The Southeast Asian tree root extract, Eurycoma longifolia, has been linked to testosterone-enhancing properties. Until now Chicago-based marketer SourceOne has marketed its propriety blend under the name LJ100 Tongkat Ali, primarily for sexual enhancement and sports nutrition applications.
The newly dubbed ActivAli is tackling the issue of its typecasting with a name makeover that aims to attract a much larger market of athletes and dieters.
"A heavy orientation toward sexual health made it difficult to position LJ100 in the kitchen cabinet of consumers next to their multi vitamin/mineral supplement, CoQ10, Omega3, lutein, and other common health supplements," SourceOne Global Partners president and CEO Jesse Lopez told NutraIngredients-USA.com.
SourceOne said it will market the ingredient along the broader appeal of boosting energy, supporting weight loss.
"SourceOne is re-branding this ingredient for the largest target audience - baby boomers," said Lopez.
Baby boomers represent a goldmine for marketers because of their significant purchasing power combined with the health concerns they face as they grow older. The baby boom refers the segment of the population born in the post-World War II period from 1946 through 1964.
"They want to look good, be more active, and as testosterone levels decline with baby boomers, so does libido," However, would-be libido will no longer give ActivAli its main allure because it jeopardizes the ingredient's potential in other markets.
"Go into any retail health outlet and diet and sports products have way more shelf space than sexual health," said Lopez.
"LJ100 was successful with targeted consumers. The target market was somewhat limiting and we wanted a broader consumer audience to realize the benefits of the standardized, patented, product."
SourceOne said it recently presented a study linking the botanical to enhanced testosterone and lower cortisol levels at the 3rd annual International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference.
"This placebo-controlled study bodes well not only for athletes but for dieters alike because the incidence of visceral obesity is directly associated with high cortisol output that contributes to the deposition of fat in adipose tissue that surrounds the stomach," said co-author of the study, James Roza, co-author of the study and vice president of business development, technology and science for SourceOne.
The study sought to determine the effects of the herb specifically on cortisol and testosterone levels during high-intensity exercise.
Both the placebo and ActivAli were taken approximately 30 minutes prior to exercise. Researchers found cortisol levels in the ActivAli group were 33 percent lower than in the placebo group. Also, testosterone levels in the ActivAli group were 16.4 percent higher than that of the placebo group.
ActivAli is produced with a patented process without solvents through water extraction.
"We have more studies planned and four patent applications already in submitted," said Lopez of SourceOne's future plans with for the ingredient.