio-Kinetic in Springfield, MO, and Substantiation Sciences in Weston, FL) conducted the XSTO-funded study, presented as a poster at last spring’s 14th Annual Conference and Expo of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
In the open access poster, they reported that participants who took a two capsules containing 150 mg of Cuvitus daily for six days prior to exercise sessions had improvements in anti-inflammatory and immune supportive markers compared to the placebo group.
Additionally, the researchers reported that the Cuvitus group “significantly improved their ability to do work [in terms of] amount of weight lifted, with a 753 pound improvement from Visit 2 to Visit 3.”
They argued that the results suggest Cuvitus’ possible role in improving strength and overall muscular endurance.
What’s next for Cuvitus?
The ingredient was first launched in the US at Engredea in 2016. Murray said the company is focusing on marketing the ingredient to pre- and post-workout supplement formulators.
Cuvitus’ properties fall squarely into consumer macrotrends, he added. “It’s a whole fruit source, so it can be easily grown and harvested. It’s also vegan and vegetarian—we believe it will have potential as an additive in joint products,” he said.
As the ingredient further expands in the US market, Murray says he can see an organic variety being an option in the future.
One major barrier for expansion is that the ingredient is not yet water-soluble enough for formulation in a beverage, which happens to be the favorite delivery format among consumers, according to data from CBD Marketing.
But cucumbers have been eaten for centuries, and the vegetable (or actually, fruit), has wellness connotations that can attract consumers.
“They’ve seen spa images, where people have cucumbers on their eyes. That’s really using the anti-inflammatory properties of cucumbers to remove puffiness in the eyes,” Murray said.
“A lot of people are used to that image so it’s not a big stretch for them to say ‘I get it, it’s healthy and it’s good.’”