Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

Read more breaking news



UK re-opens tryptophan supplement market

By Dominique Patton , 04-Nov-2005

Supplements containing the amino acid tryptophan are expected to be reintroduced onto the UK market in coming months, following a change in the law that has banned them for the last 15 years.

Lobbying by the health charity the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) in 2002 prompted the UK's food authorities to re-examine the safety of tryptophan that had been thrown into doubt by health problems caused by a batch produced in Japan in 1989.

Based on the findings of a special committee on toxicity, the UK government will bring new laws into force next Friday that allow Laevorotatory tryptophan to be added to any food supplement as long as it meets certain criteria.

The criteria have however been disputed by both the ION and the supplement trade body HFMA as they limit doses of the amino acid to the "extremely conservative" level of 220mg, according to David Adams, executive director of the group.

He added that the law "compares unfavourably with that of other markets", such as the Netherlands that permits doses of up to 600mg, and Japan that allows 1g to be consumed in supplement form.

However further lobbying in parliament has resulted in a recent commitment by the health secretary Caroline Flint to review the dosage.

In a response to parliamentary questions on 28 October, she said: "We have asked COT to review its recommendation and any new information on tryptophan since June 2004, and this will be considered at the COT meeting in December. Depending on COT's advice the legislation may be amended."

She added however that in "the interests of consumer choice and safety", the food authorities have adopted the level and purity criteria originally proposed by COT, and this level will be adopted by the new law.

Adams said he still expected half a dozen companies to introduce low-dose products after 11 November. The supplement was once consumed by around 30 million consumers before being banned from the UK and US markets.

Known to regulate hormones and mood, there is good evidence of its benefit in people with insomnia and depression.

The law continues to prohibit the addition of tryptophan to food except for infant, follow-on, cereal-based or baby foods registered under PARNUTS (Products for Particular Nutritional Uses) legislation.

Related products

Related suppliers

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars