Study Shows Novel Probiotic Combination 'AminoAlta' Facilitates Plant Protein Absorption


PETALUMA, Calif., Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- SOFAR Americas, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of SOFAR S.p.A. (Italy's leading digestive health company, Milan metro-area) has announced the results and publication of a human study demonstrating, for the first time, a novel combination of two Lactobacillus paracasei strains, trade named 'AminoAlta,' which has been shown to increase the absorption of key amino acids in plant proteins. The presence of AminoAlta can provide a unique solution by helping to overcome the limitations of plant-based proteins, so that individuals can achieve better physical performance and general health.

For a variety of health, wellness, and ethical reasons, the plant-based food market is growing five (5) times faster than the general food market and is expected to reach $25 billion in sales by 2025. Whether consumers range from sedentary or active individuals to professional athletes, more consumers today want to get their protein from plant-based sources than ever before. As consumers become interested in plant-based foods, studies show that they prefer combining their proteins with probiotics rather than enzymes.

AminoAlta's proprietary, patented blend has been scientifically shown to increase the body's ability to absorb key amino acids from pea protein. The more amino acids your body can get from food, the more protein your body can create to build muscle, strengthen bones, support the immune system, and more. As athletes become increasingly interested in pivoting away from standard animal-based whey proteins to more healthful plant-based protein powders, they still want to consume a product that allows for maximum fitness result. The AminoAlta probiotic strain assists in the hard work of freeing amino acids from their protein structure, making them more available for the body to absorb, and possibly in a comparable and healthier manner, as compared to whey and other animal derived protein powders.

According to Dr. Walter Fiore, Medical Manager at SOFAR S.p.A. and co-author of the study, successful absorption of amino acids in dietary proteins is assisted by microbial activity during host digestion. "Fermenting proteins in the gut release bioactive molecules that have a wide range of effects on human health," said Dr. Fiore. "Animal proteins are known to be more efficiently absorbed than plant proteins, and most plant proteins are considered incomplete and functionally inferior. For example, the popular pea protein is naturally low in methionine and cysteine and contains lower amounts of the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, which play a crucial role in muscle health, structure and function."

In the study, 15 physically active men consumed 20 grams of pea protein with either AminoAlta, or a placebo for two weeks, separated by a 4-week washout period. Blood samples were taken at baseline, and 30-, 60-, 120- and 180-minutes post-consumption and analyzed for amino acid content. Dr. Ralf Jäger of Increnovo, scientific lead on the study, explained that "those men who consumed the pea plant protein along with the AminoAlta probiotic combination exhibited significantly increased methionine, histidine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, tyrosine, as well as total BCAA and total EAA (essential amino acids) maximum concentrations (Cmax) and area under concentration (AUC) without significantly changing the time to reach maximum concentrations."

Gregory Bonfilio, President & CEO of SOFAR Americas, commented, "This study is highly relevant as millions of healthy-minded people — from vegans to flexitarians — embrace plant proteins over animal proteins, not only for workout gains and training, but to maintain lasting health. The rapid and unparalleled success of so-called plant-based meats, and the steady shift from whey to pea protein in the sports and weight management sectors indicates that our research in this area over the last few years is both promising and pioneering."          

In fact, a report "Plant Protein Market to 2027" by The Insight Partners released in January 2020, has determined that the plant protein market segment, which reached approximately $16.6 billion in 2018, is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.2% through 2027, to eventually reach an estimated $28 billion.

"As plant proteins often lack the robust amino acid profile of animal proteins, the accelerated transition to plant proteins has created concerns about the adequacy of the amount of amino acids available for the body to absorb. There are many subjects, primarily athletes, but also the elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, some vegetarians or vegans, who may need greater protein supplementation for different functions of the body. The diet, however, is not always able to supply adequate amounts of these macronutrients. As seen in our study, probiotic strains can help by acting as 'boosters' in the absorption of amino acids from plant proteins," Dr. Fiore noted.

Previous in vitro data collected by SOFAR in laboratory screenings of a wide range of both probiotic strains and plant protein sources showed that the individual strains of L. paracasei had proteolytic effects with pea protein. Yet, it was evident that the combination contained in AminoAlta was much more powerful and bioactive, according to Dr. Fiore.

Specifically, similar to the in vitro data, results from the new human clinical trial showed increases in AUC for total BCAA (+22.8%) and total EAA (+16.0%) concentrations after 2 weeks of probiotic supplementation. Additionally, the authors observed increases in leucine (+23.3%), isoleucine (+26.0%), valine (+21.5%), and tyrosine (+16.0%) absorption.

"These physiologically significant gains suggest an attractive potential for administering probiotic organisms to optimize amino acid absorption following pea protein consumption," commented Dr. Jäger. "Taken together, this clinical study illustrates what could be an important nutritional strategy, not only to improve post-prandial changes in blood amino acids, but also to overcome compositional shortcomings of plant proteins."

"The particularly positive results from this new study are informing the design and endpoints of our next two human clinical trials," added Bonfilio of SOFAR Americas. "For the industry, this rather unknown and unsung activity of probiotics should create an entirely new potential for plant-based proteins, as well as paving the way for efficacious and meaningful probiotic strain applications."

The full study manuscript is published in Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins and can be found here:

The AminoAlta probiotic is patented and patent-pending and will soon be ready for market consumption. To learn more about AminoAlta and how this probiotic strain can help you achieve your fitness goals, please visit:


Jäger R, Zaragoza J, Purpura M, et al. "Probiotic Administration Increases Amino Acid Absorption from Plant Protein: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Double-Blind, Multicenter, Crossover Study" Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins, ©The Authors, 01 May 2020

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

About SOFAR Americas, Inc.
SOFAR Americas, Inc. is owned by Italy's leading digestive health pharmaceutical and nutritional company, SOFAR S.p.A., with nearly 50 years of experience producing branded pharmaceuticals, medical devices and dietary supplements of the highest quality. Expertise, flexibility and innovation are the guiding values that allow for the design, development, production and distribution of unique products for human health and wellness.

Media Contact:
Kara Schmiemann-McCoy | Studio PR | 570-441-4793 |

Technical Contact:
Gregory Bonfilio | SOFAR Americas, Inc. | (707) 769-0852 |


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