by: Dr. Christopher Bailey, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Affairs at Vidya Herbs
Konjac (Amorphophallus konjac) was first brought to Japan from China roughly 1500 years ago. The use of konjac in Japan initially focused on the cultivation of konjac to make cake with a jelly texture known as konnyaku as well as shirataki noodles.
Since then, interest and demand for konjac products have grown around the world, primarily due to a constituent known as glucomannan, a dietary fibre that is described as a water-soluble polysaccharide, with applications for use in food, food additives, dietary supplements and cosmetics.
More recently, Vidya Herbs, a leading manufacturer of herbal extracts began to explore the non-glucomannan fraction of konjac as a type of ceramide known as glycosylceramides. Ceramides play a role in the barrier function of the skin. It has been hypothesized that consumption of ceramides from the diet may upregulate ceramide synthesis in the skin, thereby improving skin barrier function. The skin barrier serves to help retain moisture as well as protect and the architecture of the skin.
With this in mind, Vidya Herbs prepared a 5% glycosylceramide extract for use as a dietary supplement, Skin-Cera®. In a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 40 healthy adults were administered either 100 mg of Skin-Cera or a placebo for 6 weeks. Results indicated that the Skin-Cera® group saw a significant improvement in the overall dermatological diagnosis score at both 3 weeks and 6 weeks compared to the placebo. Furthermore, there was a significant improvement in individual skin characteristics including dryness, hyperpigmentation, itching and oiliness compared to the placebo group.
In another study, a grade of Skin-Cera® was prepared for topical application and revealed to have several benefits, including significant improvements in skin luminosity (brightness), hydration, skin roughness, as well as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as compared to baseline.
Skin-Cera® is an excellent alternative to other sources of dietary ceramides such as wheat because it is gluten-free. The ingredient provides benefits from oral consumption with an incredibly low material input of just 100 milligrams, allowing for flexible applications in various delivery systems such as capsules, tablets, powders and functional foods.
Vidya Herbs™ is an exceptional manufacturer of standardized herbal extracts, carotenoids, and proprietary ingredients backed by clinical research. The company offers many ingredients in both conventional and organic grades. The company’s mission is to nurture and restore the link to nature through the discovery of new resources while innovating existing ones from the vast array of botanicals the world has to offer.
Headquartered in Bangalore, India, the company boasts a global presence of not only sales offices, but also production and R&D facilities to better serve its customers. The company has nine manufacturing facilities in India, as well as one in France and Japan. The primary R&D facility at the company’s headquarters is led by K Shyam Prasad, Founder and Managing Director. There, ingredients go through preclinical evaluation for safety, the discovery of the mechanism of action, as well as characterizing the responsible phytonutrients within botanicals. The company has a continuous pipeline of novel ingredients for use in dietary supplements, functional foods and cosmetics to serve the constantly evolving needs of its customers.
Dr. Christopher Bailey, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Affairs, Vidya Herbs