24-hour mind health: Nektium's Vanizem promises to boost mood and support sleep

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sleep anxiety stress botanical

Spanish botanical supplier Nektium claims it has created a fast-acting, non-sedative botanical stress and sleep solution to support positive mood and restful sleep within just three days of use.

Vanizem is the firm’s newly launched Aframomum melegueta​ spice extract presented to alleviate stress and tension and improve sleep quality. 

The spice has been traditionally used in West Africa to fight fatigue and stress for centuries, but Nektium was the first to discover that the spice acts as a phytocannabinoid, modulating receptors and enzymes within the endocannabinoid system, representatives revealed during Vitafoods. 

The product joins the Nektium's botanical line-up including: Zynamite mango leaf extract, developed to provide alertness and mental energy, and Rhodiolife Rhodiola rosea,​ developed to reduce fatigue and improve memory, specifically targeting athletes. 

Speaking to NutraIngredients at the trade show in Geneva, Patricia Rancel, operational marketing manager at Nektium, explained that Vanizem provides a different mechanism of action to the two other SKUs in the range and to other products in the fast-expanding sleep health market, claiming the mechanism makes it fast-acting. 

By targeting the endocannabinoid system and inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), it maintains anandamide levels thereby regulating mood and anxiety without psychoactive or sedative effects, explained Tanausu Vega, head of process technology and applications.  

According to Innova Market Insights, product claims related to brain health and mood were the second top most featured claims in supplements launches globally for the 12 months ending Q1 2023, growing globally by 27%. 

It additionally affects the TRPV1 receptor, known for pain perception and inflammation, and exhibits potential as an agonist for 5-HT1AR and CB2R receptors, suggesting its ability to modulate serotonin pathways and reduce neuroinflammation in response to stress. 

He added that it is ideal for combination formulas with other ingredients that operate through other mechanisms of action such as melatonin, which act through GABA or serotonin, because there can be some synergistic effects with Vanizem.  

“So, for formulators it’s great in our opinion!” he said.

The firm conducted an as yet unpublished placebo-controlled double-blind crossover clinical trial involving 30 participants between the ages of 40 and 50, using questionnaires to monitor anxiety, mood, mental wellbeing and quality of sleep.  

“We discovered with a low dose of only 100 mg we are able to reduce depression, stress, fatigue, and that leads to better sleep quality and to faster time to fall asleep, and when you wake up you feel more energized—that's a consequence of reducing stress throughout the day,” Vega said. 

“So, for modern workers, for people with families, for modern life it’s a perfect solution. And it’s fast-acting—with effects after only three days of taking [...]. In our study, they took the supplement at the start of the day, and they found they fell asleep quicker at night, so there’s no need to take it right before bed."

Nektium plans to conduct a larger study this year to confirm the results, and Vega added that, as the bioactive vanilloids 6-shogaol, 6-paradol and 6-gingerol are heat sensitive, the firm is in the process of patenting the microencapsulation process used, which ensures stability and efficacy as well as an effective masking of the spicy flavour.  

 

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