Zylaria fungus extract: From termite nest to premium sleep aid

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Jacob Wackerhausen / Getty Images
© Jacob Wackerhausen / Getty Images

Related tags Xylaria nigripes sleep supplements

Zylaria has worked its way from the folds of termite nests into the premium sleep aid market as a featured ingredient promoting relaxation, elevated mood and improved sleep quality.

Developed by ingredient supplier NuLiv Science, the supplement is formulated with an extract of the Xylaria nigripes​ medicinal fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as a nerve potion and to treat insomnia and trauma.

“Xylaria works by replenishing GABA, an essential amino acid that the brain uses to communicate specific signals throughout the body,”​ NuLiv Science explains.

“The uptake of GABA in brain cell receptors exerts a tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system, allowing the body and mind to wind down after a long stressful day.”

The proprietary and standardized Zylaria is produced through a patented fermentation technology that grows the Xylaria nigripes​ mycelium in fermenting vats. In nature, the rare mushroom is usually found one foot underground in subterranean termite nests.

Topping off GABA levels

According to NuLiv Science’s internal studies, Zylaria’s ability to “facilitate the entry of glutamic acid and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) into the brain to activate GABA receptors and exert its sedative and sleep-promoting properties.”

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that blocks or inhibits certain brain signals and decreases activity in the nervous system. When GABA attaches to a protein in the brain known as the GABA receptor, it produces a calming effect.

The research explored the effects of three compositions, showing that the Xylaria nigripes​ extract is most effective when combined with purified botanical fractions Cuscuta chinensis​ seed extract and Panax notoginseng​ (root) extract.

“It is reasonable to suggest that the Zylaria composition may have sleep-promoting, anxiety and depression reducing, and cognitive function improving effects based on the results of the GABA, GABA transaminase, Glutamate decarboxylase, Aβ, Aβ aggregation and cell viability studies,”​ Josh Beaty, Marketing Director at NewLiv Science told NutraIngredients-USA.

‘Taking the market by storm’

Beaty said that Zylaria has been welcomed into the market and that the brands that have already adopted it into their formulas are seeing considerable success.

Zylaria is often the leading benefit and feature of these products in the marketing content,” ​he noted.

“New brands are working on adopting this ingredient into their new products and reformulations, so it's an exciting time to see such an effective ingredient take the market by storm.”

Last year, Inno Supps added 400 mg of Zylaria per serving to launch the advanced Black Edition of its Night Shred sleep aid and fat burner. Morphagen Nutrition’s Somagen and Alpha Lion’s Night Burn followed suit, including the recommended 500 mg of Zylaria alongside other active ingredients.

“Zylaria could be a stand-alone ingredient; it's that effective, but it's been used in a range of formulations comprising of collagen, magnesium aspartate, 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, Chamomile, Passionflower, Valeriana officinalis root, and melatonin to name a few,” ​Beaty said, adding that the ingredient has been used mostly in capsule and powder formats to date.

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