The Power of Plants

Healthy from Within

To stay fit and look radiant as we age is something we all wish for. In Germany, life expectancy is rising from year to year. It is currently 78 years for men, while women live five years longer on average. Preventive healthcare plays an ever more important role here. Health-conscious lifestyles and the desire to do something beneficial for our bodies are fueling continuous nutritional-supplement market growth. “People of all ages are more and more concerned with preventing illness in the long term,” says Rachela Mohr, who is responsible for the development of biologically active ingredients at WACKER.

Lowering Cholesterol – Following the Olive’s Example

The focus is on plant-based functional ingredients that have a positive effect on coronary health, immune response and cholesterol levels, for example. The latter has already been proven by a substance that is naturally found in olives: hydroxytyrosol. WACKER synthesizes this substance in a patented process under the trade name HTEssence®. “A human clinical study recently confirmed that our nature-identical product lowers the ‘bad’ cholesterol LDL by 8 percent. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of heart disease,” explains Mohr.

“We produce highly pure, nature-identical plant substances or improve the bioavailability of natural products.”

Rachela Mohr, responsible for developing bioactive ingredients

Conventional extraction of hydroxytyrosol from olives and olive leaves is complex and the extract only contains a low percentage of the natural product. WACKER’s process yields hydroxytyrosol with a purity of up to 98 percent. “We can produce it on a large scale, ensuring consistent quality and meeting precise specifications – regardless of factors such as climatic conditions that affect olive cultivation,” emphasizes Mohr.

A Powerful Pairing

While hydroxytyrosol is soluble in water and readily absorbed by the body, health promoters such as curcumin extracted from turmeric are not – their drawback is low bioavailability. “To improve this, we use a trick and form complexes of the curcumin extracts with our ,” explains Mohr.

In the product CAVACURMIN®, these ring-shaped sugar molecules enclose the natural substance. The outer ring of the cyclodextrin is hydrophilic, literally water-loving. This makes the complex water-soluble. A clinical study has verified that this increases curcumin bioavailability immensely – by a factor of 40 compared to conventional extracts. That’s good news for people suffering from rheumatic problems or irritable bowel syndrome, for example: curcumin can provide some relief here. “We want to develop applications with further plant substances to help people age healthily,” says Mohr. “We already have our eye on several interesting candidates.”

Capsules (Photo)

CAVACURMIN® in the form of capsules.

Cyclodextrins belong to the family of cyclic oligosaccharides (i. e. ring-shaped sugar molecules). They are able to encapsulate foreign substances such as fragrances and to release active ingredients at a controlled rate. WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS produces and markets cyclodextrins.

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