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New patent covers pairing of Ayurvedic workhorses

By Hank Schultz , 01-Oct-2012

Indian gooseberry
Indian gooseberry

Nutragenesis, a Brattleboro, Vt.-based ingredient supplier with a history of experience with Ayurvedic ingredients, has obtained a U.S. patent in the area of women’s health for an ashwagandha/Indian gooseberry combination called Sendara.

The combination pairs two longtime ingredients in the NutraGensis stable; Sensoril, a branded, multi-patented ashwagandha extract and Capros, a branded form of Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, both of which has self-affirmed GRAS status. The patent covers other combinations of these two components for this use, not just the branded pair. The new pairing will offer unique benefits, according to Tiea Zehnbauer, vice president of sales at NutraGenesis.

“We have it positioned as an anti-aging, beauty-from-within product and we also have it positioned as an overall women’s wellness product,” Zehnbauer told NutraIngredients-USA.

The new ingredient can make of several areas of substantiated structure/function claims including anti-aging, mood support, energy, cardiovascular health, menopause support and mental cognition, according to the company.

Ashwagandha forms the backbone

Sendara’s ashwagandha component is said to work to reduce stress, a major contributor to aging by reducing cortisol and increasing DHEA. The Sendara combination is also said to inhibit the activity of dermal matrix-degrading enzymes, including collagenase which breaks down Type 1 and Type IV collagen, the primary forms of collagen found in the skin, and hyaluronidase (which breaks down hyaluronic acid).

Ashwagandha’s broad spectrum of action means it can form the backbone of a variety of formulations.

“Sensoril is in a ton of sports performance products and a lot of men’s fitness,” Zehnbauer said.

“It has a double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial behind it.  It is in another three trials right now. It is standardized and patented to the highest levels of glycowithanolides, which are the bioactives that make it experiential.  It’s really a workhorse ingredient; it’s our best-selling ingredient,” she said.

NutraGenesis prides itself on thorough service, one aspect of which is a list of approved claims for each in ingredient, including the latest combination.

“We offer marketers claims that have been vetted by our FDA/FTC counsel, which is one of the things that differentiates us from a lot of specialty ingredient suppliers,” Zehnbauer said.

“We do ask to review labels; we try to protect the ingredients and if we see something that is really outrageous we say, ‘You really need to get an attorney to review this.

“FDA doesn’t like metrics; they don’t like you to say ‘You are going to look better in 20 days.’ We just want to make sure people are DSHEA-compliant,” she said.

More competition in the Ayurvedic space

Competition has been heating up in the supply of ingredients coming out of the Ayurvedic tradition. Ixoreal Biomed has been aggressively marketing its new full-spectrum ashwagandha extract called KSM-66.  Ixoreal announced self-affirmed GRAS status for this ingredient on Sept. 13.

But NutraGenesis’s ashwagandha offers a crucial advantage over competitors' ingredients, according to the company.

The patents that cover Sensoril specify an 8% or higher glycowithanolide concentration in extracts  taken from a combination of the leaves and roots and a 3% or higher concentration in extracts taken from the root alone.  So a formulator selecting an extract with a lesser concentration of the active ingredient would need to use more to get the same effect, slanting the price equation in Sensoril’s favor, Zehnbauer said, even though greater concentrations and clinical trials don’t come cheap.

“A lot of manufacturers are looking to specialty ingredient suppliers to supply innovation.  There is a higher price point,” she said. But even with the higher price point, Zehnbauer said, Sensoril is “probably the best-selling ashwagandha ingredient in the United States.”

The demand for Sendara’s two underlying ingredients is robust and growing fast, Zehnbauer said.  Why the sudden ramp up in all things Ayurvedic?

 “Things seem to come back around and there is a trend to back to the roots, to things like ashwagandha that have been used for thousands of years, things are safe and relatively inexpensive,” she said.

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