BNR17: A Clinically-Validated Weight Management Probiotic in Tune With Healthy Eating Trends
People initially sought out diets to bring their waistlines under control but increasingly are shunning these methods in favor of healthy lifestyles that prioritize real, wholesome food. Probiotics can play an important role in these lifestyles but will only gain traction if, like UAS Labs’ Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, they are backed by high-quality clinical data.
Having grown dissatisfied with the results achieved by diets, people are focusing more on wellness than weight loss. Evidence for the trend includes a CBD Marketing analysis of 8.6 million online posts, which found 18 to 35 year olds have little interest in dieting or fat-free foods.1 Instead of bouncing from fad diet to fad diet, these consumers are making healthy, natural meals at home and realigning their lifestyles to promote well being.
The role of probiotics in healthy lifestyles
Probiotics fit into this holistic approach to health. Yet, relatively few people incorporate supplements into weight management regimes. Doubt about the efficacy of supplements is one reason for low uptake. The data paints the picture of a supplement market with huge potential — both from commercial and health perspectives — that is being held back by a historic lack of scientifically-studied products.
Clinically-validated probiotics are starting to fill this gap in the market. Having gained familiarity with probiotics in the context of digestive health, consumers are seeking out products that address other specific health needs or wants. The emergence of heart-healthy probiotics is one sign of this trend. Another sign is the rise of weight management products, which accounted for 6% of new probiotic supplement launches in 2015.2
The growth of the category gives consumers a way to adopt personalized and semi-personalized regimes that support a healthy weight through the use of probiotic supplements. This approach is keeping with the broader move away from fad diets and toward ongoing healthy living.
To maintain momentum, probiotic manufacturers need to win over consumers with high-quality clinical data that dispels doubts about efficacy.
The evidence to support BNR17
UAS Labs responded to the need for clinically-validated probiotics that fit into consumers’ healthy, weight-conscious lifestyles by licensing Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 from AceBiome. The strain has been through extensive preclinical analysis and three clinical trials, and is approved in South Korea as a functional ingredient.
The scientific validation of Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 began after the strain was isolated from human breast milk. In preclinical tests, animals that received the strain gained weight more slowly. The studies also linked Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 to significant reductions in white adipose tissue.
That led to research into the strain’s mechanism of action. The data is from animals, so caveats apply, but they link the strain to the up regulation of genes related to the use of fats and changes in the levels of hormones involved in the control of appetite and metabolism.
These preclinical tests of BNR17’s efficacy and mechanism generated data to support the advance of the strain into clinical trials in humans. The first of three placebo-controlled clinical trials of the strain enrolled around 60 adults. After 12 weeks, the subjects who took two capsules of Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 before meals saw improvement in BMI and waist and hip circumference.
The second clinical trial repeated the findings in adults. Subjects in the BNR17 arm experienced improvements in BMI and waist and hip circumferences. The trial also linked the strain to changes in body weight and visceral adipose tissue, the fat that surrounds organs and is associated with health issues.
With the first two trials generating data on the weight management applications of BNR17, the researchers then ran a third clinical study to assess its effect on digestive wellness. The third study linked BNR17 to the normalization of bowel habits in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
UAS Labs licensed BNR17 on the strength of the preclinical and clinical data package detailed above. The package paints BNR17 as a probiotic of particular promise, a point that was reinforced when 15 experts judged Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 to be the weight management ingredient of the year in the 2018 NutraIngredients-USA Awards. The award reflects the quality of the clinical documentation built up around BNR17 to date.
Yet, UAS Labs has no plans to rest on its laurels. Instead, the company’s researchers are preparing a well-powered protocol for a clinical trial that will target relevant weight management biomarkers. The trial, which is due to get underway early in 2019, is designed to provide further high-quality evidence of the role BNR17 can play in healthy, weight-aware lifestyles.
Producing high-quality probiotics
The clinical trial is one of several ways in which UAS Labs plans to further burnish the status of the strain through the deployment of its expertise and capabilities. UAS Labs’ other efforts leverage the strain-to-solution capabilities it has built up to give it total control over its ingredients and finished products.
Following a $60M investment, UAS Labs can perform fermentation, concentration and freeze drying in a closed loop production system that monitors temperature, pH and other vital parameters around the clock. The system is designed to ensure each step in the process takes place under the optimal conditions for probiotic viability. When combined with rigorous testing, the system ensures all of the freeze-dried probiotic concentrate that leaves UAS Labs’ facility has the right identity and purity.
Probiotic brand owners can source supplies of freeze-dried BNR17 produced in this highly-controlled system from UAS Labs. Some of the concentrate goes to UAS Labs’ own finished goods manufacturing facility located in Wausau, WI, US for standardizing and blending into capsules, tablets and other consumer-ready formulations.
Regardless of whether companies buy the freeze-dried concentrate or finished products, they will get a product with a rare pedigree. In licensing BNR17, UAS Labs has combined a clinically-validated probiotic with one of the few end-to-end production processes in the world. To reinforce this strong proposition, UAS Labs is investing in further development of the strain.
The result is a probiotic that is poised to address a major need created by a confluence of trends. The data suggest BNR17 can help people achieve their goals of a healthy weight
- New Research Proves Millennials Are Upsetting the Grocery Cart with Their Focus on Fresh, Fitness and Flavor. Available at: https://www.prnewswire.comnew-research-proves-millennials-are-upsetting-the-grocery-cart-with-their-focus-on-fresh-fitness-and-flavor-300526046.(Accessed: 21st August 2018)
- Valentine, A. A., Schumacher, J. R., Murphy, J. & Ma, Y. J. Dietary supplement use, perceptions, and associated lifestyle behaviors in undergraduate college students, student-athletes, and ROTC cadets. J Am. Coll. Health 66, 87–97 (2018).