Business success, regulatory compliance and the maintenance of competitive advantage can be achieved through close collaboration between the scientific community, government and industry. A new collection of articles highlights how the latest research is advancing opportunity in areas such as cognitive function, weight management and healthy aging. The authors will expound on these market possibilities during their presentations at Vitafoods Europe in Geneva, Switzerland, May 10 to 12, 2016.
One area consistently in the global spotlight is healthy aging. Societal advances are fostering longer and healthier lifespans worldwide. In her article, “Tongkat Ali: The Root for Healthy Aging," Annie George, senior manager, science and product development, Biotropics Malaysia Berhad, discussed the medicinal plant found in the lowland forest of Peninsula Malaysia, Indonesia and some parts of Southeast Asia.
Sometimes referred to as Long Jack or Malaysian ginseng, Tongkat Ali has been traditionally known for its aphrodisiac effects and as a tonic for vitality and energy in men.
According to George, recent scientific studies have reported improvement in testosterone production, physical and mental performance, enhanced energy levels, endurance and stamina, improved skin and muscle tone, and enhancement of the immune system. The alleviation from the symptoms of impotence and a loss of desire/libido was also reported. Several indigenous communities in Malaysia still consume decoctions of the roots as a male health tonic. While the documented use of Tongkat Ali dates as far back as the 18th century, it has also purportedly been used among the natives for as long as time can tell. Through the years, the tonic has evolved in form and use.
Another area of widespread interest is brain health. In “Nutraceutical Interventions for Cognitive Functions," Andrew Scholey, Ph.D., CPsychol, AFBPsS, director of the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Melbourne, pointed to the value of nutraceuticals for neurocognitive enhancement across the lifespan. Although effective pharmaceutical treatments for the prevention of age-related cognitive decline have proven elusive, he noted compelling evidence exists that nutritional status (and by extension, supplementation) can play a crucial role in modifying the expression of cognitive change throughout life. At different developmental stages, specific physiological processes take on more important roles in neurocognitive health. Many of these mechanisms appear to be modifiable by specific classes of bioactive nutrients and nutraceuticals. He added, there is increasing converging evidence that certain interventions can improve mood and cognitive function in both clinical and healthy populations, naming potential ingredients such as ginseng, bacopa, cocoa flavanols, resveratrol and curcumin.
For more information about some of the latest ingredient and research developments, download the Vitafoods Insights Digital Issue, “Vitafoods Europe 2016 Conference Preview: Translating Science into Business Excellence."