Innovating in immunity: Meet the 2024 NutraIngredients Award finalists for immune support

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Meet the 2024 NutraIngredients Award finalists for immune health

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The field of immune health continues to evolve, with researchers and manufacturers continuing to innovative strategies to support optimal immune function and general well-being amid a growing consumer demand for holistic health support to prevent illness.

The finalists for the 2024 NutraIngredients Award for product of the year in the immune support category reflect this trend, showcasing a diverse range of mechanisms for bolstering the body’s natural defences.

Entries were evaluated by our judges based on criteria including the strength of scientific-backing, the potential or existing evidence of commercial success, and whether the product or ingredient had the ‘X-factor’.

Based on this, the chosen finalists were:

Inostime Infant milk

Health and Happiness group achieved the finalist spot with its Inostime LPN HMO plus infant milk formula entry, targeted to support overall health and immunity in infants between 6 to 12 months old.

Recognizing that the first two years of life are critical for the development of an infant’s immune system, the French health and nutrition company developed the product to respond to the need for infant formula with a nutritional profile more akin to breast milk for mothers who face barriers to breastfeeding.

The formula contains lactopotine (LPB), a bioactive protein found in breast milk, which has been found to support the development of the immune system and reduce fever episodes in infants. In a randomized controlled trial conducted by the company, researchers reported a significant reduction in fever occurrence in infants supplemented with LPN​ as well as inflammatory cytokine levels such as IL-2 and IL-10.

The product also contains additional vitamins and minerals, as well as the company’s HMObiotic ingredient with 2'-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), B. infantis​ M-63, and GOS. The unique synbiotic combination has shown to be optimal to support gut health.

Mushroom Immune

Meeting growing consumer demands for mushroom-based innovation following an explosion of evidence pointing to the range of associated health benefits, Life Extension entered the awards with its Mushroom Immune supplement.

With a focus on the science backing the immune-boosting properties of mushrooms, the capsules are formulated with a blend of shiitake, maitake and chaga, equal to around one and a half servings of fresh mushrooms. In addition, the product contains its Wellmune ingredient—patented beta glucans obtained from baker’s yeast.

Previous research has found that one to two servings of shitake helped boost secretary immunoglobulin A antibodies​ in the saliva by 17.8% in one month. In addition, it also reduced C reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, by 29.3%. Maitake mushrooms and chaga have also demonstrated immune modulating and inflammation modern modulating properties.

A further randomized controlled trial found that intakes of WellMune beta-glucans reduced cases of upper respiratory tract infection​, in addition to decreasing allergy symptoms and allergy severity.

Winner reveal

The awards will be presented at a VIP party hosted by NutraIngredients in Geneva, Switzerland on May 15, recognizing leading initiatives and products across industry categories and celebrating the 10th​ anniversary of the awards.

“With a stellar line-up of competitors in this year’s finals, the team is exciting to celebrate our worthy finalists and winners as well as mark a huge milestone for the brand,” said Nikki Hancocks, editor of NutraIngredients.com.

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