Exhibitor Q&A series: Akesi

May 28, 2024

Akesi provides five unique products to nurture good gut health and support overall wellbeing.  

Written by Elizabeth Biggs – Co Founder Akesi

Akesi first began in 2017 in Singapore by two Australian and NZer expat friends. Launched in Australia in 2022, and the products are manufactured in Queensland, Australia in a GMP, HACCP compliant and organic certified facility. 

History of the business

Elizabeth and Victoria first met in Singapore in 2011 during those demanding yet rewarding days of newborns and toddlers. They shared stories of health woes and together with their complementary views realised there was a better way to improve their health and of their loved-ones. Elizabeth and Victoria collaborated using available evidence emerging from scientific research which resulted in the birth of good gut health company, Akesi. The health-conscious duo are thrilled to be helping people make dietary and lifestyle changes to their gut health and body. 

Dr Elizabeth Biggs trained as a medical doctor and practiced in both the Irish and Australian health systems, she brings to Akesi a western medicine outlook of health and disease prevention coupled with the exposure of having lived in South East Asia for over ten years.  

Like many people Elizabeth and her family have experienced a fairly average profile of modern day chronic illnesses such as eczema, infant constipation, recurrent impetigo, candida infections, migraines and sinusitis.  

Modern medicine has quite an impressive arsenal at its disposal to manage these conditions, but it is difficult to identify a root cause in each case. Elizabeth like all parents gave her children antibiotics for all those ENT infections, skin infections and odd pathogens that cropped up. 

On one of the visits to the GP about candida; gut health, the theory of candida overgrowth and the candida diet were put forward as potential theories. This exchange piqued her interest in gut health and the idea that integrative medicine had travelled so far. To seriously consider the role of the human microbiota required a significant shift in outlook, was it possible that this mass of microbes had effects across a wide range of body systems and organs with a role to play in common diseases? This wasn’t what Elizabeth was taught at medical school 20 years ago, but exemplifies why the practice of medicine involves following new research and integrating it prudently with current practice.  

Elizabeth has only recently joined in the largely forgotten art (with some fabulous science) of fermentation, she has also realised that it takes time to ferment – and it is a labour of love – but it is the essence of probiotics. The aesthetically pleasing glass Le Parfait jars periodically appear in the kitchen with batches of sauerkraut in Elizabeth’s house. It is difficult to convince her children that smelly cabbage really is good for them, but there is no convincing required when her children ask for Akesi Tropical, whilst Elizabeth enjoys her daily tablespoon of Akesi Berry in a glass of sparkling water once her four children are tucked in to bed! 

Victoria always considered herself healthy then in her early 30s she discovered a 4cm lump on her thyroid. She had half her thyroid removed and was on the mend as she dealt with post-operative hypothyroidism.  

Whilst knowing that her benign thyroid tumour may have occurred regardless, she felt it necessary to promptly assess her and her family’s diet.  

Victoria realised that whilst buying groceries that were considered healthy, her family was inadvertently consuming chemicals and hidden sugars. 

On her journey to wellness, Victoria met with nutritionists, dieticians, naturopaths and doctors who each had wise advice to impart. She became overloaded with information so instead of worrying about what to eat she took control and along with her own research chose her own balanced pathway to health. From diet to sleep to the type of exercise undertaken, Victoria carved out a plan and it worked. 

As with all things, once you uncover one element that needs improving another one comes along. Victoria started learning about the importance of the body’s microbiome. Victoria learnt how to ferment at home, and together with probiotics and a healthy diet it made a positive impact. Victoria learned that a single course of antibiotics in the past may have wiped out a third of her beneficial bacteria and that brain fog may not be caused by running after her three young children but in fact an imbalance in her gut. It was slow progress but she now feels all those wonderful things like clarity and vitality.  

When her third child was born prematurely by emergency caesarean and developed Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC), her daughter was in the NICU for a month and received necessary yet strong intravenous antibiotics. Knowing her daughter had missed out on the beneficial bacteria children born through the birth canal receive, and compounded by the antibiotics required to treat NEC, Victoria agreed wholeheartedly with her Paediatrician’s advice. Beneficial bacteria were administered to minimise the damage to her baby’s precious microbial colonisation. Her daughter is now in school and has never required antibiotics for any of the infections that typically plague children. Victoria has her daughter on a plant rich diet which includes fermented food and a daily Elderberry Boost sachet straight in her mouth for that fun berry-sweet sherbet, not to mention good gut health! 

