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Jalal and her sisters started up the OptiBac brand in 2004 with the help of their father, under the company name Wren Laboratories Ltd. Their dad had dedicated over 35 years to working as a successful community pharmacist to move into something with a stronger focus on natural health. They had all been blown away by taking friendly bacteria supplements themselves, and were excited to discover more.
Their expertise is in exploring specific species and strains. This is very important as research continues to show that different live cultures will have different modes of action in the body. They are proud to have introduced a number of strains to the UK, including pure Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12® and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®.
Every day, they receive excellent reviews for their supplements from people around the world, who tell them that their quality of life is just a bit (or sometimes a lot) better thanks to OptiBac. They are based near Andover, in the beautiful county of Hampshire (UK) where they grew up, and they now have a small office in London as well. Every day at lunchtime the team get together and the extended OptiBac family meets to talk about upcoming projects, and they also read one or two reviews out loud. Walking back to your desk knowing that somebody out there is feeling happy because of what you do, is the best motivation.
They have partnered with some of the world's leading institutes in the field, and are dedicated to developing an expert range of the highest quality. Their range consists of 12 different award-winning live cultures supplements which they sell on to health food stores and independent pharmacies nationwide (through our sister company and wholesaler, Medipharma Ltd), as well as direct to customers (UK and internationally) though their online shop. They have also recently been honoured with a Queen's Award for Enterprise, as a result of their impressive international growth.
- Your Health. Your health comes first. The reason they make supplements in capsules or sachets is that we strongly believe this to be the best way to take your live cultures. Many yoghurt drinks with live cultures have extremely high doses of sugar which can be damaging to the health. Light versions of these drinks often contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, a chemical believed by many to have toxic effects on the human body. Their live culture strains endure rigorous tests to ensure their survival through the stomach acidity and biliary salts, as well as to ensure their ability to adhere to the epithelial cells in the gut wall lining. These factors are absolutely vital in a trustworthy live culture.
- Enviroment. At OptiBac they strive to use the minimum amount of packaging possible. They make a concerted effort to avoid unnecessary layers in our packaging. The entire range is shelf-stable meaning more convenience for you, as well as no need to refrigerate and hence less energy consumption.
- Corporate and Social Wellbeing. At OptiBac they understand the responsibility of a company to fully disclose all of the ingredients used in each product. They have a policy of absolute transparency when it comes to informing retailers and consumers what ingredients make up each product, so that each customer can make an informed decision according to their personal needs.
- Charitable organisations and partnerships. They also strive to support their surrounding community. Wren Laboratories gives annual donations to Shine Charity, the association for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus, the UK's leading registered charity providing information and advice about spina bifida and hydrocephalus. As well they support lots of other organisations like Aga Khan University Hospital's Patient Welfare Programme in Kenya, Whole Planet Foundation , etc.