John Alkire, president of AHD International, said that although weight is a well-established marker of overall health, ensuring consumers are attempting to slim down in a safe manner was vitally important to the industry’s future, requiring greater focus from the industry,
“As we've seen in the past, the failure to conduct thorough and sound research on weight loss ingredients before their market introduction has resulted in countless health-adverse, and even fatal, conditions,” he told NutraIngredients.com.
The comments come at a time of uncertainty within the European Union for novel dietary supplement products on the back of new regulations for obtaining permissible health claims.
Daniel Fabricant of the US-based Natural Products Association (NPA) told NutraIngredients.com just last month that a general feeling of uncertainty over the research needed to make supplement health claims has had a major impact on the European market.
However, Fabricant also suggested that in the current economic uncertainty, a stronger body of science behind specific weight management products could be a major boost in pushing sales.
With the SupplyExpo event taking place in California next month, AHD International says that it hopes to play up clinical research into its ownLuraLean weight management brand at the show through presentation and debate.
Alkire claims that the show will provide the group with a timely opportunity to promote the potential benefits of its ingredients for weight management.
AHD International is not alone in pushing itself into dietary supplement development and research, with Ireland-based Glanbia announcing last week that it hopes to expand its weight management offerings.
Via the UK-based Glanbia Performance Nutrition division, established by the group in 2005 to target the sports nutrition market, the company said weight management solutions had become a priority of the division in areas such as whey-based, ready-to-mix (RTM) and ready-to-drink (RTD) products.
To back its own commitment to the market, Glanbia last year publicised a human, clinical study that demonstrated the Glycemic Index (GI) benefits of adding its Prolibra weight management to liquid meals.
Participants experienced a statistically significant reduction of up to 37.8 GI units when Prolibra was added to a liquid meal consisting of 50g of glucose, according to the findings.
In findings from the market analyst Mintel, over the last two years, the overall number of supplements marketed as dietary products appears to have fallen drastically.
The group said that in 2008, the number of new supplement products launched in the bloc claiming to have some impact on weight control fell by 50 per cent to 56 new products, according to its Global New Product Database (GNPD).