Naturex is upping the ante on promotion of the grape extracts business it acquired in January along with fellow French supplier Berkem by detailing claims it says are backed by clinical data.
Part of Naturex’s Nat’Life range, studies have shown supplements made with the polyphenol-rich Bordeaux grape extract Berkem used to develop the ingredient could increase exercise power by 21 per cent.
While grape seed extracts such as resveratrol tend to be marketed on their heart health potential and ability to combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress due to their boosted antioxidant levels, Powergrape is being marketed at the sports market because it can help in recovery and boost energy and performance levels.
“Up to this date, Powergrape is the first natural ingredient having an efficacy on physical performance and cell oxygenation, scientifically demonstrated on humans,” the company said.
Based on a randomised, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, the company suggests its customers could use its data to make claims such as:
- +23.9% improvement of physical performance
- +7.9% increase of the recovery capacity
- +3.6% increase of muscle oxygenation
- -100.9% decrease of muscular damage or cramp risk
- -48.8% decrease inflammation
Naturex said 13 parameters for antioxidative efficacy and five for physical performance were improved in the trial results.
However the claims were yet to gain EU health claim approval.
“Results obtained with Powergrape allow both originality and synergy with other tonic ingredients in final products,” comments Benoit Lemaire, business director of the NAT’Life division of Naturex.
The results are yet to receive peer-review.
In 2006 researchers from San Antonio Catholic University in Spain, showed that a drink containing black grape, raspberry and red currant concentrates reduced protein oxidation by 23 per cent following excessive exercise.
The volunteers, received daily doses of 400 milligrams of the grape extract, or placebo, for two months. At the end of the study, the researchers noted an increase in physical performance of 21.1 per cent as a result of taking the Powergrape supplements, compared to placebo.
Similar tests for a placebo crossover showed protein oxidation increased by 12 per cent (Clinical Nutrition, doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2005.11.007).
Leatherhead International valued the total global market value for performance foods and drinks at US$19.37 (€13.35bn) in 2006, representing 50 per cent growth in the past five years.