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Consumer convenience New developments in weight management.
PRIMEX offers natural, effective and convenient solutions
Increasing interest has towards the use of natural,
alternative approaches for prevention and therapeutic purposes
to enhance health and quality of life. According to a 2012
market analysis, three main segments of the nutraceuticals
market are expected to grow considerably worldwide to reach
US$250 billion by 2018: dietary supplements, functional food
and beverages . The main drivers of this market include
aging of population, sedentary lifestyle and consumption of
hypercaloric food resulting in health problems along with
increasing health care costs. Most importantly, consumers‘
consciousness about health-related effects of some foods
or ingredients, rising interest towards preventive healthcare,
in addition to higher disposable incomes will further support
the rapid growth foreseen. USA, Europe and Japan count the
largest regional markets for nutraceuticals .
In fact, these developing trends occur in response to the
increasing incidence of diet-related diseases resulting from current
lifestyle. Major diet-related pathologies include obesity, diabetes,
atherosclerosis and neurodegeneration, all causing low-grade
inflammation . The health burden of obesity-related complications
is growing. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a
number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular
diseases and cancer. Obesity is in fact ranking as the fifth leading
risk for global deaths while anti-obesity drugs cause serious side
effects outweighing their beneficial effects . It can be expected
that personalised health nutrition and development of scientifically
formulated products will aim to address specific health or disease
conditions. The food industry is becoming a crucial player in
supplying appropriate functional foods that suit the needs of
demanding consumers. A better understanding of health-related
problems, food-disease relation, functionality and bioavailability
of health ingredients as well as their efficacy in foods at levels
possibly used must be gained. It is therefore foreseen that a
strong collaboration of various disciplines in the field of functional
ingredients and food research, nutrition and medicine will be
required to fulfil the market needs.
Over the last 20 years, nutrition research has looked into the
role of some nutrients and non-nutritive compounds in disease
prevention and risk reduction . Recent advances in calorie
restriction (CR) research on aging have revealed that reduced calorie
intake contributes to the extension of both median and maximum
lifespan as well as the suppression of age-related diseases in
laboratory animals. These effects are mostly explained by the ability
of calorie restriction to suppress oxidative related alterations and
oxidatively induced age-related diseases [5-6]. Considering current
scientific knowledge and population needs, it appears tactical
to provide weight management solutions to tackle the obesity
epidemic while promoting calorie restriction to enhance overall
wellness. Primex ehf., an Icelandic marine biotech company who is
a leader in the manufacture and supply of pure chitin and chitosan
derivatives, has been for several years providing high quality
chitosan products to the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement
industry developing weight management products. Primex is born
global and dedicated to innovate and market scientifically sound
and novel natural ingredients for use in numerous markets, such
as nutritional, cosmetic, food and food supplements as well as
biomedical products including wound healing. Primex is located in
Iceland in the middle of the clean, unpolluted pristine waters of the
North Atlantic Ocean.
Multifunctionality of chitosan
Chitosan is a natural dietary fibre and a deacetylated form of
chitin which can be obtained from the shell of crustaceans. Chitin
is one of the world’s most abundant natural polymers. Chitosan
is a copolymer of glucosamine and N-acetyl-glucosamine, and
it is soluble in acidic media following its protonation, resulting
in its unique cationic and bioactive nature. Chitosan has been
demonstrated to possess several biological properties. It is
biodegradable, biocompatible, antioxidative, emulsifying,
flocculating, mucoadhesive, film-forming, permeation enhancing,
fat-binding, haemostatic, antimicrobial, stimulating healing,
analgesic, and can be used for tissue-engineering and drugdelivery
(see review, ). Indeed, chitosan can chelate fat and
reduce cholesterol [8-9]. The study of Xu and coworkers suggests
that chitosan improves lipid metabolism in rats by regulating total
cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by upregulation
of hepatic LDL receptor mRNA expression, increasing the
excretion of fecal bile acids .
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel
on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to provide
a scientific opinion addressing the scientific substantiation of
health claims in relation to chitosan and reduction in body weight,
maintenance of normal blood LDL cholesterol concentrations,
reduction of intestinal transit time and reduction of inflammation.
The Panel concluded that a cause and effect relationship has been
established between the consumption of chitosan and maintenance
of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations. The Panel
considers that in order to obtain the claimed effect, 3 g of chitosan
should be consumed daily. The target population is adults .
