21st January 2022|Blogs

How SlimBiome helps consumers beat the January blues

The start of a new year is often the dawn of new detoxes for consumers. Between kickstarting a new health-focused diet to beating those January blues with regular exercise, consumers are looking for fresh inspiration to meet their weight loss goals. While some consumers opt for digital apps to track their food intake, others are switching to plant-based diets to help them achieve their health aspirations. Yet even though plant-based foods are surging in popularity, many alternatives still contain processed ingredients, so how can consumers begin to tell the difference?  

The need for clarity 

A recent survey from the British Nutrition Foundation revealed that consumers find it difficult to distinguish between foods classed as ultra-processed and those that are processed. After surveying more than 2,000 Britons, 70% had not heard of the term ‘ultra-processed’, which is defined by experts as foods that contain additives, emulsifiers or preservatives[1]. The challenge for consumers is that many foods that are classed as ultra-processed, such as wholemeal bread and vegetable-based pasta sauces, can be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Yet others, like crisps and sugary drinks, that are less healthy should only be consumed in moderation.  

Interestingly, new research has surfaced that links processed foods, which are abundant in the western diet, to a rise in autoimmune conditions. According to leading researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London, countries that had never seen autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are now emerging because their immune systems cannot understand the difference between healthy and infectious bacteria[2]. Regions like the Middle East and East Asia have seen the biggest increase in IBD, leading scientists to believe that it’s not our DNA that is changing but environmental factors that are playing a key role. 

A lack of fibre 

The western diet has traditionally favoured highly processed food, red meat, high-fat dairy products and refined grains, with a low intake of fibre. It’s this lack of fibre that is altering our microbiome and triggering our immune system to attack the healthy tissue. In Britain, adults consume approximately one third less (20g) than the recommended amount (30g), while in North America it’s less than 50%[3].  

Recent studies have suggested that a high-fibre diet could significantly alter the gut microbiome and nutrient intake. For example, a study that was carried out by the University of California and published by the American Society of Microbiology, found that a two-week intervention containing 10 high fibre, unprocessed meals led to a significantly altered gut microbiome composition. The diet also increased the levels of Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides and Prevotella, however a significant shift in short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were not detected.  

If consumers were to increase their fibre intake on a more permanent basis though, the role of SCFAs would begin to come into play. Comprised mostly of acetate, propionate and butyrate, SCFAs are produced in the gut every day, though they are highly reliant on the amount of fibre consumed in the diet. According to several studies, SCFAs improve gut health by maintaining intestinal barrier integrity and protecting against inflammation, alongside playing a pivotal role in the gut-brain axis.  

Increasing fibre with SlimBiome® 

For consumers that want to start increasing their fibre intake, they can do so quite easily in their diet. Choosing a high-fibre breakfast like porridge oats, or adding pulses such as beans and lentils, alongside plenty of other vegetables to their evening meal is a great start. Including potato skins, nuts and seeds, green beans and courgettes are also ways in which consumers can top up the good bacteria in their gut. These non-digestible dietary fibres are a superb way to enhance or maintain microbiome diversity.  

Of course, increasing fibre and sticking to it day-in, day-out takes considerable effort. Recent surveys have suggested that while consumers make New Year’s resolutions, by the third week in January many have already abandoned their goals. Inevitably, consumers need help to help themselves. Fortunately, this is where our award-winning functional ingredient, SlimBiome, can support them.  

Our patented, scientifically backed weight management ingredient helps to promote the feeling of fullness and curb hunger cravings by gently expanding in the stomach to delay gastric emptying. The blend of prebiotics and dietary fibres featured within SlimBiome also stimulate the growth of health positive bacteria in the digestive tract to regulate the appetite, improving overall gut health. In addition, SlimBiome has demonstrated its efficacy in several human intervention studies, including the latest study conducted by the University of Roehampton, showing that it can significantly reduce an individual’s body weight, BMI, body fat percentage, waist and hip circumference, and systolic blood pressure.  

For health food manufacturers, SlimBiome is a low cost, heat-stable ingredient without any distinguishable taste and can easily be added during the manufacture of finished products such as snacks bars, meal replacement shakes, dairy and bakery products. So, if you are looking to expand your portfolio in 2022, why not consider SlimBiome? Not only does it help consumers to beat the January blues, but the ingredient’s scientific backing means they don’t have to rely on willpower alone.  

To learn more about SlimBiome and how it can make a difference to your weight loss products, contact us here.  

[1] https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/138677/ultra-processed-food-survey/

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/jan/08/global-spread-of-autoimmune-disease-blamed-on-western-diet

[3] https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing-fiber-intake