Dr. Fanny Lee presents exciting new research on WellVine™ using AI at Nutrition 2024

Dr. Fanny Lee presents exciting new research on WellVine™ using AI at Nutrition 2024

Sonomaceuticals research manager Dr Fanny Lee—who holds both a PhD in nutrition as well as the Registered Dietitian credential—shared results from the latest research collaboration between Sonomaceuticals, LLC and PIPA, LLC in a new poster presentation at the annual conference of the American Society of Nutrition in Chicago, Il, June 2024.

The research used artificial intelligence to examine possible connections between the 78 identified compounds in WellVine™ and effects on the gut. Dr. Lee wanted to identify any and all related associations between WellVine™ compounds and gut health benefits, thus setting the stage for more targeted research.

Why Wellvine™? The back story
Whenever you read about a health benefit associated with a food (say olive oil) or a nutrient (vitamin D, calcium) that health benefit has been discovered by observing associations between consuming it and something good happening. For example, walnut consumption is associated with lower levels of inflammation, which is a great benefit. Olive oil consumption is associated with longer life. Fish is associated with various measures of brain health.

Sonomaceuticals has long been devoted to producing products that meet three criteria: Does it offer health benefits? Does it taste really good? And, equally important, is it sustainable? They believed that we, as a country and as a planet, were inadvertently discarding many compounds in the natural universe that likely had unexplored health benefits. After comparing several popular wine grape varietals, they hit gold when they discovered coastal Chardonnay grapes.

Unappreciated and largely ignored as a health food, these popular grapes are primarily used to make one of the most popular wines in the world—the eponymous Chardonnay wine.

It's estimated that in the US alone, over 1 million tons of grape pomace, or marc--- which is simply the unused skins, seeds and stems of the grapes—are discarded yearly. But this pomace has been increasingly recognized for its potential value, containing high levels of beneficial compounds like polyphenols and dietary fibers, which can be utilized in various applications from biochar production to food additives, thus promoting sustainability and reducing waste.

Enter WellVine™
Sonomaceuticals has taken this previously unappreciated treasure and produced a fully upcycled product—WellVine™--, the only ingredient of which is pressed coastal Chardonnay grapes.

And what a nutritional goldmine it is turning out to be. Much research-- -notably at the USDA and the University of California Davis--- has revealed that pressed Chardonnay grapes from a particular part of the northern California coast, are a virtual treasure chest of nutrients. WellVine™'s molecular composition of 78 oligosaccharides, phenolics, and procyanidins offers enormous promise for gut health brain health.

Dr. Lee worked closely with a bioinformatician from PIPA, LLC which used their AI platform, called LEAP™, which uses the vast wealth of publicly available scientific publications, and many databases available to identify associations between the compounds found in WellVine™ and gut health, specifically gut barrier function.

What is gut barrier function? And why should I care?
Imagine your gut, or digestive system, as a bustling city with a very important job: it's responsible for breaking down the food you eat and absorbing the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Just like any city, your gut has a strong defense system to keep out unwanted intruders. This defense system is known as the gut barrier.

And it needs all the help it can get! The gut barrier is made up of specific cells (mucous, epithelial), including the immune cells. In fact, roughly 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. The gut barrier plays a crucial role in keeping your immune system in check and ready to respond to threats.

Why this research is important
A comprehensive profile of WellVine™'s impact on gut barrier function was generated in the analysis, and 28 compounds were found to have a positive impact, including 11 oligosaccharides, 2 procyanidins, and 15 phenolics. These compounds have diverse mechanisms of action, including modulation of gut tissue and mucus structure, immunity and inflammation signaling pathways, and the gut microbiome.

We at Sonomaceuticals are incredibly proud of our WellVine™ nutritional product, which can be added to all kinds of foods, increasing their health benefits and serving as prebiotic fiber for the "good guy" bacteria that live in your gut and contribute to the health of the microbiome.

And in addition, WellVine™ turns out to provide an entirely unexpected side benefit—it makes foods taste better!

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