Big Bold Health attracts $4 million in funding from prominent food tech venture capital firm
The new funding is provided by S2G Ventures and is directed at developing “innovative immunity solutions.”
Big Bold Health is the brainchild of Jeffrey Bland, PhD, who is also the president of the Personalized Medicine Institute. The company has been fostering the development of certified organic Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, a legacy food crop that fell into obscurity as modern cultivars of wheat, maize and other foodstuffs came to teh fore.
Company added to capital firm’s deep portfolio
S2G Ventures focuses its investments in two areas: food & agriculture and oceans & seafood. Within the scope of the dietary supplement industry the company has invested in companies like contract manufacturer Lief Labs, microbial ingredient developer Solarea Bio and MycoTechnologies, which is developing functional ingredients from fungal sources.
Bland says Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat contains high levels of immune-active plant nutrients. These molecules, which include rutin and quercetin and in particular 2-HOBA (2-hydroxybenzylamine), have been studied for their effects on immune and metabolic function. Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat also contains microbiome-supporting fiber that can help promote a healthier GI system, as well as magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins, and even D-chiro-inositol, which is a molecule involved in blood sugar regulation and hormone balance.
The 2-HOBA fraction was investigated as a standalone ingredient by Dr Naji Abumrad, MD, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University. The ingredient’s development was until recently housed within a company called Metabolic Technologies, which is a spinoff of Iowa State University. Metabolic Technologies was recently acquired by ingredient supplier TSI Health, which had been cooperating with Big Bold Health on the development.
With the investment from S2G, Big Bold Health will advance its agricultural research on soil health and plant nutrient output, as well as its work on human trials investigating the role of specific plant nutrients on markers of immune health.
Big Bold Health will focus the products developed with the new funding on a concept that Dr Bland has been touting called immuno-rejuvenation. He characterizes this as a natural biological process that can be nutritionally supported through the use of key phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids from minimally processed fish oils (Big Bold Health’s Dutch Harbor Omega brand), and prebiotic fiber that will be uniquely sourced from Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat.
Big Bold Health said it will also be expanding its platform technologies into digital programs for patients and practitioners.
Rejuvenating the immune system
"There has never been a more important time for the world to focus on immunity," said Dr Bland, "While we are facing many crises, we also stand at the crossroads of an unprecedented opportunity to harness the power of food, science, technology, and ecology to solve some of our most serious global issues through the development of meaningful and personalized immunity solutions."
"Immuno-rejuvenation opens up a whole new frontier in personal health, along with a whole new appreciation for the power of food to heal," said Walter Robb, senior executive partner at S2G Ventures and former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, "With his discovery of the powerful benefits of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat, and his use of cutting edge and rigorous science, Jeff is pioneering a truly personalized approach to immune system rejuvenation and better quality of life.”
As part of the investment the company will carry forward a clinical trial that will look at the effect of a polyphenol rich supplement on epigenetic and cellular markers of immune age. The trial has been registered on ClinicalTrials.gov but is not yet in the recruitment phase.