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Past News Items - December 2021

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In the News

OmegaQuant Launches New Test to Assess Vitamin B12 Status

Gnosis by Lesaffre Launches vitaMK7® Matrix

Omicron cases will ‘continue to grow in the coming weeks,’ CDC director warns

New Scientific Studies show correcting Vitamin D status corrects CVD risk; GlyNAC supplements can promote healthy aging and Vitamin D deficiency correlates with more likely mild cognitive impairment

Kyowa Hakko Announces the Results of Three New Consumer Surveys on Consumer Preferences

Released: December 2021

OmegaQuant Launches New Test to Assess Vitamin B12 Status

OmegaQuant, the leader in nutritional status testing, has launched a new Vitamin B12 Test, with a sample collection kit that allows for testing at home.

This simple, safe, convenient test measures a substance called methylmalonic acid (uMMA) in the urine, which is a more accurate way of detecting low B12 status. The more MMA you have, the more likely you are to be low in this critical nutrient.

Vitamin B12 is essential for many processes in the cell, and when there is not enough, it causes MMA to accumulate in the cell and spill out into the blood where it eventually gets filtered by the kidney into the urine – where we measure it.

Test results are reported in specific units — mmol MMA/mol creatinine (cr). Optimal vitamin B12 status is indicated when the result is below 2.0 mmol MMA/mol cr. A result above 3.8 mmol/mol cr means B12 status is very low and a true B12 deficiency should be confirmed with further testing and consultation with a healthcare provider.

Vitamin B12 serves several important functions in the body, from supporting red blood cell production and nerve function to brain and heart health. Like most vitamins, B12 must come from the diet but given the limited sources — it is only found in animal-sourced products and some fortified foods — and its absorption challenges, knowing if you are getting enough even if your diet is perfect is more complex than you think.

For example, because B12 comes from animal sources, vegans and vegetarians typically have the lowest B12 intake. Others who are at risk of deficiency are diabetics who take Meformin and those who have undergone bariatric surgery. Last but not least, pregnant women often have higher needs for this nutrient during pregnancy so testing regularly can help ensure they are getting a healthy amount for themselves and their growing baby.

Harvard Health calls vitamin B12 deficiency sneaky and harmful because people are often unaware they are critically low until they develop major health issues like jaundice, joint pain, deep depression, memory loss, incontinence, shortness of breath and more. In one study, 40% of 3000 subjects were found to be vitamin B12 deficient. If this is true of the rest of America, more that 80 million adults may have a B12 deficiency.

OmegaQuant’s Vitamin B12 test is slightly different from its other tests in that it requires a urine sample instead of blood. Fortunately, the device that comes with the kit allows for safe, easy, seamless sample collection. Once the sample has been collected, you simply mail it back to the lab where it is analyzed. About three to five days after OmegaQuant receives your sample, you will be notified that your results are ready. OmegaQuant provides personalized, actionable health information based on your results.

"Vitamin B12 is an incredibly important nutrient for people of all ages. And knowing your status early on can help you avoid major health issues down the road," said Kristina Harris Jackson, Director of Research at OmegaQuant. "Our goal at OmegaQuant is to give consumers safe, easy tools that can help them approach their nutrition with a bit more precision. Our new Vitamin B12 test is the latest tool in our toolbox."

Released: December 2021

Gnosis by Lesaffre Launches vitaMK7® Matrix

Ensuring the stability of menaquinone ingredients in complex finished product formulations is not a one-size-?ts-all solution. Expertise is required to ensure the correct ingredient solution is provided depending on the final formulation and application. To that end, Gnosis by Lesaffre is introducing a new version of its renowned vitaMK7® natural vitamin K2 with enhanced protection. This latest innovation is the result of a proprietary technology that protects the particles of MK-7 with no coating, no additives, and no additional ingredient.

“Stability is a constant issue facing commercial partners with the desire to create complex vitamin K2 formulations. Historically our R&D Team has been able to guide them through the process to ensure their products were stable,” says Dr Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Global Research and Applications Director with Gnosis by Lesaffre. “With vitaMK7® Matrix, that process is now more efficient because the matrix carrier embeds the K2 as MK7 particles in the product, thus leading to products hitting the market much faster.”

Research shows that moisture and mineral salts are critical variables for degradation, driving the need for a protective technology to shelter the menaquinone molecules during shelf life.

Now vitaMK7® Matrix addresses these issues, providing a less cumbersome and more predictable formulation process for complex K2 products. In addition, vitaMK7® Matrix offers:

• Improved homogeneity of the powder, making it easier to handle and formulate

• Best in class stability, especially with mineral complexes

• Ability for formulas to keep a short and unchanged list of ingredients with no additives

“This is an important improvement we are excited to share with our commercial partners and the global market,” adds Xavier Berger, Global Market Manager at Gnosis by Lesaffre. “Enhancing protection of the MK-7 molecule is an important element for those seeking to explore complex formulations that will truly impact health. Our team has worked extensively to ensure that our innovation was truly unique to the market, and most importantly, that it would have a tremendous impact on those with a vision for what the market needs.”


