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What’s in a gut? – how a healthy microbiome means a healthy immune system

At Cambridge Commodities we have always recognised the vital importance of nutrition in staying happy and healthy. As part of an ongoing mission to improve wellbeing worldwide by providing our community with quality expertise, our new ‘Immunity community’ blog series will provide insights into the role immunity ingredients play in promoting immune health; this week we’ll be switching things up by discussing gut health and the key role it plays in contributing to overall immune health as well as providing an overview of ingredients that can help your products secure the coveted microbiome-conscious audience.

Digesting digestion

There are few subjects in health and wellbeing that have been more widely discussed in recent times than gut health. For those unfamiliar, the human body plays host to a variety of bacteria and microbes from external sources and, though it was initially believed that these microbial cells only made up a small fraction of the human body, recent studies have suggested that more than half of our cells are microbial. This discovery suggests that the balance of microbial cells in our gut can actually impact other bodily functions and has shone a new light on the way we perceive medicine, biological processes and nutrition. This is where we get the term ‘gut health’, and many companies in the industry have been seeking exciting new ways to introduce gut health claims and products into their service offerings. 

With this relatively newfound knowledge, gut health has seen an invigorating level of increased popularity and interest from consumers and companies alike. This has effectively allowed three major subcategories of gut health ingredients to emerge: prebiotics, probiotics and gut enzymes. Designed to contribute to the maintenance of gut health, prebiotics and probiotics are healthy gut bacteria and substances on which that bacteria can feed respectively. Similarly, digestive gut enzymes can be introduced in a supplemental form to contribute to the efficacy of the body’s digestive system. By utilising nutritional ingredients that serve these three key roles, leading companies have been bolstering their product lines to cater to this mounting trend.

One specific example of one of good gut bacteria is Faecalibacterium Prausnitzii, otherwise known as F.prau. Accounting for approximately 5-15% of the total colonic microbiome in the human body, healthy levels of the butyrate-producing F.prau not only contribute to bowel frequency but also the mitigation of oxidative stress and regular cognitive function. Complete with anti-inflammatory effects, products which contribute to the production of F.prau and other good bacteria can make an impression on consumers seeking to do more for their gut health through specificity and formats that can be easily integrated into existing dietary routines.

We get guts

When it comes to gut health, we have taken significant strides towards being a market-leading source of category products, the shelf stability of which is one of our greatest selling points. We ensure that our prebiotic and probiotic ingredients can retain their stability for the entire duration of their shelf life, thereby ensuring the finest quality when you purchase from us.

While our probiotic strains are tailored to specific gut health label claims, our prebiotics are made with the importance of fructooligosaccharides – fruit sugars that are not degraded by intestinal enzymes, which allow them to pass into the colon for microbial support – in contributing to gut health kept in mind. As such, our Inulin blend is derived from the vegan-friendly, clean label source of chicory root powder to ensure it distinguishes itself as a welcome addition to products catering to growing vegan consumer bases.

Of special note to gut health positioning is our CC Enzyme Blend, an ingredient containing a multifaceted combination of digestive enzymes for breaking down different categories of macroacids. This includes Peptase for digesting protein, Cellulase for converting cellulose into beta-glucose and Lipase for the hydrolysis of lipids. The constituent enzymes of this blend can also be found separately within our ingredient catalogue, allowing you to tailor orders to suit the specific demands of your product line.

Special solutions: Actazin® and Livaux™

Our branded solutions for immunity through gut health are our partner ingredients of Actazin® and Livaux™, both from New Zealand manufacturer Anagenix. Derived from the naturally high polyphenol count Zespri® SunGold kiwifruit, these high quality, freeze-dried powders function as prebiotics that promote the healthy growth of commercial probiotic strains, creating a rounded offering for securing gut health and immunity label claims.

Actazin® (P01054) is a unique blend of natural kiwifruit components which support digestion. Containing a soluble protein which serves as the primary constituent of the proteolytic enzyme Actinidin, Actazin® primarily boosts protein digestion to contribute to the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus in the gut. The polyphenolic content in Actazin®, however, has the added benefit of supporting immune response, making it a highly compatible ingredient for use in probiotic formulations, vitamin and mineral complexes and green food blends intended to take advantage of both benefits.

Differentiating itself from Actazin®, Livaux™ (P33387) works to increase the F.prau levels in the gut, thereby contributing to healthy immune function. With an estimated 80% of the human immune system being a consequence of gut health, Livaux™ possesses unique claims associated with F.prau concentration and stands to benefit consumers who desire immune support for their upper respiratory tract in particular.

Both Actazin® and Livaux undergo a proprietary gentle manufacturing process that improves the organoleptic profile of the finished product through the removal of skin and seeds by hand and a cold-drying process that ensures optimal levels of key nutrients and bioactives are retained. Being derived from New Zealand kiwifruit, they also provide a natural source of Vitamin C and its associated immunity claims, including the regulation of oxidative stress and mineral absorption. This coupled with their sharp, exotic taste can make them ideal for food and beverage products especially, many of which stand to benefit from a recent market trend of sophisticated consumers seeking unique citrus flavours from untraditional locales.

Both Actazin® and Livaux™ are available in cold-pressed powder formats for capsule and tablet product applications

If you’d like to enquire about Actazin®, Livaux™ or any of our gut health immunity ingredients, contact our team today to find out more.

Contact us to explore our gut health range!

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