Gencor taps endocannabinoid-like molecule for new joint health offering

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Gencor taps endocannabinoid-like molecule for new joint health offering
Gencor has announced it will introduce a new version of an older, under-the-radar dietary ingredient. The new offering, called Levagen, is a branded form of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endocannabinoid-like molecule with potent anti inflammatory properties.

The new ingredient makes its formal debut at the upcoming Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas, NV.  

PEA was first identified in the 1950s as a therapeutic substance with potent anti-inflammatory properties. According to Gencor it is an endogenous substance, produced in the body as a biological response and as a repair mechanism for inflammation.

Chase Shryoc, vice president of business development at Gencor, said Levagen is aimed squarely at the joint health market. The substance utilizes the endocannabinoid system for supporting joint function, reducing joint stiffness and providing joint comfort.

GRAS affirmation

While PEA has been used as a dietary ingredient in the past, Shryoc said Gencor is the first to have completed a self affirmed GRAS dossier on the ingredient.

“We had learned about PEA’s use as a medical food a number of years ago,” ​Shryoc told NutraIngredients-USA. “Now we have done the safety and toxicity studies to support our GRAS declaration so that we could market this as a dietary supplement ingredient.”

The ingredient is synthesized in the factory of an Indian subcontractor, Shryoc said. He emphasized the subcontractor has a number of certifications that bolster a quality manufacturing message.

“Our product is made under very strict GMPs in a facility that has been inspected by multiple government organizations,” ​he said.

Shryoc said Gencor believes Levagen will be an effective competitor in the joint health marketplace, where it will go up against such legacy ingredients as glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which take a structural support approach to joint health.

“Glucosamine is not a very expensive product these days. We think the price of Levagen is something that can be easily managed in the market. But more importantly than price, it is something that is completely unique, working on a unique pathway,”​ he said.

Shryoc said the ingredient is easy to formulate with, and so could be offered in products affecting multiple pathways. Turmeric and chondroitin were two possible partners, he said.

Gencor will also buttress Levagen’s competitive position by offering the ingredient formulated with its proprietary Lipisperse technology, which will create a soluble ingredient that could be formulated into pre workout products and other beverage mixes.

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