Blood sugar control spikes interest across all health markets

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© miodrag ignjatovic / Getty Images
© miodrag ignjatovic / Getty Images

Related tags Blood sugar Diabetes Glucose

We are now witnessing a ‘glucose revolution’ as consumers across all demographics and markets recognise the importance of controlling blood sugar spikes, according to life science experts at Phynova.

Just over a year since the team behind glucose control ingredient Reducose predicted that we were at the precipice of a ‘glucose revolution​’ driven by a proliferation of continuous glucose monitors and glucose focused health influencers, the trend has undeniably taken hold.  

“We have seen a lot of signals that the market is snowballing in the last year to 18 months,” Yazan El Safadi, EMEA Business Development at Phynova Group, told NutraIngredients during Nutraceuticals Europe in Barcelona last week.

He explained that a key change the team has witnessed during this period is the perception that this is no longer a health concern for diabetics alone.

"In the past, people said blood sugar spikes don’t matter as long as the body is able to stabilise itself, and we were putting a lot of time and effort into explaining the benefits to the mass market," he said.

“That is much easier now because customers and consumers are more educatedthey know that blood sugar spikes are bad even for those with a ‘normal’ blood sugar average because going outside the normal range leads to energy spikes and drops and too much too often is bad for our long term health.”

New concepts in aging, women and sports 

He said it is now widely recognised that regular blood sugar spikes in the long term can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney and eye problems, nerve issues and more.

"I was just speaking with a healthy aging specialist company that told me they had never even considered this before, but they now realise it’s a really important element of their work,” El Safadi said.

The firm has been publicizing the latest research showing that high blood sugar spikes trigger the glycation of collagen​, ultimately forming AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products) leading to collagen becoming rigid, brittle and preventing normal collagen regeneration.

The team therefore argues that one of the best ways to prevent the formation of AGEs is to prevent blood glucose spikes with their white mulberry leaf extract named Reducose, which has been found to inhibit the α-glucosidase enzyme in the small intestine, reducing post meal blood sugar levels by up to 40%. ​ 

Phynova recommends Reducose in combination with oral collagen supplements to taper the natural decline in collagen replacement​, to lower oxidative stress​ and preserve the proper functioning of collagen​.

El Safadi added that there has also been more interest from companies working in the women’s health space, especially those developing menopause products.

"This is a time when blood insulin levels are higher, plus there’s links between blood sugar and hot flashes, weight changes, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings," he said.

What’s more, research​ reveals insulin resistance is one of the root physiological imbalances in most, if not all, cases of PCOS.

Consistent high postprandial glucose spikes have been found to cause hyperinsulinemia which in turn amplifies ovarian androgen​ (male hormone) secretion. These hormones increase visceral fat accumulation contributing to further hyperinsulinemia and worse PCOS symptoms​.

What’s more, interventions reducing post prandial blood glucose​ and insulin spikes have been shown to reduce the symptoms of PCOS.

"So we’ve moved on from talking about blood glucose to talk about the associated benefits, and this is super exciting for us because every customer has a different brand, a different objective, and this seems to work everywhere,” El Safadi said.

He added that sports nutrition is another big market opportunity, noting:“Protein bars need to be sweet, but athletes want low GI products as they don’t want the crash. Just adding 200-250 mg of this will help.”

Blood sugar solutions

Also discussing the trend for blood-sugar control during Nutraceutcials Europe, Maria Pavlidou, director of marketing and communications at Sirio, told NutraIngredients that the firm has developed an ‘anti-spike gummy' using Fibersol​, a digestion resistant maltodextrin derived from corn, to be taken alongside meals to improve satiety​ and reduce blood-sugar spikes.

"Blood sugar is a big topic at the moment, with people wanting to avoid the big glucose spikes and dips throughout the day in an aim to improve energy levels and mental focus," she said.

"The trend has been largely driven by influencers and by the popularity of CGMs and tracking health markers—this is something people can measure so it’s easy for people to see and believe the benefits.”

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