About Gnosis by Lesaffre

Gnosis by Lesaffre harnesses the power of microorganisms and biotransformation processes like fermentation to cultivate nutritional actives, probiotics, and nutritional and functional yeasts that benefit human health and wellbeing. The team draws on its focused research and applications capabilities to collaborate with nutraceutical and pharmaceutical brands to develop game-changing products for their customers.

Released: December 2021

Omicron cases will ‘continue to grow in the coming weeks,’ CDC director warns

The COVID-19 omicron variant, which has been in the United States since at least mid-November, has now been confirmed in at least 36 states and more than 75 countries, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, said Wednesday.

According to Walensky, early data suggest omicron is more transmissible than the delta variant, with cases doubling every 2 days.

“In looking at early data on transmissibility of omicron from other countries, we expect to see the proportion of omicron cases here in the United States continue to grow in the coming weeks,” Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing.

Currently, about 96% of the nation’s new cases care are caused by the delta variant, but omicron already accounts for about 3% of cases — an increase from 0.1% last week.

In some areas of the country, omicron transmission is even higher. In New York and New Jersey, for example, the CDC estimates that 13% of cases are being caused by omicron, Walensky said.

A CDC report published last week showed there was not much severe disease reported among the first 43 patients in the U.S. with an identified omicron infection. Only one was hospitalized and none died. But it also showed that prior immunization did not prevent infection, as nearly 80% of the patients were fully vaccinated, including almost one-third who had received a booster shot.

Still, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, on Wednesday emphasized the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses, especially against variants of concern such as omicron.

Pfizer and BioNTech recently announced findings from an initial lab study showing that protection against omicron was improved after a third dose of their vaccine.

“Our booster regimens work against omicron,” Fauci said during the White House briefing. “At this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster.”

Fauci presented some omicron-specific data, including one study from Rockefeller University that showed “omicron exhibits a rather profound degree of neutralization escape,” he said.

“However, the two-dose mRNA-vaccinated people who received a booster dose [have] a substantial increase in neutralizing activity to the tune of a 38-fold increase,” Fauci said.

In a clinical study that observed the effectiveness of the two-dose primary Pfizer-BioNTech series against omicron, effectiveness dropped to about 33% from 80% in the pre-omicron era.


“But note that the effectiveness against hospitalization — which is critical — still maintains a 70% effectiveness,” Fauci said.

Released: December 2021

New Scientific Studies show correcting Vitamin D status corrects CVD risk; GlyNAC supplements can promote healthy aging and Vitamin D deficiency correlates with more likely mild cognitive impairment

Scientists are discovering intriguing capabilities of vitamins, foods and nutrients. Here’s a snapshot of several current studies. A few are preliminary or even the first in their category. Others add to a growing body of knowledge in the field.


1. Correcting Vitamin D Status Also Corrects Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Despite the forbidding title of this abstract, it makes perfect sense. This analysis shows that someone who is deficient in vitamin D could be at risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the way to reduce the burden cardiovascular disease places on a population is to correct vitamin D deficiencies within that population.


Non-linear Mendelian randomization analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk, Zhou A, Selvanayagam JB, Hyppönen E. Euro Heart J; Dec 2021: ehab809:

Aims. Low vitamin D status is associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Although most existing linear Mendelian randomization (MR) studies reported a null effect of vitamin D on CVD risk, a non-linear effect cannot be excluded. Our aim was to apply the non-linear MR design to investigate the association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration with CVD risk.

Methods and results. The non-linear MR analysis was conducted in the UK Biobank with 44 519 CVD cases and 251 269 controls. Blood pressure (BP) and cardiac-imaging-derived phenotypes were included as secondary outcomes. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was instrumented using 35 confirmed genome-wide significant variants.

We also estimated the potential reduction in CVD incidence attributable to correction of low vitamin D status. There was an L-shaped association between genetically predicted serum 25(OH)D and CVD risk (Pnon-linear = 0.007), where CVD risk initially decreased steeply with increasing concentrations and levelled off at around 50 nmol/L. A similar association was seen for systolic (Pnon-linear = 0.03) and diastolic (Pnon-linear = 0.07) BP. No evidence of association was seen for cardiac-imaging phenotypes (P = 0.05 for all). Correction of serum 25(OH)D level below 50 nmol/L was predicted to result in a 4.4% reduction in CVD incidence (95% confidence interval: 1.8–7.3%).

