Natures Crops and Braini announce global Ahiflower supply agreement

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images

Related tags omega-3 Omega-3 supplements Cognitive health

Natures Crops, the exclusive producers behind plant-based Ahiflower oil, has entered into a global supply agreement with nutraceutical products brand Braini.

The alignment of Ahiflower and Braini yield a clinically-validated, safe, and stimulant-free cognitive wellness supplement slated for launch in December. 

Ahiflower oil, branded as NeurXcel, will be the key ingredient, providing rich sources of plant-based SDA, GLA, and ALA fatty acids in the Braini memory and cognitive performance platform. 

Healthy ageing

In 2017, researchers at the University of Illinois published findings​ that among healthy seniors 65-75 years of age, the circulating omega-3 fatty acids that drive fluid intelligence and frontal neocortex brain integrity are the ‘precursor’ omega-3 fatty acids SDA and ALA (not EPA or DHA). The studies add to the growing evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, however the researchers added that further research is needed. 

Braini LLC, a newcomer in the natural memory and cognitive health segment, said they carried out in vitro and human clinical trials indicating that NeurXcel in the Braini proprietary formulation improves the neuroprotective and neuro-restorative activities of known memory-enhancing nutraceuticals.  

Braini’s research appears to support the findings of the University of Illinois researchers, as well as other peer-reviewed publications showing that omega-3 SDA provides a rich layer of pro-resolving and anti-inflammatory metabolites affecting brain function. The company said NeurXcel is the richest single-plant dietary source for combined SDA and GLA available in a memory and cognitive support product.

Andrew Hebard, CEO of Nature Crops, told NutraIngredients-USA since Ahiflower oil also contains the omega-6 GLA, it effectively combines the benefits of fish oil and evening primrose oil in one product. 

“It’s the only plant seed oil that combines high levels (20%) of SDA (the most biologically advanced omega 3 available from plants, with a 400% increased conversion to EPA compared to ALA) and high levels of GLA (the most biologically advanced omega 6 available from plants and with clear proven health benefits. Typically, GLA is taken as a supplement derived from either evening primrose or borage seed oil). There’s really no other oil as rich in these biologically-advanced omegas as Ahiflower.”

“Exciting and new” 

Patrick Hanaway, MD, co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, leads the Braini Scientific Advisory Board and supervises human clinical trials involving Braini. He said, “Braini is among the most exciting new natural products I’ve seen. It combines one of the most well-researched and safe neuro-protective dietary support ingredients with a new full-spectrum plant-based omega. The early clinical results across a wide array of neurologic issues are quite impressive.” 

Further randomized double-blinded placebo- controlled clinical trials are underway. In the first university-based R-DBPC human clinical trial with Braini, subjects in the active group performed 80% better than placebo in a key measure of executive function after 28 days. 

Greg Cumberford, Natures Crops’ director for science and regulatory as well as vice president of Braini LLC, stated, “An increasing body of evidence shows the unique role that full-spectrum plant-based omega sources play in supporting a range of healthy outcomes in mental wellness and cognition. The Braini platform will be like none other in that it involves no stimulants and uses only traceable, sustainable natural ingredients which already have either NDIN or GRAS review status with FDA. Braini is backed by rigorous clinical studies to support efficacy in improving cognitive performance, and offers a self-test to ensure transparency of effectiveness to the consumer.” 

The company and other key players in the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market are riding on the demand of sustainable, plant-based ingredients. Cumberford told NutraIngredients-USA that transparency and sustainability are pivotal to the Braini platform and to the values of their founders, “Each active ingredient in the core Braini product is fully traceable to its manufacturing, farming, and/or wild-harvested sources. Because each ingredient comes traceable from natural sources, growth in Braini product sales over time will assure greater bioregional eco-social sustainability where the raw source materials are grown. In the case of the UK-grown Ahiflower crop supplied to produce NeurXcel micro-encapsulated powder, this includes soil microbial and pollinator biodiversity benefits as well as helping reduce harvesting pressure on wild marine omega sources.”

Fish-free omega-3 and cognitive supplement markets 

This year alone, the global fish-free omega-3 ingredients market is expected to rake in $590 million, according to a recent report by Transparency Market Research​, and is estimated to reach nearly $1.3 billion by 2029.

The report highlights the increased demand for plant-based ingredients in the food sector has shined a light on the fish-free omega-3 market: “The buyer’s knowledge regarding the food being consumed is surging above advantages of omega-3s and maintaining a balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 in a regular diet. The demand is now changing from type of omega fatty acid to source of it, among the health-conscious buyers across the globe. This is stimulating the growth in global fish-free omega-3 ingredients market.”

Another study anticipates the cognitive supplements market to reach $5.8 billion by 2023. The Advance Market Analytics report​ pointed to inclination of consumers towards herbal/organic dietary supplements and rising health concerns among consumers among driving factors. According to the World Health Organization, the increasing aging population and related health issues such as Alzheimer's and dementia are some of the major factors driving growth in cognitive health supplements market. Increasing brain-related disorders is expected to fuel the sales of cognitive supplements around the world. Rising influence of e-commerce and the easy availability of these health supplements also contribute to the growth of the market.

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