The program was led by Dr. Alfonso Prado-Cabrero and Professor John Nolan, who is also the founder of the WIT Nutrition Research Center Ireland – a multidisciplinary group that studies the role of diet and lifestyle in human wellbeing.
Supplement Certified scientists and researchers have more than 20 years of academic credibility in the field of evaluating nutrition for human function after building unique expertise in the Nutrition Research Center.
Research by the team on commercially available dietary supplements, yet to be published, has shown that up to 65% do not match their label.
Says Professor Nolan, “Our mission is to help consumers achieve positive outcomes by supporting nutraceutical companies that make nutritional supplements that improve human function. The basic requirement for this is that the claimed active ingredients are actually contained in the dietary supplements that are sold and advertised for eye and brain health. The more products we analyze, the more amazing the results. .
“Our independent analysis of products and the ability to label a product with a ‘Supplement Certified’ seal of approval not only provide reassurance to consumers, but also to nutraceutical companies, who work hard to ensure that their products are safe for everyone Purpose. ” .
The team recognizes that consumer demand for nutritional supplements has grown exponentially over the past decade and that the industry is not officially regulated around the world when it comes to verifying claims on product labels. You would like to provide the manufacturers and distributors of carotenoid or omega-3 fatty acid products with an independent certificate that shows that the product meets its label requirements.
The services offered by Supplement Certified include providing access to global thought leaders in nutritional research and testing. The stages of the process available to nutritional health companies include extensive scientific research involving a delicate process of extraction, separation of components, analysis and testing of active ingredients, reporting and, where appropriate, certification of nutritional health products for carotenoids and Omega-3 carry fatty acids feature claim.
Membership allows manufacturers to have all of their supplements tested for batch claims, including a stability analysis over time to confirm shelf life.
About the service, said Dr. Prado-Cabrero: “It is very gratifying to see how our expertise in analyzing carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids will help retailers formulate their products and, most importantly, ensure that consumers really get what they want. what is on the label. ”
Prof. Nolan adds, “Our published research has already highlighted the problems associated with commercially available dietary supplements and the importance of recommending a dietary supplement that has been independently scientifically tested for effectiveness and label compliance. .
“Supplement Certified is also established to assess the stability of the product over time and will work with companies to provide advice on compliance with standards and labeling requirements when products fail after detailed scientific testing.”
According to Prof. Nolan, carotenoids can be oxidized particularly easily, which makes verification by third parties all the more important in this market.
He explains that the reason for the commonality of discrepancies between labeled content and actual content is that companies typically receive a certificate of authenticity from the raw material manufacturer, which may or may not be accurate depending on the company’s capacity to provide the COA and conduct the tests.
“Next, the materials are sent to an encapsulator. This involves dilutions and calculations to achieve a label claim with a significant risk of error,” he explains. “I’ve seen this firsthand now. Even with the best of efforts, there is no governmental enforcement requirement here to test the tablets or capsules made. The label is put on the product and sold (but without verification).
“Another reason for discrepancies concerns the formulation. Are the active ingredients protected from oxidation? In one of the products we tested, we see a degradation of around 85% in just 4 months to a point where the active ingredients (carotenoids) are almost zero were (ie no active ingredient). Hence the requirement to prove the shelf life stability. Again, nobody enforces this. There are ways to achieve stability. “
He says the team will expand into other categories of supplements in the future, but right now they “have a lot to do with carotenoids and omega-3s”.