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Lipogen brain health ingredient makes European debut

By Shane Starling , 02-Sep-2008
Last updated on 29-Jan-2009 at 15:31 GMT2009-01-29T15:31:38Z

The first products containing Israeli-based supplier Lipogen’s soy lecithin phosphatidic acid (PA) and phosphatidylserine (PS) combination PS-Plus (PAS) ingredient have been launched in a supplement on the Finnish market.

Scandinavian food supplements manufacturer, Hankintatukku Oy, is selling a product called Lipogen PS-Plus containing 100mg of phosphatidylserine and 100mg of phosphatidic acid.

Hankintatukku Oy has experience working with Lipogen as it has sold a Lipogen PS-based product called ‘Fosfoser Memory’ for more than 15 years.

Stress buster

Lipogen PS-Plus, like its precursor, Lipogen PS, is marketed on its ability to positively affect brain function and in particular, reduce stress caused by “modern lifestyle issues”.

PS-Plus made its global debut on the US market earlier this year in a dietary supplement and employs a 2003 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved qualified health claim for PS that states:

"Phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly."

Similar claims are not permitted in Europe although chief executive officer David Rutenberg told several brain function claims had been submitted to the European Commission.

Rutenberg said the ingredient had earned FDA-notified, generally recognised as safe (GRAS) approval in 2006, and food applications such as dairy, bakery, bars and biscuits were being developed.

“PS-Plus is a combination that is clinically proven to help control stress and improve brain function,” Gutenberg said. “Stress is an increasingly prevalent problem and PS-Plus is a natural solution to this problem.”

Brain damage

A recent study found 20 per cent of Fins had brain disorders which came at a cost of three per cent of gross national product and 45 per cent of all health-care costs.

Lipogen PS has been on the market in Europe since 1992 and so European Union Novel Foods approval was not required as it preceded May, 1997, the date after which novel foods and ingredients must seek formal approval unless they can demonstrate substantial use outside the EU.

Both Lipogen PS and Lipogen PS-Plus are kosher-certified have been used in clinical trials demonstrating their ability to benefit brain health, especially among the elderly.

The company has been developing PS-Plus for more than six years, Gutenberg said.

He wouldn’t reveal the ingredient’s pricing but said it did not sell at a premium over Liogen PS.

Lipogen PS-Plus works by controlling cortisol levels, a hormone the body can over-produce under stressful conditions, which can adversely affect the body's natural production of PS and PA. PS and PA are found in the outer membrane of the brain and help it function optimally.

A 2004 clinical study conducted at the University of Trier, Germany and published in the International Journal on the Biology of Stress, demonstrated Lipogen PAS can boost PS and PA levels required to curtail the hormonal reaction to stress and therefore improve performance.

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