The new product, called BerryDefense Immune Blend, combines Artemis’s European Black Elderberry with highly standardized extracts of Aronia and Black Currant.
All three ingredients have long histories of use. While Artemis does not use the popular buzzword ‘synergy’ in connection with the new ingredient, Melanie Bush, director of science for Artemis said the constituents of the new blend “were hand-selected due to individual studies demonstrating the desired health benefits.”
Interlocking benefits of constituents
All three have been researched in connection with a variety of endpoints. In connection to immune health, elderberry (Sambuccus nigra) is perhaps best known of the three. Among the many studies backing this ingredient is a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial done in Australia that showed that supplementation with an elderberry extract lessened the duration of cold and flu symptoms among air travelers.
A 2017 paper by Norwegian researchers expanded on that idea. The authors noted that, “Both the elderberries and elderflowers have a long tradition in herbal medicine of being used to reduce inflammation and diabetic symptoms, as diuretics, and in the treatment of colds and flu. Studies have shown that elderberry and elderflower extracts possess diverse biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidiabetes effects. S. nigra has components with high biological activity, primarily flavonoids, such as flavonols, proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins, and simpler phenolic acids.”
Artemis said that including extracts of Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) and Black Currant (Ribes nigrum L.) creates a product that can have multiple benefits, including cardiovascular health, supporting healthy vision and helping to keep blood pressure within a normal range. All of these ought to be of interest to the market, the company says, during this high stress time where many people are working from home without their usual social support systems.
“With our BerryDefense blend, Black Elderberry is combined with other clinically validated anti-viral ingredients to offer a flavonoid-packed immune powerhouse that also provides other significant benefits during the COVID pandemic,” said Leslie Gallo, president of Artemis.
“It is a new blend with well-supported ingredients but has not yet been clinically studied as a finished blend, so it is not directly tied to dosages in published studies, but rather it delivers a diverse flavonoid profile from several high-anthocyanin berries that have demonstrated benefits in scientific studies. The referenced in vitro studies do not directly translate to human dosages, but they indicate the health properties of the active compounds in the berries. There is a demand for trusted elderberry ingredients but due to supply shortages, consumers are seeking other options and other dark berries that could offer immune and related benefits. We have formulated this blend to make it easy to provide immune support from several of these high-flavonoid berries in a single ingredient—with additional functionality in the areas of cardiovascular and vision support that are also very relevant in these current times,” Bush said.
Demand puts spotlight on supply chain
Artemis noted that demand for elderberry ingredients has been unprecedented. The most recent Herb Market Report compiled by the American Botanical Council notes that sales of black elderberry were up more than 126% in the natural channel and 241% in the mainstream outlets. The company notes that the immune health ingredient market overall grew by more than 50% in 2019 and sales are expected to reach $5 billion in 2020.
Bush said the rapid increase in demand for elderberry ingredients has seen an increase in the amount of questionable ingredients in the market. That’s why she said it’s important to source from a supplier like Artemis that has long standing relationships on the raw material end.
“A controlled supply chain from a trusted supplier with a long-standing history of expertise is crucial in today’s berry ingredient market. Customers know they can trust the Artemis name as we are the whistle-blowers against adulteration, and we can assist with education about what to watch out for,” she said.