Science builds behind immune boosting microalgae derivative

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

Daily supplements of the microalgae-derived supplement Immulina
boosted the immune system in healthy, young and elderly adults,
says a clinical study from Denmark.

The trial helps build the science behind the ingredient, based on a bioactive microalgae complex obtained by an aqueous alcohol extraction from Arthrospira platensis​ and reported to have an immune boosting activity 40 times that of Echinacea. Carsten Waern, chairman and CEO of Nordic Phytopharma, told NutraIngredients.com: "The new findings of this latest clinical study is of great importance, because it is a clinical study that confirms previous in vitro and animal in vivo research conducted on Immulina at the University of Mississippi and Johns Hopkins University. It provides further data and value to the wide documentation that already exists on Immulina."​ The study included 11 healthy volunteers (age range 26 to 69) given 400 mg of Immulina daily for eight weeks, with improvements in immune cell and cytokine activity observed at the end of the study. The study was conducted at Copenhagen University Hospital. "The results of this new research are further evidence that Immulina is a potent modulator of the immune system. Because Immulinaprimes the immune system allowing for a balanced, individual response, it provides the immunocompetence we frequently lack in the modern world,"​ said Michelle Schjørring-Thyssen, VP of scientific affairs at Nordic Phytopharma. The supplement is reported to stimulate dendritic cells and macrophages, which in turn boost the immune system. "The findings of our new clinical study on Immulina and the claims approval of [Immulina] are a further boost for us to bring unique and relevant products to consumers,"​ said Waern. Waern added that several partners across Scandinavia, Europe and North America have signed up to launch Immulina products during 2007. "This is proof that we have a product proposition that is resonating well with life science companies that are looking to enter the hot immune health category with a unique, powerful, safe natural immune booster backed by professional science and protected by intellectual property,"​ he said. While the company is looking at finished products for the moments, Waern added that using Immulina as an ingredient in functional foods and supplements offers "great possibilities"​. The patent-protected technology was developed by leading scientists at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi. The patent "Potent Immunostimulants from Microalgae"​ was issued in the US last month (April 2007), while the patent on the technology was issued in the EU in 2006. The Echinacea market, currently worth about $300m (€364m), has been highlighted as an obvious target market to go for, and since the active dose for Immulina is reported to be only 50 milligrams, it could be added to enhance existing products. NutraIngredients.com has no seen the full data of the study but Waern confirmed that the results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal during the month of May. Incidentally, to date three articles on research conducted with Immulina have already been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Related topics: Research, Suppliers, Immune support

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