Nutritional products that eliminate the feeling of hunger are in “high demand”: OptiBiotix Founder

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Stephen O'Hara, OptiBiotix
Stephen O'Hara, OptiBiotix

Related tags Obesity microbiome Probiotics

We delve into life science, the microbiome, self-care and integrative medicine in Latin America with Stephen O’Hara, CEO, OptiBiotix.

1. Can you tell me a little about OptiBiotix —  your brand, products and values?

OptiBiotix is a leading life science business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes by harnessing the power of the human microbiome.

Research demonstrates that the gut and its state of balance is intrinsically connected to health. It plays a part in matters of our overall wellbeing, such as how we lose or gain weight, as well as the management of our cholesterol levels.

The discovery that the microbiome is crucial for lasting health has changed how scientists understand and manage disease, creating huge interest in finding ways to modulate our microbiome and restore it to normality.

The range of products developed and supplied by OptiBiotix all provide tangible health benefits preventing or managing chronic lifestyle diseases including obesity, cholesterol and diabetes.

  1. SlimBiome, an award-winning functional ingredient, offers a healthy, scientifically formulated hunger-free weight management system rather than simply relying on willpower.
  2. Our CE marked medical device, SlimBiome Medical is a clinically proven, science-backed natural supplement to aid with effective weight management.
  3. CholBiome products combine natural, science-backed ingredients to help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. The product features the next-generation and patented strain of probiotic, Lactobacillus Plantarum​ LPLDL​, which has been scientifically proven to decrease total cholesterol levels by up to 36.7%, LDL (bad cholesterol) by 13.9% and increase HDL (good cholesterol) by 4.5%.
  4. SweetBiotix is patented, natural, low-calorie alternatives to sugar. Made from natural prebiotic fibres, SweetBiotix is calorie free with a clean flavour profile.

Products under development include both intense prebiotic sweeteners and bulk sugar substitutes, suitable for a wide range of sugar replacement applications in food and beverages.

2. What inspired you to launch OptiBiotix?

With increasing interest in self-care and integrative medicine — coupled with a globally ageing and health-conscious population  — recognition of the connection between diet and health has never been stronger.

OptiBiotix was formed to meet a market need for natural products that impact chronic lifestyle diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, cholesterol and diabetes. We recognised there was an opportunity in terms of the scientific development of the microbiome space and how this science could potentially meet the demand for natural products that prevent and manage such types of diseases.

Companies operating in this market are creating pre and probiotic products that help to assist in the management of chronic diseases. The combined impact of these health concerns is expected to increase in the near future, driving further attention to the development of new solutions. In fact, probiotic products alone are expected to surpass a market value of $50bn by 2020.

The aim of OptiBiotix is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations which modulate human microbiome activity and can be used as food ingredients and supplements, as well as active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases.

3. What are people's top questions when they come to you for nutrition and weight management support?

Consumer interest in the power of the microbiome is growing at an encouraging rate, and more are looking for evidence-based products that offer a natural approach to health management, without the adverse side-effects associated with many synthesised pharmaceutical treatments.

Individuals are interested in how our products work, particularly the mechanisms of action and their distinct advantages over other methods.

4. What are the top trends you're seeing in the nutrition and weight management market today?

Increasing health awareness among consumers and rising occurrences of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and heart attacks are among the key factors driving the global weight management market.

Consumers are increasingly becoming health conscious and adopting nutritious diets and workout programmes to stay healthy and fit. Manufacturers are accordingly reformulating products to meet the increased demand for low-calorie and reduced-sugar foods.

The demand for new ways to manage weight is also fuelling the development of weight loss and management products, with enormous potential for development and innovation, as well as offering new opportunities for brands that put nutrition first.

5. How is OptiBiotix responding?

OptiBiotix is delivering products that come supported by thorough science to aid sustainable weight management, as well as improved gut health. This is particularly significant in the current sphere of commercial wellness, as consumers become increasingly health-conscious, and natural, healthy solutions backed by science are in high demand.

6. Where do you think the nutrition and weight management sphere in Latin America is heading? What are the key opportunities and challenges?

The issues in the contemporary Latin American market very much reflect the same concerns and opportunities found elsewhere – individuals struggle to achieve sustainable weight loss because existing products are based around calorie restriction, eventually leading dieters to give in to food cravings. As such, products that eliminate the feeling of hunger are in high demand.