Prebiotic-blueberry blend uses keto diet tie in to boost awareness

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images
A gut health product based on a botanical, a grain and a berry is using the popularity of ketogenic diets as a way to raise awareness of its microbiome modulating effects.

The product is called Biomebliss and is a mixture of prebiotic and polyphenolic ingredients targeted to improve gut health parameters.  It’s the brainchild of Mark Heiman, PhD, a neuroendrocrinoloigst who during a two decade stint at Eli Lilly and Company served as the chief science officer of obesity research. Heiman founded his company of the same name in 2010 and started studying natural plant materials that could support the goal of better gut health for consumers.

Three legged formula

The formula he hit upon features a specific type of inulin derived from agave, beta glucan from oats, and a polyphenolic-rich extract of blueberry mast left over from juice extraction.

“It was originally going to be a medical food for diabetes,”​ said Gertrude Pfost, marketing director for the company. 

Heiman started his development process in 2010 and The company undertook research on the blood sugar management potential of the formula, Pfost said.  But ultimately it was decided that a dietary supplement positioning offered a better path to market.


The tie with the ketogenic diet is a more recent addition to the marketing story, she said.  Keto diets are heavy on various fats, and are meant to stimulate the body to move into ketosis, i.e., the preferential burning of fat as fuel, as opposed to the body’s natural tendency to look to carbohydrates first. 

Heiman’s position is that without a solid the solid underpinning of a healthy microbiome, ketogenic diet adherents won’t get the best results.  The eating plan by itself is not promising from a gut health standpoint because it can tend to be very light on dietary fiber. Dietary fibers are after all forms of carbohydrates and are often found in matrices such as grains and fruits that include simpler forms of carbohydrate, too, such as fructose.  This is just the sort of food which the diet naturally eschews.

Supporting the gut health of keto diet adherents

The Biomebliss product, which is offered as a powder in a scoop-form tub, provides a way for keto diet adherents to easily add fiber to the diet without the calories of carbs, Pfost said.  The product is sweetened with a mixture of erythritol and stevia.

Pfost said the mixture of the ingredients aims to stimulate a broad diversity of fermenting organisms in the gut.  And Heiman was particular about the precise specifications of each ingredient.

“We are very carefully sourced about where we wanted the inulin and beta glucan to come from,” ​Pfost said. “Inulin is a subject in and of itself and there are a lot of different inulins on the market.”

“We work with one of the largest blueberry juicers in the market.  We use the pomace, what was left over from juice production, which at one time was sold for uses such as feed for pig farmers.  We do a water extraction to gather the polyphenols from the blueberry skins.  That was a lengthy development process.  But now we have an ingredient that provides the same polyphenol content as a cup of blueberries but without the sugar,” ​she said.

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