Tuesday 16 August 2022 – A lecturer of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chula unveils her research on high egg white protein dietary supplement Albupro Plus, functional food for health lovers, now ready for sale.
“Kidney disease patients requiring dialysis need to control a wide range of nutrients to slow down the kidney deterioration and minimize complications. This group of patients must be instructed by healthcare professionals on appropriate self-care, especially in terms of nutrition. In general, patients requiring dialysis need high energy and protein, but low in sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus,” Associate Professor Dr. Suwimol Sapvarobol, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University elaborated on the research on high-egg-white dietary supplements, “Albupro Plus” which can be used by both general consumers and kidney patients.
The Origin of Albupro Plus Research
Kidney disease patients are a group of patients who need to pay special attention to ensuring a proper diet, but nutraceuticals for dialysis patients are still available in quite a limited number of countries, and most need to be imported, so it is quite expensive. Many patients with kidney disease who have nutritional limitations lack the opportunity to access proper nutraceuticals.
“Most kidney patients requiring dialysis usually suffer from malnutrition because every time the kidney is cleansed, a portion of the protein is lost in the process of dialysis. The patients feel fatigued, lose their appetite, and some foods must be restricted. For these reasons, the patient can eat less, and their muscle mass and body weight continue to decrease. So, we want to help this group of patients.”
As a nutrition and dietetics researcher, Prof. Suwimol initiated the research and development of Albupro Plus to help people with kidney disease access nutraceuticals at an affordable price.
Albupro Plus — a Thai product that supports farmers
Assoc. Prof. Suwimol says proudly that Albupro Plus not only helps kidney patients to get the right nutrition at the right price but also supports Thai farmers because the main ingredients are all the domestic agricultural products, i.e., carbohydrates from maltodextrin from tapioca starch, protein from eggs, fats from rice bran oil, which are all the main economic crops of Thailand.
“We intend to help Thai farmers, so we choose all the main ingredients from domestic agricultural produce, which is considered the main challenge for the research team in product development. We started our research with the determination of the type and amount of nutrients to suit the disease conditions to derive an end product that is nutritious, adequate, and affordable to the patients,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suwimol.
Albupro Plus is for everyone
Although the focus of the research was on providing nutrition for kidney patients, Albupro Plus is a functional food that average consumers can eat to nourish their health.
“We developed Albupro Plus as both a functional food and nutraceutical that can be taken by healthy people and kidney patients. Apart from having high protein, it also contains the right amount of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which can be used as a meal replacement.”
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suwimol there are currently two formulas of Albupro Plus: drink formula that can be mixed with warm water making a milky drink to be taken between meals; soup formula that when mixed with warm water becomes thick soup with high energy and protein that the body needs and can replace a meal.
Pleading for the private sector to support functional food Research – “From Shelf to Store”
“Currently, Albupro Plus products have already been approved by FDA, and are now distributed as functional food first. The interested public can buy the products at supermarkets. The price is estimated to be 20 – 30 percent lower than other products. The product has entered the clinical trial stage among kidney patients so that it can be registered as a nutraceutical in the future.” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suwimol says
Albupro Plus product research is completed with funding from the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), and the Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (Public Health Organization) / TCELS under the Functional Food Research, Development, and Clinical Testing Program. After Albupro Plus, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suwimol said that she has been working on a research project to develop a functional food for metabolic syndrome, or a metabolic disorder in the body, to help people with health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, etc.
“If functional food research gains the attention and support of the private sector, it will have an opportunity to “leave the shelf for the store” so that consumers can have access to and benefit from a wide range of health foods,” she concluded.