Conclusion. Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of CVD. Burden of CVD could be reduced by population-wide correction of low vitamin D status.


2. Review: GlyNAC (glycine and N-acetylcysteine) Supplements Could Promote Healthy Aging

Supplementation with GlyNAC (the combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine as a cysteine precursor) was found to promote healthy aging by improving and/or correcting cellular glycine, cysteine and GSH deficiencies. GlyNAC also lowers oxidative stress and improves mitochondrial function, inflammation, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, genotoxicity, and many other hallmarks of aging. Furthermore, GlyNAC improves muscle strength, exercise capacity, cognition, and body composition – all of which encourage healthy aging.


GlyNAC Supplementation Improves Glutathione Deficiency, Oxidative Stress, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Inflammation, Aging Hallmarks, Metabolic Defects, Muscle Strength, Cognitive Decline, and Body Composition: Implications for Healthy Aging, Sekhar RJ. J Nutrition: Vol 151;12; Dec 2021; 3606–3616.

Cellular increases in oxidative stress (OxS) and decline in mitochondrial function are identified as key defects in aging, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood and interventions are lacking. Defects linked to OxS and impaired mitochondrial fuel oxidation, such as inflammation, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, and aging hallmarks, are present in older humans and are associated with declining strength and cognition, as well as the development of sarcopenic obesity. Investigations on the origins of elevated OxS and mitochondrial dysfunction in older humans led to the discovery that deficiencies of the antioxidant tripeptide glutathione (GSH) and its precursor amino acids glycine and cysteine may be contributory. Supplementation with GlyNAC (combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine as a cysteine precursor) was found to improve/correct cellular glycine, cysteine, and GSH deficiencies; lower OxS; and improve mitochondrial function, inflammation, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, genotoxicity, and multiple aging hallmarks; and improve muscle strength, exercise capacity, cognition, and body composition. This review discusses evidence from published rodent studies and human clinical trials to provide a detailed summary of available knowledge regarding the effects of GlyNAC supplementation on age-associated defects and aging hallmarks, as well as discussing why GlyNAC supplementation could be effective in promoting healthy aging. It is particularly exciting that GlyNAC supplementation appears to reverse multiple aging hallmarks, and if confirmed in a randomized clinical trial, it could introduce a transformative paradigm shift in aging and geriatrics. GlyNAC supplementation could be a novel nutritional approach to improve age-associated defects and promote healthy aging, and existing data strongly support the need for additional studies to explore the role and impact of GlyNAC supplementation in aging.


3. Mild Cognitive Impairment Negatively Correlated with Serum Concentrations of Vitamin D

In this study, participants who were deficient in vitamin D [serum 25(OH)D <20.0 ng/mL] were 3 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment as those who had adequate serum concentrations of vitamin D (≥30 ng/mL).


Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Disrupted Cholesterol Homeostasis in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Liu W, Zhou C, Wang Y, et al.  J Nutrition. Vol 151:12; Dec 2021; 3865–3873.

Background. Several studies have reported that dietary and serum concentrations of vitamin D and cholesterol are correlated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, little is known about whether 25 hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], lipids, and oxysterols are related to cognitive function.

Objective. This study sought to explore the relations between 25(OH)D, lipids, oxysterols, and cognitive function.

Methods. In this study, about 209 MCI patients and 209 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were recruited from the Shanxi province of China (49.5% male; median [IQR] age: 63 [59–66] y). Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D, lipids, and oxysterols were measured using ultra-performance LC-MS. Cognitive performance was determined via comprehensive mental, verbal, and auditory cognitive tests. Dietary information was collected using a semiquantitative FFQ and 3 consecutive days of 24-h dietary recalls. Logistic regression analyses, Spearman's correlation, and partial correlation analyses were used to explore correlation between the variables.

Results. Participants with vitamin D deficiency [serum 25(OH)D <20.0 ng/mL] were 3 times more likely to develop MCI compared to those with adequate vitamin D (≥30 ng/mL) concentrations. The AUC of 25(OH)D was 0.72 and the cut-off was 16.5 ng/mL (sensitivity: 50.3%, specificity: 84.4%). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were negatively correlated with total cholesterol (TC) (r –0.19, = 0.02), LDL-cholesterol (r = –0.17, = 0.04), and 24S,25-epoxycholesterol (24S,25-epoxy-CHO) (r = –0.21, = 0.01). Conversely, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) (r = 0.185, < 0.001) and symbol digit modalities test (SDMT) (r = 0.11, = 0.03) scores were positively correlated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations.

Conclusion. The study identified significant differences in serum 25(OH)D concentrations between MCI patients and cognitive healthy controls, and there was a correlation between serum concentrations of 25(OH)D, lipids, and oxysterols and cognitive impairment among people.


