Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, September 2013

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editor's page 40 Years of Science. What's Changed? The Council for Responsible Nutrition, the supplement industry's leading trade association, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. CRN's tagline has long been "The Science Behind the Supplements." So, we thought it appropriate to get the association's take on how the supplement industry's scientifc landscape has evolved through the decades. Compare the industry's scientific environment back when CRN first started to the environment today. Duffy MacKay, ND, vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs: I don't know if we can correlate it exactly to the 40year window, but, in general, in the early days, in the 1970s and 1980s, there was a lot of preliminary in vitro and in vivo—so, animal studies and cell studies—as well as some large epidemiological studies that pointed towards a very protective efect of nutrients in chronic disease areas. Tis created real excitement. Ten, there was a second wave of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to try to validate some of the fndings—and we started to see a lot of mixed results, both positive and negative. And that, I think, really began to mitigate people's expectations. Tey began thinking, "Well, we obviously didn't fnd the miracle to the fountain of youth—but far as the science goes, there's a lot going on here." And so, in general, we went from this initial super excitement to being a little bit more sober and coming to the realization that there is a lot more at play here than just, "Take this vitamin, and get this beneft." Do companies today have a different minset about investing in research compared to back then? MacKay: After some of the large-scale RCT results didn't come out as "home runs," and trials like the SELECT trial started shining some light on the fact that results may depend on the diferent forms of vitamins, etc., individual companies said, "Well, it's really important that we back up our individual product. We should mount evidence to show that, in fact, our product will provide our consumer with the benefts we claim." 10 magenta cyan yellow black Has the industry gained more credibility with consumers and regulators by investing more in science? Steve Mister, president and CEO: Absolutely. Te science is ultimately what's going to champion the industry. And it's a reminder to companies that they have to invest in science. Companies that invest in science not only grow their sales, but they do so on a long-term, sustained basis. You will see the fad products come and go, whether it's hoodia or raspberry ketones. Yes, you can get into the industry, and you can make some money quickly without a lot of science, but the products that really grow, and sustain growth, are things like omega-3 fsh oils and vitamin D and calcium— ingredients that have really strong science behind them. Companies that are investing in their science are able to gain credibility with a broader range of audiences. Take the category of probiotics. Tere are many gastroenterologists and dieticians and integrative technicians who are very interested in using probiotics. But they hear that drumbeat [in the media, falsely implying] that supplements aren't regulated. So, when it becomes their own personal choice of whether or not to use that product in practice, they're going to gravitate to the company who can come and say, "We have worked out the science; we've invested in stability studies; we've invested in efcacy studies. Plus, our quality control is top-notch." How does CRN aim to ensure both sides of supplement science are heard in the media? Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications: When a researcher is promoting his study in such a way to draw attention to it, but not also presenting the limitations of the study, we view our role as providing another perspective. Maybe we need to go back to the way it was many years ago when there was the opportunity for scientists to frst assess the meaning of a study, in thoughtful, scientifc symposiums, rather than a great rush to get things out under embargo. Tere used to be an opportunity for scientists to discuss what the science meant. Tere was a flter before it got to the public, and now there seems to be very little flter. It goes straight to the public. And I think that's unfortunate for everybody. Jennifer Grebow Editor-in-Chief september 2013 ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ES314261_NO1309_010.pgs 08.31.2013 00:09 UBM

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