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Research backed nutritional solutions for a healthy life: Nihaal Mariwala, CEO & Co-founder, Setu


Nihaal Mariwala, CEO Co-founder, Setu on the importance of research-backed natural ingredients, dietary supplements and nutritional solutions for a healthy life

The future direction of the field of nutritional sciences is so enticing because today’s research that is conducted on nutrients is a modern extension of India’s deep Ayurvedic tradition of utilising nutrition to battle disease and promote enhanced quality of life. Today’s nutrition world is not about taking vitamin C to prevent scurvy. We’re well beyond embryological stages in this field. Rather, nutrition has become a sophisticated science that is impacting very important health concerns of modern India.

First, it is important to recognise that dietary supplements are very distinct from any other solution for health promotion in that these nutrients are so important that the body actually makes them.

Consider the nutrient known as CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone – – named after its ubiquitous presence in living organisms). This is an quinone molecule that is found concentrated in organ meats and seafood. And, it is also made in the body (approximately 2-4 mg per day). CoQ10 is essential for mitochondrial synthesis of energy (adenosine triphosphate, ATP) which occurs in an organised series of steps inside the inner mitochondrial membrane. CoQ10’s role in energy synthesis is that it is the electron carrier which is indispensable for oxidative phosphorylation.

But that’s biochemistry. It’s more interesting to consider that for over 40 years, Japanese researchers have steadily published research in peer reviewed, published journals of the importance of CoQ10 for cardiovascular function. CoQ10 researchers have demonstrated repeatedly that heart disease, particular congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with low blood levels of CoQ10. CoQ10 researchers have also demonstrated that consumption of CoQ10 reduces severity of CHF, which is most commonly assessed based on the NYHA (New York Heart Association) Class guidelines. Nutritional science that led to the discovery of CoQ10, an endogenous molecule; the findings that it’s depleted in heart disease (i.e. CHF); and that it’s supplementation reduces severity of CHF and improves cardiovascular health.

But there are always going to be some purists who will say, “I should get this from my diet.” That’s when we have to explain to them that a single 100 mg serving of CoQ10 supplement would require food equivalent of several kilos of steak or nearly two kilos of seafood every day.

On the topic of cardiovascular health, consider that the prevalent anti-cholesterol strategy utilised in medicine today are statins, which are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. These inhibitors block the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a metabolic step called the mevalonate pathway. The mevalonate pathway block does indeed block the biosynthesis of cholesterol (and this strategy may have changed heart disease treatment around the world). But, the statin blocks not only internal synthesis of cholesterol but also of CoQ10. This is why many cardiologists around the world recommend that CoQ10 be taken if you are on a statin regimen. This is an elegant example of where the Venn Diagram of pharma and nutritional worlds overlap to provide a statin+CoQ10 for a healthy cardiovascular strategy. Dietary supplement and medication are not mutually exclusive and often optimise the health condition.

Setu is a company that is committed to conducting nutritional research, and to date has made some significant contributions to the world of nutrition science – – particularly in the field of vision health. This includes peer-reviewed journal publications examining bioavailability of its patented lutein and zeaxathin (Lutemax, which is a natural extract from marigold petals); validation of an increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) by supplementation of Lutemax; creating healthier skin tone and skin-lightening- improving effects with Lutemax; clinically proving that Lutemax enhances visual performance and reduces glare. While the typical diet may have an intake of 1 to 2 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin per day, Setu’s Eye Max contains 20 mg lutein and 4 mg zeaxanthin per serving. (See references) A healthy lifestyle is always a dynamic equation, and Setu’s ethos in nutrition is the backbone of good health. There are finer forms of nutrients and enhanced formulations that we are uncovering through rigorous peer-reviewed experimental and clinical trials. Nutritional science has arrived and it is being utilised to smartly enhance health.

1. Juturu V, Bowman JP, Stringham NT, Stringham JM (2016) Bioavailability of lutein/zeaxanthin isomers and macular pigment optical density response to macular carotenoid supplementation: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. New Front Ophthalmol 2: doi: 10.15761/NFO.1000132
2. Stringham, et al. Serum and retinal responses to three different doses of macular carotenoids over 12 weeks of supplementation. Exp Eye Res. 2016 Oct;151:1-8. Doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Jul 15.
3. Juturu, et al. Overall skin tone and skin-lightening- improving effects with oral supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Oct 7;9:325-332. collection 2016.
4. Stringham, et al. Macular carotenoid supplementation improves disability glare performance and dynamics of photostress recovery. Eye Vis (Lond). 2016 Nov 11;3:30. eCollection 2016.

Author Profile: Nihaal Mariwala is the CEO & Co-founder of Setu, a curator of high quality dietary supplements and nutritional solutions tailored to supplement our hectic, erratic and adventurous lifestyles. He is a second – generation entrepreneur with a natural food based business in his genes, graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY with a BA in Government and History.

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