Health supplements are becoming popular all over the world today because they help nourish the user and could allow them to ween off from following specific diets and exercise regimes. Manufacturers of health supplements, on the other hand, need to continuously carry on research for ingredients which will give the desired results without any side effects.
In this article we will discuss one such ingredient which can be used by health supplement manufacturers with good results. This ingredient is licorice, and the specific ingredient we will discuss is deglycerized licorice!
What Is Deglycerized Licorice?
It is an herb found mainly in parts of Europe and Asia. The common name licorice is known to us mainly as a sweetener for candy, because it is several times sweeter than sugar, yet carries no calories. The scientific name for this herb is glycyrrhiza glabra. There is also a second variety called uralensis instead of glabra, and it is commonly referred to as Chinese licorice. Chinese traditional medicine has been using licorice herbs for years to treat coughs and colds, gastrointestinal problems and also female gynaecological problems.
The Chinese used licorice in such a variety of treatments not necessarily because licorice was the panacea for all these ills, but possibly because licorice was believed to be very effective in helping reach other medicines correctly to the place inside the body where they were most needed. The active ingredient in licorice is glycyrrhizinic acid. Another form of licorice is the one in which the active ingredient (glycyrrhizinic acid) has been removed, and it is known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL. DGL is recommended for patients who have a history of heart disease, or other complications of blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma or kidney problems.
History of Licorice
The literal meaning of glycyrrhizin is ‘sweet root’ in Greek. It has been used for thousands of years before the present popularity was achieved. In ancient Egypt, soldiers going to war used to carry small amounts of the herb which helped them quench thirst quickly. Tombs of erstwhile Egyptian rulers also were seen to have licorice. As already mentioned above, Chinese medicine has used licorice for centuries to resolve a variety of ailments.
Why your Next Supplement Needs Deglycerized Licorice
The research we did on licorice suggests several ailments which can be treated using this herb, but not too many evidences of side effects could be found. This makes it an ideal ingredient for health supplement manufacturers. Let us look at some scientific studies regarding different benefits of licorice.
Menopausal hot flashes have been a source of discomfort for women all over the world. A controlled study of menopausal women was carried out in 2012 at the Shahid Beheshti Medical University, using licorice root. Two sets of women were used, one to whom licorice root was administered, and the other to whom a placebo was given. The women who were given licorice root experienced significant in the frequency and severity of occurance of hot flashes. How this works is that during menopause, there is a serious fall in oestrogen levels in a woman’s body, which gives her those hot flashes. Licorice activates the compounds that activate oestrogen receptors, therefore the levels of oestrogen in the body can be boosted. Additionally, licorice has been seen to have beneficial effects for alleviating the pain of menstrual cramps and during premenstrual syndrome. The only possible side effect could be if the woman taking a health supplement which contains licorice has problems with her heart, in which case physician’s advice is advised.
Today’s hectic lifestyle often leaves people feeling tired and listless not only at the end of a long day, but sometimes also during the day. This could be caused by adrenal fatigue. There are two small glands near our kidneys, called the adrenal glands. They are the source of a hormone called cortisol, which is a stress buster. The fatigue that we observe is often due to a disturbance in the levels of cortisol due to continued stress. The glycyrrhizic acid in deglycerized licorice helps to inhibit the breakdown of cortisol, thereby helping to control the feeling of exhaustion due to stress. A health supplement manufacturer can easily plan to use licorice as an ingredient in any health supplement which controls stress and boosts energy levels.
This is the common name for a condition called intestinal permeability in which undigested particles can pass from the intestines into the blood stream. This happens because the gateways between the walls of the intestines and the bloodstream get weakened, and allow undigested proteins to pass through into the bloodstream. This is another ailment in which licorice roots have been found beneficial. This is achieved by enhancing the body’s inherent capability of maintaining a thick layer of mucous on the insides of the intestinal tube.
Licorice has been seen to have several beneficial effects in improving the general immunity of the human body. It has several antiviral properties. This is because it helps boost the levels of interferon in the body. Therefore it can be a great addition to any health supplement which aims to improve the general well-being of the body.
The effect of licorice on the mucous linings on the inside of the intestine, as explained above, also helps licorice to loosen the mucous linings of the respiratory tract and helps us expel the additional mucous which is the cause of distress and irritability during a cold.
Licorice has natural laxative properties, so it can be easily used in a health supplement designed to ease the bowel movements. We couldn’t find any scientific study to prove this, but people have reported great benefits for reducing constipation after eating black licorice.
This might not be of use in a specific health supplement, but studies have proved that licorice not only helps protect cancer inducing DNA but it also helps to fight and kill cancer cells.
The Final Verdict
We have seen several ailments which have reported good results on being treated with DGL. Since the glycyrrhizinic acid is the cause for most of the undesirable side effects, therefore using deglycerized licorice in the manufacture of health supplements can be a good way to present the benefits of DGL to users. DGL will contain all the beneficial properties of licorice but shut out the negative side effects like increased blood pressure, lowered potassium, for example.
But the user must be aware of and should inform the physician or health advisor about the other medications they are on before they choose a health supplement containing licorice. There are already several health supplements available which advertise themselves directly as licorice root extract or as a product containing licorice.
A manufacturer intending to use licorice must do the following before recommending their product :
- Select the specific ailments that they plan to address with their product.
- Check if DGL would have the same benefits as licorice with glycyrrhizinic acid.
- See what possible side effects could bring distress or reduce the efficacy of the benefits.
- Decide whether custom manufacturing or private label manufacturing suits their plans better.
Best Route To Market? ABH Pharma
There are several companies which manufacture such supplements on behalf of large health and wellness brands in bulk or for specific quantities. These manufacturers, like ABH Pharma, for example, can take up short or long term contracts for using FDA approved ingredients to custom manufacture supplements as per requirement. They have very high quality manufacturing facilities which can ensure the highest standards of quality control. The complete formulation process for the new health supplement would be handled by these manufacturers on behalf of the big wellness brands who want to market those supplements.
Choosing this kind of a direct manufacturing partner can improve the operational efficiency and go-to-market costs for a well-known health or wellness brand. The services provided by manufacturers like ABH Pharma is seamless, allowing the brand to be able to completely depend on them for quality, timeliness, flexibility in volumes and most important, great prices that can make the manufacturing partnership a sustainable model. When there is a raw material like licorice available, with so many stated benefits, and contract manufacturers like ABH Pharma are available for providing seamless service and high quality, then any health supplement brand would be happy to make plans for a health supplement formulated using DGL as one of the ingredients.