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NutriLeads’ clinical trial demonstrates that daily intake of BeniCaros helps support protective innate immune responses

Pivotal study published in Nutrients showing that Nutrileads’ proprietary carrot-derived rhamnogalacturonan-I (cRG-I) (commercially known as BeniCaros) fiber, accelerates protective anti-viral immune responses and reduces symptoms after an experimental infection with common cold virus in humans.

20 January 2022, Wageningen, the Netherlands. Dutch health ingredients company, NutriLeads, announced the publication of the positive results of a pivotal clinical trial demonstrating that its award-winning ingredient cRG-I, commercially known as Benicaros, helps support protective immune responses to a common respiratory infection.      

The Dietary Intake of Carrot-Derived Rhamnogalacturonan-I Accelerates and Augments the Innate Immune and Anti-Viral Interferon Response to Rhinovirus Infection and Reduces Duration and Severity of Symptoms in Humans in a Randomized Trial” has been published in the open access journal Nutrients1.

Conducted in collaboration with the Amsterdam University Medical Centre (UMC; location AMC), NIZO Food Research, and StatistiCal B.V. in the Netherlands, the BeniCaros clinical trial assessed how the food ingredient carrot-derived rhamnogalacturonan-I (cRG-I) impacted peoples’ responses to an experimentally induced mild rhinovirus infection. Rhinoviruses are responsible for common colds and impose an enormous economic burden on society. In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 146 healthy adults were given either cRG-I or the placebo for eight weeks, after which they were exposed to a standardized dose of an attenuated rhinovirus via the nose. In the clinical study, daily consumption of BeniCaros prior to the rhinovirus infection significantly accelerated protective innate immune and antiviral responses, resulting in a 20% reduction in severity of symptoms, and a 25% reduction in symptom duration. 

René Lutter, PhD, Principal Investigator at the Amsterdam UMC, who runs the rhinovirus challenge model in collaboration with NIZO, commented: “The impact of cRG-I on the immune response observed in this nutritional intervention study is the biggest that I have ever seen with this model. It is clinically relevant and especially exciting because fast innate antiviral and immune responses are important for limiting infections with respiratory viruses.” 

The ingredient cRG-I is a unique polysaccharide upcycled from carrot pomace, a by-product of carrot juice production. It has been developed as a natural food ingredient to promote healthy immune function as previously shown2. BeniCaros was launched for formulation in dietary supplements and functional food and beverages in the US in October 2021. 

Commenting on the publication and impact of the findings, Ruud Albers, PhD, CSO of NutriLeads, said: “This publication is the culmination of extensive work by numerous people over ten years, and I am grateful to all involved for their dedication. The unique design of this trial was essential to demonstrate that consumption of cRG-I as a dietary supplement accelerated protective anti-viral immune responses, reducing the symptoms triggered by a standardized infection with a common cold virus. With increasing awareness of immune health over the past years, the discovery that cRG-I trains the immune system to respond faster when needed, is timely and particularly relevant.  

These exciting results fully support our earlier findings with cRG-I2 and play an important role in supporting the launch of BeniCaros (cRG-I) our immune health ingredient. This publication is a significant milestone for the company as we progress in our mission to unlock the potential of clinically proven food ingredients”.