Brightseed has announced the formation of a Bioactives Coalition to advance education and advocacy of bioactive compounds among food and health industries, consumers and policymakers. The announcement comes in advance of the American Society for Nutrition’s (ASN) annual conference, Nutrition 2023, July 22 – 25, in Boston, where Brightseed will host a satellite symposium on July 23, “The Scientific Evolution of Bioactives in Human Health, Current Challenges, and the Path Ahead Illuminated by AI-Driven Science.”

“Given the advancement in science and technology, the time is ripe to help build a widely accepted consensus on the definition and role of bioactive compounds for integration into dietary guidelines or current regulatory frameworks,” says Jan-Willem Van Klinken, Brightseed’s senior vice president of Scientific and Medical Affairs. “Bioactives are the ‘missing good’ in our food system and a core component required for proactive and preventative health. With the tools and research momentum available today, we can go beyond vitamins, minerals and proteins and begin including bioactives as an important part of nutrition and in modern medical education.”

The Bioactives Coalition facilitates interactions among food and health system leaders who champion the adoption of bioactive compounds into U.S. dietary guidelines. The Coalition also aims to educate on the mounting scientific evidence, advancements in research and discovery, and key perspectives to inform bioactive use and regulation in functional food, beverage and supplements.

Bioactives Coalition members include researchers and experts working at the intersection of agriculture, food and health:

  • Jed W. Fahey M.S., Sc.D – John Hopkins nutritional biochemist whose research on plant-based nutrition targets chronic disease prevention
  • Mark Hyman, M.D. – founder and senior advisor for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine; founder and director of The UltraWellness Center; host of The Doctor’s Farmacy Podcast
  • Taylor C. Wallace, Ph.D., CFS, FACN – principal and CEO of the Think Healthy Group; co-author of the first North American guideline and intake recommendation for flavan-3-ols
  • Katie Stebbins – executive director of The Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute at Tufts University
  •  Ashlie Burkart, M.D., CM – Chief Scientific Officer at Germin8 Ventures; Associate with the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Chef Robert E. Graham, M.D., MPH – Harvard-trained researcher and physician, public health scientist, food activist and founder of FRESH Medicine and FRESH Med U
  • Jennifer Kelly, Ph.D. – nutrition director at Food Systems For The Future Science has long known that bioactive compounds in plants and other natural sources are critical to human health, yet due to the complexity of understanding their direct impact on human biology, they are often referred to as the “dark matter” of nutrition.

Existing clinical evidence and AI-enabled advancements in R&D are contributing to reevaluating bioactives for industry and consumer health use cases. In 2022, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics led the development of the first-ever North American guideline and daily intake recommendation for flavan-3-ols, a watershed moment for the recognition of bioactives, which outlines 400-600 mg per day recommendation from foods such as tea, berries, cocoa, apples, pears and cinnamon. The paper, co-authored by coalition member Dr. Taylor Wallace serves as a framework for future bioactives recommendations, as artificial intelligence is accelerating new health insights and expanding bioactive sources quickly.

Brightseed’s symposium at Nutrition 2023 will take place on July 23, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET, and will include three speaker presentations, a panel discussion, and a Q&A with academics, government and industry leaders on the role of bioactives in human health and current challenges that prevent a universal understanding of their dietary value. In addition, Brightseed will also present a poster: “Nutrient Composition Analysis of Multiple Batches of Hemp Hulls to Help Leverage Their Commercial Potential for Unique Delivery of Dietary Fiber and Bioactives.”