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Branded Ingredient Spotlight: MitoPrime L-Ergothioneine

This week’s Branded Ingredient Spotlight, I talk about MitoPrime - a branded ingredient supplied by NNB Nutrition.


What Is It?

MitoPrime is the branded name for the amino acid, L-Ergothioneine. L-Ergothioneine (EGT) is a naturally occurring amino acid found in mushrooms, black beans, oat bran, and is produced by bacteria from the phylum Actinobacteria. Humans are incapable of producing EGT; therefore, they must get it from their diet. The purported claims are associated with anti-aging, cellular energy, and antioxidant capacity. The effective dose is 5-30 milligrams per day. The ingredient is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in the United States, is approved by Health Canada, and is considered a Novel Food in Europe.

Research – D

Let me preface by saying the grade isn’t reflective of the ingredient’s outcome. The biggest issue is the lack of in vivo human clinical research. In vitro, EGT has shown favorable immune-enhancing benefits and has shown to be a powerful free radical scavenger. There have also been promising research studies in vitro being neuroprotective and being anti-inflammatory. Here is the link to the research overview of EGT. Overall, the research is promising, but needs to be completed in vivo with humans to confirm its benefits.

Cost – B-

The cost implication with MitoPrime is variable dependent on dose. EGT is very difficult to produce, therefore having a high price per kilo. However, at the low end of the dosing recommendation, MitoPrime can fit into formulas as a cornerstone ingredient.

Applications – B

Given its low dose and water solubility, MitoPrime is a versatile ingredient that can be used in capsules, tablets, powders, RTDs, and food items. However, its cost implication forces it to be on the low end of the dosing recommendation for complex formulas.

Pros and Cons – C

My Thoughts

MitoPrime is a novel ingredient for the longevity and health optimization markets. The cell studies are fascinating and worth taking a flyer on for product formulations. Ideally, NNB Nutrition will need to complete in vivo human studies to prove the benefits of MitoPrime. The high price prevents higher doses from being utilized in complex formulas. Fortunately, some of the animal research has shown EGT has low clearance and can last as long as two weeks after a single dose. Applications I would use MitoPrime include longevity, immunity, and general well-being. A multivitamin would be an excellent application for this ingredient, given its widespread potential health benefits.

Overall Grade: C+

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