Nutrition 21 says science backing of new beauty-from-within ingredient will help it capitalize on growing market

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - piolka
©Getty Images - piolka

Related tags Minerals Vitamins Beauty from within

Nutrition 21 has launched a new beauty-from-within ingredient backed by a recent clinical study that the company believes will help to further enlarge a category that after many false starts finally seems to be in a solid growth phase.

The new ingredient, branded as Lustriva, contains bonded arginine silicate (arginine silicon inositol complex) and magnesium biotinate (Nutrition21’s proprietary biotin formulation). The latter is a combination that the company says significantly increases its solubility over standard D-biotin, which is commonly found in beauty products. 

RCT backing the benefits

The company is marketing the ingredient both for its effects on hair growth as well as reducing skin wrinkles.  To support the claims, the company conducted a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research​.

The study, conducted by Douglas Kalman of Nova Southeastern University and Susan Hewlings of Central Michigan University, was designed as a randomized, placebo controlled investigation that looked into the product’s effects on hair thickness, wrinkles and skin elasticity among three groups of 30 women each who used a high dose of Lustriva (160 mg/day), a lower dose or placebo for 12 weeks.  The women were all complaining of thinning hair.

The study found the high dose of Lustriva increased hair thickness expressed as a greater percentage of terminal hair (visible hair on the head as well as elsewhere) compared to vellus hair, or the ‘peach fuzz’ that covers the ‘hairless’ parts of the body.  The high dose also shrank wrinkles in a statistically significant manner.  The low dose showed a positive trend in those areas that fell below statistical significance.  Neither dose showed an effect above placebo in nail quality nor in skin elasticity.

There have been a number of much ballyhooed product launches in the beauty from within space and just as many high profile failures. But the science and marketing around collagen in recent years seems to have put the idea that an ingestible product can show measurable external benefits on a solid footing, and consumers have responded.

Sizing the market

Sales of beauty from within supplements are reported to be more than $150 million in the US ​and growing, according to Euromonitor International.  Nutrition 21 cites NBJ data that is far more optimistic, pegging the US market at $1.2 billion with a projection of growth to $1.6 billion by 2023. The discrepancy could be attributable to one of the perennial issues in the segment, which is to parse out what’s meant by a ‘beauty-from-within’ supplement as opposed to a ‘beauty’ product.

Regardless of the discrepancy, Nutrition 21 sales VP Elyse Lovett said the opportunity is a big one. Beauty-from-within as a category has always suffered in comparison to some other supplement categories that are more experiential in their effects.  A sports nutrition beverage, for example, containing the right mix of caffeine and other ingredients could give a consumer an instant boost, whereas a user might have to wait months to start seeing a difference with a beauty-from-within product.

Science will differentiate ingredient, company says 

But Lovett said having a new ingredient whose claims are backed by solid evidence will position the company to win in the growing segment.

“You really have to vet the kind of claims you want to make and match them to the research.  We have shown these benefits in 12 weeks.  That’s a pretty short amount of time for this type of ingredient,” ​Lovett told NutraIngredients-USA​.

“Science is the biggest differentiator for Lustriva and gives us confidence that the market and consumers will embrace it. The other aspect that makes it stand out is the highly bioavailable forms of silicon, biotin, and arginine which can only be found in this product,”​ said James Komorowski, Nutrition 21’s chief science officer.

Source: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research
Volume 12, Issue 1 (2021)
A Randomized Double-Blind Evaluation of a Novel Biotin and Silicon Ingredient Complex on the Hair and Skin of Healthy Women
Authors:  Kalman DS, Hewlings SJ

New ‘Beauty from Within’ awards category

The growth of the beauty from within category and the rising tide of science-backed ingredients in the space has encouraged NutraIngredients-USA​ to add it as an ingredient category in its prestigious annual awards.  For more information on submitting an entry, see the NutraIngredients-USA Awards ​website.

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