Source: Council for Responsible Nutrition

Released: December 2021

Kyowa Hakko Announces the Results of Three New Consumer Surveys on Consumer Preferences

Kyowa Hakko, global leaders in the research, manufacturing, and purification of high-quality branded health ingredients, is pleased to announce that new data, from three recent consumer surveys, reveals that their branded Cognizin® Citicoline, Setria® Glutathione, and IMMUSE™ ingredients continue to resonate with consumer preferences.

The 2020 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements surveyed 2,006 U.S. adults age 18+, including 1,471 adults who consume dietary supplements seasonally, occasionally, or regularly. Key findings from the report show that, when making purchasing decisions, supplement users prefer branded ingredients 2x over generic ingredients, regarding them as important purchasing factors.

Other big takeaways include that, when it comes to supporting their overall confidence in effectiveness and safety of dietary supplements, supplement users again prefer branded ingredients 2x over generic ingredients. Another 2021 survey conducted by CRN found that younger supplement users, 77% of those 18-34 and 74% of those 35-54, are more likely to have confidence in supplements with branded ingredients than those with generic ones. Additionally, 63% of supplement users are willing to pay a higher price when it comes to supplements with branded ingredients, and also agree that supplements made with branded ingredients can cost more because they are more effective and better quality.

Karen Todd, MBA, RD, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Kyowa Hakko U.S.A Inc., remarks, "These latest results reinforce our commitment to researching and developing branded ingredients of the highest quality. Receiving new data on how branded ingredients do, in fact, play a considerable role in positively influencing consumer purchasing habits, and their overall confidence in a finished supplement product, only further validates that our mission to provide health solutions through researched-backed ingredients is being increasingly well-received by consumers."

Ingredient Transparency Center (ITC) also conducted a 2021 Consumer Supplements Survey to 1,000 US supplement consumers between April and June of 2021. The survey was segmented between supplement users for brain health, antioxidant, and immune products, coinciding with Kyowa Hakko's different branded ingredient channels. The results remained consistent with the CRN survey, revealing that supplement users are positively influenced by branded ingredients when making purchasing decisions.

In fact, brain supplement users were highly encouraged to take a supplement more frequently if the products featured branded ingredients identified on the label (57%) or in marketing materials (53%), like Cognizin® Citicoline. For Citicoline supplement users purchasing citicoline in particular, quality certifications, seals and branded ingredients significantly impacted consumer trust. Compared to all supplement users, citicoline users tend to be encouraged by branded ingredients like Cognizin® Citicoline.

Similarly, antioxidant supplement users also tend to be encouraged by branded ingredients like Setria® Glutathione. In fact, 49% of antioxidant users' purchasing decisions are significantly impacted by branded ingredients. When deciding which antioxidant supplements to purchase, over 80% of regular glutathione users in particular reported that branded ingredient logos like Setria® Glutathione on the package significantly impact their decisions.

For immune health, immune supplement users make up around 80% of all supplement users in the US, and, although postbiotics are a novel sector of immune health, 21% of immune supplement users are very or extremely familiar with them and 33% of Postbiotics supplement users always look for branded ingredients, like Kyowa Hakko's branded IMMUSE™ ingredient, when purchasing.

Celebrating over 60 years of innovation with trusted branded ingredients backed by science, Kyowa Hakko's ingredients are made from an innovative fermentation process for the utmost quality and safety. Kyowa Hakko has conducted over 50 clinical trials that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, backing the efficacy and health claims behind its ingredients.

"Our unique processes, alongside our science, quality and safety have allowed us to deliver ingredients you can consistently count on. Not only are our ingredients clinically-studied, but we also have self-affirmed GRAS and Novel Food status for many of our ingredients, making them safe to use in multiple delivery formats, a must for today's manufacturers and consumer," comments Todd.

Kyowa Hakko also follows the latest marketing trends in Cognitive Health, Sports Nutrition, and Immune Health areas to further scientific research on their ingredients, strengthen current ingredient claims, and assist their manufacturers with co-developing unique products to fill gaps in the marketplace. "This is what we like to call the Kyowa Advantage," adds Todd.

With its line of innovative branded ingredients including Setria® Glutathione, Setria® Performance Blend, Cognizin® Citicoline, Velox® Patented Performance Blend, and two new scientific breakthrough ingredients, IMMUSE™ and EYEMUSE™, along with its line of Kyowa Quality® ingredients, Kyowa Hakko is continuing to pave the way in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of high-quality, branded ingredients that consumers can count on.

For more information on Kyowa Hakko U.S.A, visit:

About Kyowa Hakko USA:
Kyowa Hakko USA is the North & South American office for Kyowa Hakko Bio Co. Ltd., an international health ingredients manufacturer and world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and food products. For more information visit

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