Lonza launches probiotic ingredient for sports nutrition

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images /  kentoh
Getty Images / kentoh

Related tags Lonza Sports nutrition Probiotics kimchi

Lonza recently announced the launch of its new TWK10 probiotic ingredient, a Lactobacillus plantarum strain that is isolated from fermented Taiwanese Kimchi.

TWK10 is positioned in the sports nutrition category, with Lonza describing it as “The first probiotic ingredient to deliver sports nutrition benefits for both elite athletes and active consumers.”

Lonza said the TWK10 probiotic helps improve athletic performance through greater energy harvesting and enhancing muscle endurance. 

According to a recent clinical study​, TWK10 was found to enhance endurance, improve body composition and energy levels.

“At Lonza, we continue to look for and develop science-backed ingredients to help brands create cleaner, more effective products that active consumers demand,” ​said Dr. Thomas Kiy, Vice President Strategy and Portfolio Development at Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients.“Isolated from fermented vegetables, specifically Taiwanese Kimchi, the unique patented TWK10 strain is the next generation of probiotics. It is scientifically proven to effectively modulate gut microbiota for sports endurance and performance benefits. TWK10 vegan probiotic also appears to support increased butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut for a positive increase on energy metabolism.”

TWK10 has been licensed exclusively from Synbiotech for North America and is already available for sale there.

“Our extensive research exploring over 300 plant-derived probiotic strains revealed a unique strain with excellent survival rates. Currently two human clinical trials have been completed on TWK10 probiotic, and studies have shown that it delivers significant benefits for fitness enthusiasts and active individuals, including increasing muscle endurance,”​ said Kuei-Ming Lee, Vice President of Human Healthcare of Synbiotech, the exclusive TWK10 supplier. 

Sports + science 

In recent years, sports nutrition as a developing area for probiotics has really taken off. 

Earlier this year at the Sports Nutrition Summit in San Diego, hosted by NutraIngredients-USA, probiotic expert Ralph Jäger, PhD, forecasted additional opportunities for probiotics in sports nutrition, suggesting a mass market is on the verge of exploding, with a probiotic solution that is “in tune with the ‘fit’ consumer’s desire for natural supplements.” 

Jäger said athletes have more diverse gut microbiota than those who do not exercise, telling the crowd in San Diego, “A person who goes to the gym and works out is twice as likely to take probiotics than a person who does not work out at all. So there’s an initial customer for probiotics for an athletic population.”

Indeed, Jäger’s recent research noted that several observational studies have investigated the difference in the composition of the gut microbiota between those who are highly physically active and a range of other populations. Reported results found a higher abundance of health-promoting bacterial species, increased microbiome diversity, and greater relative increases in metabolic pathways (e.g. amino acid and antibiotic biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism) and fecal metabolites (e.g. microbial produced SCFAs; acetate, propionate, and butyrate) are associated with enhanced fitness. 

According to a study​ Jäger co-authored, there are a variety of potential benefits for athletes who take probiotics. For instance, specific anti-inflammatory probiotic strains have been linked to improved recovery from muscle-damaging exercise.

Preclinical and early human research has shown potential probiotic benefits for athletic populations. However, Jäger points out that these potential benefits require validation in more rigorous human studies and in an athletic population.

Save the date

TWK10 probiotic is the latest addition to Lonza’s sport nutrition ingredient portfolio. Derived from vegetables, it allows brands to meet the increased consumer demand for vegan, plant-based sports nutrition products. The new ingredient will officially be unveiled at Lonza’s Virtual Innovation Day on October 1, 2020.

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