Protecting the strain: Bened Life on specialized psychobiotic PS128
Backed by 12 clinical trials, PS128 has been shown to help balance serotonin, dopamine, cortisol and other molecules that affect mind, mood and movement in people with Parkinson’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and other neurological conditions.
“Neuralli is not a treatment but serves the communities with science-backed support to make neurodivergent people more comfortable in a world not built for them,” Sunny Cash, community director at Bened Life, told NutraIngredients-USA recently at the SupplySide West trade show. “It can help them live more comfortable lives being exactly who they are.”
Neuralli is the result of two decades of scientific exploration led by Dr. Ying-Chieh Tsai, Bened Life’s chief scientist and chair professor at the National Yang Ming University’s Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Taiwan. Previously marketed as Solace, PS128 was reintroduced under its new name this summer (following the merger of Oryx Biomedical and Bened Biomedical into Bened Life) as the first gut-brain medical probiotic.
'A happier gut. A healthier mind.'
The clinical trials to date corroborate PS128’s gut-brain benefits in support of the company’s “A happier gut. A healthier mind” tagline. Findings demonstrate reduced anxiety and improved attention in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reduction of self-harming behaviors, increased autonomy and moderation of chronic gastrointestinal discomfort in autistic people. Neurological health benefits are associated with balancing “happy hormones” serotonin and dopamine levels in particular regions of the brain.
“How exactly PS128 affects levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brains of animals or humans is not yet known, but it appears to work via our body's own processes to influence either the production or breakdown of these substances,” said Casey Arendt, director of science communication at Bened Life.
For Parkinson’s disease, PS128 has been studied as an add-on therapy, with study participants reporting significant improvements in motor symptoms, 'off' time and in their quality of life. The research also points to increased immune function, improved sleep quality and reduced inflammation.
“In nearly all clinical studies of PS128, participants took 60 billion CFU of PS128 each day, the equivalent of two capsules of Neuralli,” Arendt added, noting that consumers seeking more limited mental health effects like better sleep may experience the desired benefit from one capsule.
Online testimonials credit Neuralli with easing tremors, sleep regulation, sensory integration, motor planning, mood regulation, trauma, self-stimming behaviors and intestinal cramping.
“We have seen an incredible increase in new customers and had a record-breaking month in October,” said David Lee, chief operating officer at Bened Life. “Our monthly rate of subscriptions has more than tripled since launching in August. We expect to see significant growth in the next year.”
Protecting the communities
Cash explains that Bened Life maintains a strict business ethos that goes beyond its transparent science, science-backed decisions and good US-based manufacturing practices to ensure intentional products and marketing for its target consumers. With neurodivergent people on staff and relying on the input of neurodiversity and disability specialists, the company contrasts its approach with the probiotic and supplement industry’s painful marketing of “fad diets” and “opportunistic treatments” as the next cure for autism.
“The scientific battle of ‘what causes autism, if we can find a cause, we can find a cure’ has unfortunately opened up channels for anyone in the space to monetarily capitalize on the next ‘IT’ thing in the industry,” she said.
Bened Life is also dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of strain specificity and understanding the specialized health benefits, which Cash notes is particularly important for establishing trust in an industry with gaps in regulation.
“Within any given probiotic species, such as L. plantarum, there exist many strains that have unique characteristics,” Arendt added.
“Not all strains are equivalent. For example, L. plantarum PS128 is a psychobiotic in rodents and in humans – this means it has a beneficial neurological effect on the host. However, not every strain of L. plantarum will have this effect at the same dose. There is something special about PS128.”
Bened Life is the sole provider of Neuralli in the United States, available as online subscription. The product is shipped overnight on ice to ensure full potency.