Chitosan is widely regarded as being a non-toxic, biologically
compatible polymer . It is approved for dietary applications in
Japan, Italy and Finland , as well as being approved by the FDA
for use in wound dressing . In addition, Primex ChitoClear®
chitosan has a self-affirmed GRAS status.
Primex high quality and unique chitosan products
Primex refines chitin from shells of North Atlantic coldwater shrimps
(Pandalus borealis), an important export product in Iceland. From a
pure natural source, which is an ideal raw material for high quality
the convenience and functional
food market. The encapsulation is an ingenious means to protect
LipoSan Ultra‘s bioactivity from the food matrix. The encapsulation
remains even in acidic foods, like juices, but in stomach it breaks
and chitosan becomes an active fat blocker reducing the calorie
intake of the food consumed. Vitafoods Europe 2013 selected
the encapsulated LipoSan Ultra® as one of the finalists for the
Nutraceuticals Business & Technology Awards, in the „Best New
Another emphasis at Primex is the application of its products for
pet weight management solutions. Obesity in dogs and cats is a
serious problem. LipoSan Ultra® can also be applied for pets. By
giving the pet an appropriate dosage of LipoSan Ultra® at the same
time it consumes its food, the uptake of fat is reduced and the intake
of calories will be lower.
1. Posted San Jose, California (PRWEB) July 05, 2012; Retrieved
October 15, 2013: http://www.prweb.com/releases/nutraceuticals_
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Serafini (2013) Functional foods and nutraceuticals as therapeutic
tools for the treatment of diet-related diseases. Can. J. Physiol.
Pharmacol. 91(6): 387-396.
3. R.K. Baboota, M. Bishnoi, P. Ambalam, K.K. Kondepudi, S.M.
Sarma, R. K. Boparai, K. Podili (2013) Functional food ingredients
for the management of obesity and associated co-morbidities –
A review. J. Funct. Foods 5(3): 997-1012.
4. K.M. Crowe, C. Francis (2013). Position of the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics: Functional foods. J. Academy Nut. Diet.
5. K.W. Chung, D.H. Kim, M.H. Park, Y.J. Choi, N.D. Kim, J. Lee,
B.P. Yu, H.Y. Chung (2013) Recent advances in calorie restriction
research on aging. Experim. Gerontol. 48(10): 1049-1053.
6. A. Salminen, K. Kaarniranta (2009) NF-kB signaling in the aging
process. J. Clin. Immunol. 29: 397–405.
7. I. Aranaz, M. Mengibar, R. Harris, I. Panos, B. Miralles, N. Acosta,
G. Galed, A. Heras (2009) Functional characterization of chitin and
chitosan. Curr. Chem. Biol. 3(2): 203-230.
8. R.M.N.V. Kumar (2000) A review of chitin and chitosan
applications. React. Funct. Polym. 46: 1–27.
9. G. Xu, X. Huang, L. Qiu, J. Wu, Y. Hu (2007) Mechanism study of
chitosan on lipid metabolism in hyperlipidemic rats. Asia Pac. J.
Clin. Nutr. 16: 313–317.
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absorption enhancement by chitosan and its derivatives. Adv.
Drug Delivery Rev. 52: 117–126.
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excipient. Pharm. Res. 15: 1326–1331.
13. I. Wedmore, J.G. McManus, A.E. Pusateri, J.B. Holcomb (2006)
A special report on the chitosan-based hemostatic dressing:
experience in current combat operations. J. Trauma 60: 655-658.
14. R.N. Schiller, E. Barrager, A.G. Schauss, E.J. Nichols (2001) A
randomnized,double-blind, placebo-controlled study examining
the effects of a rapidly soluble chitosan dietary supplement
on weight loss and body composition in overweight and mildy
obese individuals. J. Amer. Nutraceutical Ass. 4(1): 42-49.
15. J. Santas, J. Espadaler, R. Mancebo, M. Rafecas (2012)
Selective in vivo effect of chitosan on fatty acid, neutral sterol
and bile acid excretion: A longitudinal study. Food Chem. 134(2):
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Mechanisms by which botanical lipids affect inflammatory
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More information on Primex chitin and chitosan derivatives are available at www.primex.is; information on Primex
revolutionary LipoSan Ultra® natural weight control supplement can be found at www.liposan.com.
Hélène L. Lauzon, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development, Primex ehf , Oskarsgata 7, 580-Siglufjordur, Iceland