ZMC receives CoQ10 and Beta-carotene USP verification

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary supplement

Ingredients firm ZMC has become the first to be granted USP (United
States Pharmacopeia) verification for CoQ10 and Beta-carotene
ingredients, a move the firm hopes will help bolster its position
in the lucrative market for the products.

The verification mark comes under USP's voluntary Verified Dietary Supplement Ingredients Program, a third-party audit that tests the quality of ingredients. "Customers are increasingly requiring the knowledge that the products they purchase are truly of the high quality and manufactured according to rigorous standards,"​ said Scott Steinford, president, ZMC-USA. "The USP Verified Dietary Supplement Ingredients Program reinforces this message to our customers in a way no internally produced message possibly could. The key to any quality ingredient is how the product is made and not simply where it is made." USP verification ​USP's verification program encompasses both active and inactive ingredients in the manufacture of dietary supplements. Ingredients that meet the requirements of the verification processes can use the USP Verified Dietary Supplement Ingredient Mark on their products. According to USP, this helps manufacturers recognize that they are buying ingredients of consistent quality. In order to grant ZMC the use of its quality mark, USP verified the company's CoQ10 and Beta-carotene ingredients through:

  • An audit of good manufacturing practices, conducted in January 2007 at the firm's plant in Zhejiang Province, China

  • A review of manufacturing and quality control documentation

  • Laboratory evaluation of ingredient samples from selected lots for compliance with label claims and USP program requirements

CoQ10 ​ CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, which plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy in mitochondria - the 'power plants' of the cell - by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'. It has been studied for its role in cognitive health, heart health, and anti-ageing (in oral and topical formulations). ZMC, which only entered the CoQ10 market in 2005, now claims to control 30 percent of the US market for the ingredient, which it supplies to dietary supplement manufacturers in the country. The firm said its sales volumes increased by 60 percent in the second half of 2007 over the first half. Such growth has prompted ZMC to pinpoint CoQ10 as its business segment with most potential, despite the fact that the ingredient currently only accounts for around 20 percent of its overall sales. Beta-carotene ​ Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body. In November 2007, researchers from Harvard reported that long-term beta-carotene supplementation may slow the rate of age-related cognitive decline as a result of the vitamin's effect on beta-amyloid protein production. The build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits is associated with an increase in brain cell damage and death from oxidative stress. This is related to a loss of cognitive function and an increased risk of Alzheimer's. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine​ (Vol. 167, pp. 2184-2190), was the first to look at long-term antioxidant supplementation in relation to a decline in cognitive function that occurs naturally with age, and that precedes diseases such as Alzheimer's. Another study published last month in the Journal of Nutrition​ also suggested that increased consumption of alpha- and beta-carotene in the diet may reduce the risks of heart disease deaths by about 20 per cent.

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