NeuroSilk with Brain Factor-7 Promotes Healthy Mental Function
Luke R. Bucci, Ph.D., is Vice President of Product Innovation at Novel Ingredient Services, a leading supplier of cutting-edge ingredients for foods and supplements. Dr. Bucci graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1983. Since then, he has held key positions at a number of leading supplement companies where he has been responsible for significant product introductions, patented technologies and clinical research. Dr. Bucci recently sat down with Lee Swanson to discuss Novel’s innovative new brain health supplement, Brain Factor-7.
SWANSON: What is Brain Factor-7 and how was it identified as a potential nutraceutical for brain health?
BUCCI: Brain Factor-7 is a mixture of peptides produced from the major protein in silkworm cocoons called fibroin. Brain Factor-7 grew out of the longtime, safe use of silk as a biomaterial in humans. Think of self-dissolving sutures, and implants to help repair injuries as cell scaffolding. Interest in what silk turned into when it disappears in the body led to the finding of its breakdown into peptides. And scientists know peptides have many potential biological benefits.
SWANSON: The idea of consuming silk protein may be quite challenging for some people. How is BF-7 produced, and how do we know it is safe for human consumption?
BUCCI: Silkworm cocoons have been a food in Asia for centuries. Consumption of silk biomaterials has enjoyed an excellent safety record. Also, Brain Factor-7 has gone through safety testing with no problems found or expected. Brain Factor-7 is produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of fibroin protein—the tough inner core of silk thread—into a mix of peptides (short stretches of amino acids). The U.S. FDA has identified protein hydrolysates as GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe, so Brain Factor-7 fits this GRAS finding. There is no worm or pupa in Brain Factor-7.
SWANSON: We’ve been impressed by the number and quality of published studies supporting the use of BF-7. Can you walk us through some of the highlights from the research?
BUCCI: What impressed me the most about the research on Brain Factor-7 is the full range of ages in normal, healthy people representative of the general population. Children, high school and college students, adults from 13–70 years old and seniors over 70 years old were studied in nine separate studies. They were given the most-used brain measurement tools in psychiatry and psychology. Each study showed benefits for different kinds of short-term memory, learning skills and complex tasks, problems you see in IQ tests. The reproducibility of results—about 20% improvement across the tests—is realistic and “feelable” for most people, and not from a stimulant effect. Doses tested were 200 and 400 mg daily in two divided doses for three weeks—a short time for seeing results.
SWANSON: It’s clear from the research that BF-7 holds great benefits, but do we know how or why it works?
BUCCI: There are strong indications that Brain Factor-7 helps brain circulation adapt more efficiently to demand. Brain imaging in one study found increases in circulation and brain uptake of glucose in the brain regions used for learning and memory. Other research has found that Brain Factor-7 helps normalize circulation and glucose uptake in other organs. Brain Factor-7 helps blood flow and glucose uptake adapt to its demands in a healthy way.
There are other very enticing ways Brain Factor-7 can help brain health that make sense based on the unique peptide structures. To put it simply, Brain Factor-7 is very special because it is mostly repeated units of the two smallest amino acids—glycine and alanine—that give it Velcro®-like properties for protein interactions, just like the body uses for virtually everything proteins do. The peptides simply make receptors work better and more efficiently within normal limits. No stimulants, no overloading one nutrient, no strange compounds the body may not like—just working with the normal machinery to make it run better.
SWANSON: Who should consider taking BF-7? The research seems to show benefits for all ages, but are there any populations that should avoid its use? Also, are there any contraindications or negative interactions with other supplements or medications?
BUCCI: So far, children under 9 years of age have not been tested, nor have any disease states. Keep in mind you have been exposed to glycine and alanine your entire existence, so your body knows how to use these specific peptides. Because of Brain Factor-7’s mechanism of keeping proteins working normally, there are no interactions with nutrients, supplements or medications expected. One advantage of Brain Factor-7 is that almost any nutrient combinations make sense.
SWANSON: Thank you, Dr. Bucci, for sharing your knowledge of Brain Factor-7 and the exciting opportunity it presents for natural cognitive support. We’re pleased to be among the first to introduce this innovation to the American public.
BUCCI: Thank you, Lee, for selecting this novel ingredient for inclusion in the Swanson family of products. We believe Brain Factor-7 represents a new direction for brain nourishment and I know your customers—young and old alike—will love the results.