During Victoria’s journey to wellness, it felt a natural progression to research and subsequently produce her own bio-fermented and probiotic product line and so, Akesi Probiotic+ Powders and Bio-Fermented Tonics were born. These days, after being woken by her children, she starts her day with warm lemon water and a shot Akesi Turmeric followed by her green smoothie, and an action-packed day ahead. 

Product highlights

  • The Akesi range was developed to work for the busy family and can be enjoyed any time of day, with or without food.  
  • There is an Akesi for all ages and all palates 
  • Akesi is a food as medicine approach – no gummies and extra fillers 
  • Akesi uses a science-forward approach and includes pre-, pro-, post- biotics as well as polyphenols  
  • Akesi’s reputation speaks for itself. The company has a strong track record of customers reporting better health outcomes after taking the products.  
  • Nutritionists and doctors are endorsing Akesi and also buying the product range for their own families.  
  • The range of products are natural, keto-friendly, vegan, gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free. 
  • Akesi being showcased at Naturally Good:

Probiotic+ Elderberry Boost (NEW convenient sachet and pre-, pro-, post- biotic formulation)

A delicious prebiotic, multispecies probiotic and postbiotic powder in a convenient single use sachet. It includes polyphenol anthocyanins, prebiotic fibre in the form of Fructo-oligosaccharide, 10 beneficial probiotic species and fermented elderberry with postbiotic L. plantarum. 10 billion good bacteria per serve. 

Akesi Berry (reformulated to include polyphenols and a postbiotic)

Berry sweet and family approved! Replenish your gut health with a delicious multispecies prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic drink. Fermented with 10 probiotic species together with mixed berries to provide bioactive polyphenol anthocyanins, additional vitamin C and 10 billion good bacteria in every serve. Postbiotics include B. lactis and health promoting Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). Simply dilute one tablespoon of Akesi Berry in 200mL still or sparkling water to enjoy. 

Akesi Tropical (NEW product in 2024)

Gut health is easy with family friendly Akesi Tropical! Balance your gut health with a delicious multispecies prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic drink. Fermented with 5 probiotic species together with mango, passionfruit and pineapple to provide bioactive polyphenols, additional riboflavin (B2), Beta Carotene, and 10 billion good bacteria in every serve. Postbiotics include B. breve and health promoting Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). Simply dilute one tablespoon of Akesi Tropical in 200mL still or sparkling water to enjoy. 

Sustainable and ethical considerations 

  • We support Seven Clean Seas and the Gut Foundation.  
  • We follow and then produce gut health products inline with emerging research – pushing the probiotic space. 
  • Create month supply products that are far more potent than alternative fermented products on the market, and cost effective for families when compared to a RTD/FMCG fermented product. 
  • We happen to employ an all-female staff representing 5 different countries and cultures.  

Global significance in the natural retail industry

Probiotic supplements are seen as a convenient and effective way to introduce beneficial bacteria into the gut and thus have become increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers.   

Fermented drinks are convenient, enjoyable and deliver health benefits to the consumer and so we developed potent combinations. 

Akesi provides five unique products to nurture good gut health and support overall wellbeing.  

Akesi caters to all ages and stages – from birth to the elderly – and there is an Akesi for all tastebuds. 

Akesi products may be taken with or without food and at any time of day, which is very helpful for increasingly hectic households. One 500mL bottle is one month’s supply so it’s also better for the environment and for the wallet. 

Growing demand for products 

Fast-paced lifestyles and modern eating patterns have led to increased health issues and gut problems, compelling consumers to increasingly focus on preventive healthcare. Consumers are also shifting towards diets and lifestyles that assist in disease prevention.

This is one of the primary factors driving the inclusion of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics in functional foods and nutraceuticals. Other factors include increased disposable income and improved living standards. Moreover, consumers have become more aware of the benefits of probiotics for digestive health, and for improved immune support following the pandemic. 

Unique angle for business

Yes – this combines with our answer in the above question… 

Akesi is no longer a ‘probiotic company’, we have innovated and evolved with emerging science to include the purposeful combination of polyphenols, prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics. Akesi is gut strong. 

Akesi also understands that life is busy, the Akesi range is designed to be “food as medicine” and easy to include in the busy routines we all juggle these days. 

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