Cosmetics & Personal Care
Mediterranean botanicals for healthy ageing 7th July 2021
When it comes to healthy eating, the Mediterranean diet has an enviable evidence-based reputation, with edible plants that grow in the region playing a key role. As a result, Euromed has in its portfolio a number of high-purity and potent natural extracts from these plants, all of which support healthy ageing.
If you look at the diet of people from the Mediterranean region, you’ll see it contains an abundance of fruits such as olives, figs and pomegranate, among others. Most dishes are prepared with olive oil, which confirms that this is an important factor in the healthy ageing of this population. Euromed, one of the leading suppliers of standardized botanical ingredients, provides a wide-ranging portfolio of natural extracts based on these Mediterranean plants.
Hydroxytyrosol for a healthy heart
Mediteanox, for example, is a natural olive concentrate that contains hydroxytyrosol (HT), which has proven heart-friendly properties that have been acknowledged (1) by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). HT is a powerful natural polyphenol found in varying amounts in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and olives in combination with other ingredients, such as unsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids andphytosterols. HT has been shown to have a significant effect on markers of LDL peroxidation (2). According to the European Food Safety Association (EFSA), olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative damage, with a content of at least 5mg/20g oil of HT and related compounds (Commission Regulation (EU) 432/2012). As the average HT content in EVOO is 7.7 mg/kg (3), the actual amount required for a daily intake of 5mg HT is much more than 20g. While EVOO is acknowledged as a healthy product, it is high in calories and should not be consumed in large quantities. Secret to Live, an EVOO fortified with Mediteanox through a Euromed patented process, however, provides 5mg hydroxytyrosolwith 20ml of theproduct – and without the additional calories.
With its high hydroxytyrosol content, Mediteanox is clinically proven to reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation levels, support a healthy cardiovascular system, and help control blood pressure. Proprietary and published human studies with Mediteanox suggest modulation of oxidative and inflammatory markers (4, 5). It offers the documented cardiovascular benefits of olive oil in practical and concentrated delivery forms.
Healthy ageing benefits
One of the most important age-related changes in the cardiovascular system is endothelial dysfunction (ED). This is caused by the synergy of inflammation, reduced antioxidant capacity, dyslipidaemia and increased blood pressure, all of which occur naturally during ageing. In turn, endothelial problems raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases. With an ever-increasing elderly population globally, preventative approaches are vital.
This is where another patented extract inspired by the Mediterranean diet comes into play: Pomanox is a full-spectrum polyphenol pomegranate extract standardized for a naturally high content of punicalagins, with clinically proven healthy ageing benefits. Its phenolic profile is comparable to that of the whole fruit or pure fruit juice, but without the calories. Several human studies documented the efficacy of Pomanox (as an extract and as extract-enriched juice) in consistently lowering blood pressure (6-10), thus suggesting it may also support cardiovascular health.
The main source of these positive effects are punicalagins – water-soluble polyphenols.They act as strong antioxidants that naturally stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a vasodilator that helps to improve blood circulation. A preclinical study with Pomanox by the Catalan Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICCC) clearly showed that pomegranate polyphenol metabolites increase the synthesis of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOs), promoting recovery of the endothelial vasodilation, therefore preventing and retarding ED caused by general inflammation and artery hardening.(11)
Other evidence-based health benefits of Pomanox from published and unpublished studies include improvement in sports performance and recovery, increased levels of beneficial intestinal flora, as well as reduced hair loss and improvements in cognition and mood (12, 13). This water-soluble extract is highly suited for inclusion in dietary supplements, functional foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It originates from carefully controlled cultivars in Spain, and is extracted via the proprietary Pure-Hydro Process technology, using osmotized water as the only extraction solvent.
In addition, supplementation with Pomanox and Mediteanox may work synergistically to improve endothelial function, promote healthy blood lipid levels and reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study by the Clinical Nutrition Department of the La Paz University Hospital in Madrid evaluated the combined administration of Mediteanox and Pomanox on 67 apparently healthy middle-aged volunteers. (14)The researchers found that an intervention with the supplement for 8 weeks, compared to placebo, exerted anti-atherosclerotic effects by improving endothelial function, blood pressure and levels of circulating oxidized low-density lipoproteins, especially in those showing alterations in these parameters.
Balanced gut – better health
With advancing age, the immune system releases more and more pro-inflammatory substances, which leads to chronic inflammation that has been suspected of contributing significantly to the development of age-related diseases. The intestine plays a major role in maintaining a healthy immune system, therefore it is important to support the microbiome of the gut and maintain a balanced intestinal flora.
With Cynamed, Euromed offers an extract from artichokes that combines the traditional digestive and antioxidant properties of their phenolic compounds – the caffeoylquinic acids – with inulin, a prebiotic soluble dietary fibre. Artichokes are part of the Mediterranean diet too, and help promote bacteria known to produce beneficial short-chain fatty acids(SCFA) through the fermentation of dietary fibre.
The lower the diversity of the gut flora, the more pronounced the frailty in elderly people. Overall, there is a clear correlation between diet, gut microbiota and health status.(15) Gastrointestinal complaints, food intolerances, dental problems, loss of taste, smell and appetite in the elderly are related to nutritional deficiencies that further increase malnutrition and frailty. Adopting the Mediterranean diet for one year can positively alter the microbiome of elderly people, and reduce the release of inflammatory cytokines that are detrimental to cognitive and other functions, thus promoting healthier ageing (16). Cynamed offers a novel holistic approach to whole digestive well-being and healthy ageing.The extract’s short-term colonic fermentation properties were assessed with a validated dynamic in vitro simulator model of the human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME). In 48 hours, the extract demonstrated very high prebiotic activity: it stimulated the growth of healthy gut bacteria (Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus), while increasing SCFA, reflecting continuous microbial metabolic activity (17).
Quality and reliability guaranteed
Higher demand for herbal medicines and dietary supplements is associated with increasing reports of undeclared ingredients being added to herbal raw materials, extracts and finished products. This is not only a major challenge for the industry but, more importantly, it puts the health of consumers at risk. As a supplier of high-quality herbal ingredients, transparency, proper sourcing and supply chain control have been key for Euromed since its foundation in 1971 and the company has longstanding experience in producing premium botanical ingredients. Each production batch – from the herb to the final extract – undergoes several laboratory tests for identity, potency and potential impurities in order to guarantee the highest standards.
With Euromed’s PhytoProof quality seal, manufacturers can highlight the reliable sourcing and premium quality of the botanicals in their dietary supplements, functional foods, beverages, cosmetics or pharmaceuticals. Process control, safety tests and strict quality analyses confirm that the ingredients are unadulterated and do not contain undesirable contaminants.
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