February is American Heart Month and reminds people of the significance of cardiovascular health. Health-related problems constitute the leading cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year with the number is expected to grow, reaching 23.6 million by 2030.1 Based on World Heart Federation, 80% of these deaths are from heart attack and stroke.2 According to the American Heart Association, more than one in three adult men deal with these issues.3 Many studies prove that men are more likely than women to develop heart problems. But why heart problems are a male issue? According to research, the average man tends to pay less attention to following a healthy diet and is more likely to delay visiting a doctor until it is too late. Smoking, lack of physical activity, and an unhealthy diet constitute some of the main factors that contribute to the risk of heart problems.4 Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, approximately 14 of every 100 U.S. adults smoked cigarettes.5
Over the last few years, there has been an increasing interest in heart health products. We are finding that consumers across a diverse age group want formats that are easier, convenient and "bag-ready" - meaning that they can carry the product around with ease. “Drinks, wafers, jelly sticks, chocolate coated mediums...small shot bottles are all the trend now”, explains Dr. Esra Isikgel from the Sibelius Limited APAC Team. The Chief Developer and Formulator continues – “Heart Health is now closely linked with lifestyle so products that can be delivered via a functional food format, i.e., daily muesli bar, daily energy drink, etc. are all very trendy”. Seeing the increasing interest in heart health products, Sibelius decided to take an active role in developing Sibelius™: LactoMato. Sibelius™: LactoMato is a clinically evidenced, highly bioavailable lycopene-based product developed to provide ultimate health support in a wide range of finished product formulations. The ingredient is highly heat stable and soluble, making it easy to use and innovate with.
Cardiovascular health is one of the top health concerns globally for both men and women. This target market was traditionally represented by the 40+ demographic which have high-risk factors for developing heart-related diseases. However, the primary consumer is now much younger i.e.., 25+.We believe this is due to more general awareness around cardiovascular diseases (CVD), heart health, etc. “Over the past 10 years, there has been a boom in advertising, the applications of complementary and nutraceuticals to help with the management of CVD and general heart health. There is also a big uplift in awareness and positive buying trends amongst men. This is once again due to more awareness, social media, strong promotions by influencers, etc.” clarifies Esra.
The role of technology
At Sibelius, our ingredients are made by nature and powered by science. As we benefit from further developments into the scientific field of researching and assessing these ingredients, we’re able to better support consumers' wellness.
Lycopene has been shown to have a beneficial role in people’s health. However, technology allowed us to understand the complexity of lycopene’s bioavailability and subsequent poor absorption into the body. On the back of this, we were able to produce a patented complex to increase the bioavailability of our Sibelius™: LactoMato by 240%.
Looking ahead, Esra states “I am seeing that technology developments are making it easier to maximize new opportunities...new opportunities in novel delivery forms, formulation of new actives, etc. On top of that, there is better access to research and consumer groups”. With emerging technology in formulation, manufacturing, clinical trials and consumer focus feedback, we’re able to further understand our ingredients to successfully meet consumer demand.
Looking to launch an innovative product into the heart hearth arena? Download our Sibelius™: LactoMato whitepaper to learn more:
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1. World Health Organization (2021) 'Cardiovascular diseases'.
2. World Heart Federation (2017) ‘Cardiovascular diseases: Steps to a healthy heart’.
3. American Health Association (2013) ‘Men & Cardiovascular Diseases’.
4. New Victoria Hospital (2020) ‘Cardiovascular Risk In Men – Why Is Heart Disease A Male Problem’.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018) ‘Smoking & Tobacco Use’.