NINT Explores Natural Solutions

The National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT) and Afinix Life Sciences Inc. are natural partners.

In 2013, the two paired up as they examined bio-activity levels – measuring the level of effectiveness in a supplement’s ability to do what it says it can do – in a number of natural-based supplements and the collaboration has continued to evolve.

“At Afinix, we are committed to developing safe and effective natural health products that are vetted by science,” explains Dr. Jaqueline Shan, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Afinix Life Sciences Inc. and creator of world-renowned natural cold remedy, Cold-FX. “We contacted NINT’s Innovation Support Program because we knew they could help us learn more about the unique properties of our Afinity Care line.”

Developed by Dr. Shan, the product line includes a range of premium omega 3 fatty-acid based supplements that hold great promise for the health and vitality of consumers around the world. The natural-based products have been carefully formulated to help people care for their heart, brain, joint and overall health.

“We know our aging population can benefit from natural-based therapeutics,” says Dr. Marianna Kulka, NINT Project Leader. “However, before these products come to market, we must ensure the effects of active medicinal components are fully understood.”

At the NINT lab in Edmonton, Kulka and a team of experts put the products through extensive testing. “We used NINT-developed molecular simulation technology to study the propensity for omega-3 fatty acid molecules to undergo oxidation,” explains Dr. Gino DiLabio, a NINT expert in radical and computational chemistry, also working on the project. “”Using Transmission Electron Microscopy, Dr. Julie Qian – another member of NINT’s Innovation Support Program – also analyzed the physical ultra structure of Afinix’s formulations.”

What the team found was groundbreaking. “We demonstrated that human immune cells can absorb these fatty acid molecules and effectively retain them as an important part of their structure,” adds Kulka. “This is something that has never been shown to this detail before.”

The results confirmed that the tested Afinix formulations have the ability to block immune cell production of pro-inflammatory mediators. And the studies also revealed that the molecules contained in the company’s unique products might have anti-oxidant benefits. Both NINT and Afinix Life Sciences Inc. were excited by the findings.

bp-arthritic-care_grande“Our next step is to test how effective these formulations are at inhibiting joint inflammation and health changes associated with aging,” notes Kulka. “Together, we will examine soft tissue turnover and production of pro-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and degradative agents by immune effector cells along with the ability to provide protective effects by inhibiting radical damage.”

The diverse team of experts in molecular modeling, microscopy, chemistry and biology will also explore the influence on the biomarkers associated with aging and tissue damage. “At NINT, industry partners enjoy access to our multidisciplinary team as well as the international research networks that we have cultivated over time,” says Kulka.

These features are all a part of NINT’s Innovation Support Program, which was established in 2011 and continues to assist and bring together industry stakeholders.

“The innovation support offered at NINT is unparalleled,” adds Shan. “We certainly have enjoyed the benefits of having state-of-the-art technology and world class expertise at our fingertips. It’s been wonderful.”