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FilmTec®: First International Conference on the New Frontiers of Food Integration

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Some of the most authoritative international experts in the field of nutritional sciences and bone metabolism will meet today in Rome at the conference “FilmTec®, a new way for an integrative care approach” in order to take stock of the new frontiers of food supplementation. The new technology applied to supplementation is called FilmTec® and is the result of a collaboration between IBSA Farmaceutici and the University of Milan, born with the aim of creating an innovative oral formulation capable of overcoming the traditional limits of capsules and tablets. Made up of a flexible and ultra-thin piece of paper of the size of a postage stamp (50-150 micron thick), the new patented formulation has the advantage of dissolving rapidly in contact with saliva, thus ensuring a precise and uniform concentration of the active ingredients, while facilitating the intake of supplements in any situation and under different conditions.

When a new technology is developed, the question is in which application it could be of real benefit. In case of Oral Dispersible Films there are very marked features that facilitate this choice. It is a complex new technology, where an advanced know-how is required, but which returns a platform capable of supporting different active pharmaceutical ingredients or components for food supplements”, explained Tiziano Fossati, Head of Research & Development at IBSA Institut Biochimique SA. The fast solubilization after ingestion in the mouth, the pleasant taste, the ease of administration without the use of water, the precision of the dose, are just some of the advantages that the FilmTec® technology offers. IBSA has already explored some applications, but we are convinced that the FilmTec® platform will offer many other development opportunities for a technology that is increasingly friendly to the end user.

Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of our body. They are considered central, since they are involved in thousands of metabolic processes, from the production of red blood cells to the maintenance of immune defences, up to the good health status of the nervous structures and energy metabolism. In general, vitamins as well as mineral salts should be introduced in the diet because the body is unable to synthesize them on its own. Vitamin D is an exception: its daily requirement comes only for a small part (20-25%) from the diet, while the greatest contribution occurs thanks to the effect of exposure to the sun. Therefore, if it is true that – to ensure the necessary intake of this vitamin – spending more time outdoors may be sufficient, it is also known that, especially among infants and the elderly, who are less exposed to the sun than young people, vitamin D deficiency is quite common, but even in sportsmen who train in winter there is such risk.

In the EU countries, insufficient levels of Vitamin D are found in more than 50% of the population, placing them at risk for musculoskeletal disorders including brittle bones or weak muscles (sarcopenia)” - clarified Jean-Yves Reginster, Division of Epidemiology, Public Health and Health Economics, Director WHO Collaborating Center for the Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Health and Aging at the University of Liège (Belgium). “Knowing that it is very difficult to achieve recommended daily vitamin D intakes through a healthy diet, scientific societies around the world recommend a daily vitamin D supplementation in a large subset of the aging population. A loading dose may also be recommended if there is a need for a rapid correction of vitamin D deficiency or in case of concomitant conditions which prevent the intestinal absorption of vitamin D”.

While the role of vitamin D in contributing to bone health and the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus is now widely recognized, new research is investigating its effect in improving training and sports performance. The muscle is a potential target for vitamin D, and it is believed that low levels of vitamin D in the body can have direct and indirect effects on training and recovery time after prolonged exercise.

Some studies show that low levels of vitamin D are associated with a low sports performance in terms of strength and aerobic performance and with a greater risk of infections in athletes, due to a lowering of the immune defences, with a consequent inability to continue training.

In general, the causes of vitamin deficiency can be different: from an insufficient intake of these substances through the diet – for example due to a nutrition which is poor, not very varied or restricted due to intolerances – to an increased need, as occurs for example in pregnancy or in the presence of intestinal alterations that inhibit its correct absorption. An effective solution to restore the right vitamin intake could be to take a food supplement which provides the recommended requirement.

Hence, the importance of being able to count on a new formulation, aligned with the expectations of the final consumer. The orodispersible film supplements, developed with IBSA FilmTec® technology, fall within this scope, since they can be taken in a simple, quick and practical way, without the need for water, while ensuring excellent absorption of their ingredients. Produced on an industrial scale through an innovative and highly technological process, the FilmTec® technology is today the basis for the development of four different IBSA orodispersible film supplements: Vitamin D3, Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, Melatonin.

These are the topics at the centre of the international conference held today in Rome, which saw the participation of authoritative experts, such as Francesco Riva, member of CNEL and Working Group Coordinator “Sport, Nutrition and Wellness” CNEL (IT), Silvia Migliaccio, Associate Professor at the Foro Italico University of Rome and President of the Italian Society of Food Sciences (IT), Tiziano Fossati, Head of Research & Development at IBSA Institut Biochimique SA (CH), Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton (UK), Jean-Yves Reginster, Division of Epidemiology, Public Health and Health Economics, Director WHO Collaborating Center for the Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Health and Aging at the University of Liège (Belgium), Daniel Owens of the Liverpool John Moores University, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science (UK).

IBSA

IBSA (Institut Biochimique SA) is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical Company, founded in 1945 in Lugano. Today, its products are present in over 90 Countries on 5 continents, through the Company’s 17 subsidiaries located in Europe, China, and the United States. The company has a consolidated turnover of 800 million CHF, and employs over 2,000 people between headquarters, subsidiaries and production sites. IBSA holds 90 families of approved patents, plus others under development, as well as a vast portfolio of products, covering 10 therapeutic areas: reproductive medicine, endocrinology, pain and inflammation, osteoarticular, aesthetic medicine, dermatology, uro-gynaecology, cardiometabolic, respiratory, consumer health. It is also one of the largest operators worldwide in the area of reproductive medicine, and one of the world’s leaders in hyaluronic acid-based products. IBSA has based its philosophy on four pillars: Person, Innovation, Quality and Responsibility.

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