PC purveyor sees bright future for ingredient in 2019

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: BodyBio
Photo: BodyBio
BodyBio, a supplement company that grew out of a blood test, is entering 2019 with a plan to reinvigorate the brand with new products and labeling.

Jessica Kane Berman, director of sales and innovation for the Millville, NJ-based supplement brand, said the company was founded more than 30 years ago by offering a blood test. Founders Ed Kane and Patricia Kane, PhD, had developed a blood test that built upon work Patricia Kane did at the Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Peroxisomal Diseases Laboratory. According to the company, the test she and her husband developed incorporated “a specialized epigenetic analysis, ‘a portal into the cell’ whereby images of the membrane surface, phospholipids and mitochondria of each patient along with their DNA adducts were utilized to approach the patient’s epigenetic aberrations.”

Blood test formed basis

“The basis of the company came out of that blood test,” ​Berman told NutraIngredients-USA. “It looked at all of the nutrients that were either high or low.”

ed kane
BodyBio cofounder Ed Kane. BodyBio photo

Berman said in particular the test looked at the fatty acid profiles in the red blood cells. This led the founders to focus on the critical role of phosphatidylcholine (or PC) in cellular health. Much of Patricia Kane’s work has focused on the role of PC in neurological and neurodegenerative conditions.

“The test took a deep dive into the long chain fatty acids and what is really going on at a cellular level,”​ Berman said.

She added that, in the opinion of the founders, there wasn’t much that they could confidently recommend to physicians to address some of the shortfalls identified in their blood tests. In particular they were of the view that much of the products on the market at the time that claimed to deliver PC doses were a mishmash of various grades of lecithin packaged in whole soybean oil.

“They developed an extraction process that extracts the PC from soybeans and creates a liposomal version of it,” ​Berman said. “We believe our PC is different from almost every other PC on the market.”

More options for PC

Berman said PC products up to now have brain health, memory, mental focus and cellular repair health claims. In the area of brain health, recent research has suggested that phospholipids could be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia​, because of the general disruption of phospholipid metabolism associated with that condition.

In the memory lane, a 2018 study in mice targeted the preservation of cell membrane phospholipids via the inhibition of a breakdown enzyme​ as a promising field of study in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Putting that all together, Berman said a burgeoning opportunity will come in 2019 with products aimed at healthy aging positioning. Of course, no supplement can claim to treat or prevent disease, but some ancillary avenues for PC are opening up, such as one suggested by a study published yesterday in which low PC levels were found to be predictive of a decline in gait speed in older adults​.

BodyBio’s PC product is a liposomal complex that includes phosphatidylcholine (PC) for memory, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) for  mitochondrial function and phosphatidylinositol (PI) supportive of brain health via neurotransmission support. 

Berman said the company has been manufacturing the product for a number of years. The company’s initial focus was on health care practitioners, but the company started marketing direct to consumers about eight years ago and now she said the practitioner/direct split is  now about 50-50, she said.

Plans for 2019 include new labels for the company’s products, which include a full line of electrolyte products and multivitamins. In addition to health aging, Berman said sports nutrition is a promising area for PC as well.

“It is something that is repairing cells at such a basic level,” ​she said. “Whether it is for high impact sports recovery or to create optimal performance, at the end of the day PC is raw material for your cells. In that sense it is not a vitamin.”

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