Broccoli sprout for cellular health: Australia’s Ora expands practitioner-grade product range

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Broccoli sprouts contain high levels of sulforaphane.  ©Getty Images
Broccoli sprouts contain high levels of sulforaphane. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Sulforaphane, longevity, Broccoli sprouts

The cellular health supplement category has soared due to nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and nicotinamide riboside (NR) products, and now Australia’s practitioner-grade supplement brand Ora is entering the category with sulforaphane from broccoli sprout concentrate.

Ora, which was only launched about six months ago, currently has six SKUs addressing needs across immune, hormonal health, sleep, stress, muscle function, and general nutritional support.

The brand’s products are available in about 200 points of distribution, mostly in health foods stores and are also sold via practitioners’ recommendation.

It is adding six more SKUs to its range from end May, addressing common health issues such as digestive, immune, and cognitive health.

One of the new SKUs, Cellprotect Complex, addresses cellular health using broccoli sprout powder.  

Ora Cellprotect complex
Ora's Cellprotect Complex ©Ora

“It’s a longevity formulation designed to address DNA repair and upregulate glutathione production in the body, which is the master antioxidant. The product is also designed to support cellular autophagy, which is the cell rubbish disposal process.

“And how does it do that? This is from the ingredient that we have created, which we call the SIRTCell, which focuses on the upregulation of SIRT-1 and SIRT-6 and Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2),”​ managing director of Ora Health, Gabriel ​Perera, told NutraIngredients-Asia.

SIRTCell is Ora's trademarked powder ingredient that comes from 100 per cent whole Australian broccoli sprout concentrate that is hydro-organically grown.

It is produced using proprietary processes that retain the myrosinase enzyme essential for converting glucoraphanin in broccoli sprout to sulforaphane.

“The myrosinase enzyme is not present in all broccoli sprout…All broccoli sprout is not created equal, that’s the key point.”

Each capsule of Cellprotect Complex contains 200mg of SIRTCell powder, of which, there is 6mg of gluorophanin and 3mg of sulforaphane.

Sulforaphane works by switching on Nrf2 – a transcription factor in the body that triggers cellular antioxidant defense, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

Each bottle of Cellprotect Complex, which contains 30 capsules, is sold at AUD$39.95 (US$27.80) which is for one month’s supply. The product is available in bottles of either 30 or 60 capsules.

Sulforaphane also worked by activating hormesis, Perera added.

“Hormesis is good stress that we get from things like calorie restriction, intermittent fasting. The product enhances the effects of these activities.”

Other ingredients added are organic black seed, vegan vitamin D3 trademark Vitashine, vitamin B6, B12, calcium, zinc, iodine, selenium, and biotin – micronutrients which are said to be deficient in the Australian population.

We looked at the Australian population data to see exactly what nutrients Australians are deficient in, rather than doing a kitchen sink multivitamin,”​ he said.

Immune, digestive, brain health

In addition, the brand is launching new products for immune, digestive, and brain health.

For instance, it has upgraded the formula of its bestseller Immune Tonic+. 

Ora Immune Tonic+ Advanced
Ora's Immune Tonic+ Advanced ©Ora

Known as Immune Tonic+ Advanced, the new product has doubled the dose of quercetin at 250mg per capsule and added 40mg of zinc.

According to Perera, the product is designed for preventing cold/flu or for use during the recovery stage.

The upgraded formula also comes in a bigger pack size – in either a pack size of 60 or 120 capsules that’s equivalent to one- or two-months’ supply respectively.

The other two new launches are Bright Mind Complex for enhancing mental alertness and Debloat and Digest for gut health.

Bright Mind Complex contains Alpinia galanga rhizome ​– a plant from the ginger family trademarked enXtra. So far, there are four published human clinical studies on the ingredient.

Findings showed​ that it could increase mental alertness and sleep quality without causing side effects such as cardiovascular problems.

Other ingredients include Bacopa monnieri ​ingredient trademark BacoMind shown to improve memory,​ as well as tulsi leaf extract, and Yerba mate – a botanical from South America traditionally drank as tea.

Yerba mate is also said to increase fat metabolism​ and assist in reducing cardiovascular risk.

Perera said that the product was targeted at individuals after 40 years old to help them enhance their cognitive performance. 

Ora Bright Mind Complex
Ora's Bright Mind Complex ©Ora

Debloat and Digest, on the other hand, contains GutGard, a clinically researched extract of liquorice root that has shown benefits in relieving indigestion.  

It also contains fennel and digestive enzymes derived from plants.

The products are developed based on insights from an in-house customer panel.

“I have built an in-house customer panel, where we invite our customers across Australia either virtual or sit with me in person to talk about the products, the conditions.

“The conversation we have is around what are the core ingredients you see out there that you really love, which are the conditions that you do not have great solutions currently for, what are the things that you are excited about clinically that you have seen, maybe in your practice or in your stores, and from here, we think about the solutions, which has to be something exciting.

“From a formulation point of view, it is something that I can believe in and is able to deliver a benefit clinically, it is not just putting out a product for the sake of filling the shelf,” ​he said.

Recession proof

Asked how the company is balancing the cost of using clinically back ingredients and the retail price of the final products, Perera said that the approach was to avoid deep discounts and working with practitioners, as practitioner-recommended supplements were “fairly recession proof”.

“Material price inflation, supply chain pressure, and pressure from retailers who are asking for big discounts to make the products sell, these are real challenges. 

Ora Debloat and Digest+
Ora's Debloat and Digest+ ©Ora

“My proposition to the retailers is these are not cheap products to make, I don’t want to be under the pressure to compromise on the quality and formulations of the products. If you don’t want to take the range, totally fine, we will find someone else who wants it,”​ he said.

So far, the brand has been gaining traction from health practitioners, especially naturopaths. 

“In terms of inflation, health supplements, in particular, practitioner- recommended supplements are fairly recession proof, as people will want to invest in their health to stay well, high-performing in their jobs, have the energy levels needed to do the job properly and look after the family.”

“Our focus is very much on education versus discounting in selling the product. We don’t force or demand people to sell the products, its about having a conversation about the products, and I believe the practitioners whom we have spoken with at least, really enjoyed that approach,”​ he said.

Related topics: Formulation

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