MAY 2020 – Between February and March alone, the number of daily vitamin and nutritional supplement takers rose 14% with much of that focus on wellness and immune support.1 According to a recent article from the American Botanical Council’s (ABC) HerbalGram written by Karen Raterman, “as alarm about the virus (COVID-19) grew, so did the demand for herbal immune enhancers, wellness formulas, traditional medicines, and botanical ingredients.”2 Increased demand has raised concerns over availability and application, prompting many to look for alternatives to support immune health and wellness, including through a healthy gut microbiome.

The potential benefits of a balanced gut microbiome are well supported through a number of studies.3,4 In part, a balanced and healthy gut flora has been identified as critical in promoting overall health and wellness. Further, these studies go on to explain that an imbalance in the microbiome can result in dysbiosis— “a microbial imbalance or maladaptation on or inside the body, such as an impaired microbiota”6—as well as increased permeability of toxins and disease. Dysbiosis can impact the immune system from the resulting antioxidant and reactive oxygen species (ROS) imbalance.6 Promotion of a healthy gut microbiome, gut flora, and a balanced immune response may be supported by targeting oxidative stress through antioxidant solutions.

Ranked highest in antioxidant activity across a number of assays compared to twenty-six other antioxidant products, patented Pomella® Pomegranate Extract is standardized to punicalagins.7 In healthy humans, a single dose of Pomella led to a significant 32% increase in antioxidant activity in the blood.8 In addition to proven antioxidant capacity, Pomella may act as a prebiotic to support the growth of Akkermansia muciniphilia, a bacterium commonly found in the microbiome. Evidence suggests that conversion of punicalagins to urolithins in the human gut is vital to the successful promotion of pomegranate extract’s prebiotic potential.9,10 Interestingly, in healthy people with normal glucose tolerance, increased presence of Akkermansia is suggestive of a balanced gut microbiota.9 The hydrolysis of these antioxidant ellagitannins in the gut indicates that ingestion of Pomella may stimulate the growth of Akkermansia, thus acting as a prebiotic, explain researchers.12

Beyond the mounting evidence continuing to distinguish Pomella, the pomegranate extract is recognized for traceability, sustainability, and global stewardship initiatives through our internal Verdugration® program. The market demand for clinically supported, quality assured ingredients that offer balanced support has been rising. Leisha Jenkins, Marketing Associate with Verdure Sciences explains, “We have seen a substantial number of inquiries seeking solutions that can offer microbiome support.”
While trends continue to increase for the dietary supplement sector, concerns regarding supply chain and potential impact to quality assurance are of paramount importance. “As we know, the herbal industry is very much dependent on global supply chains and especially the botanicals which are trending with consumers and with increased growth,” said Ajay Patel, Founder and CEO of Verdure Sciences. There is concern that adulterated ingredients and products may enter the supply chain as demand increases. “It is very likely that brand owners are having to scramble for raw materials to keep their pipeline filled, and, as a result, are diverting to suppliers that may not be qualified or trustworthy,” Patel added.

Companies, such as Verdure, with branded ingredient solutions add assurance and reliable transparency for manufacturers of finished products. “Since January, Verdure has been extremely proactive with supply chain partners in the expedition of increased inventory in adherence of our mitigation protocols and strategies,” said Patel. †

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.