Dr Jeff Bland: ‘The future of dietary supplements is to marry itself into this scientific wellness revolution’

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dietary supplements Human Dietary supplement

Technological advances, from genomic testing to real-time data collection from wearables, will open up new opportunities for dietary supplements as wellness moves from a disease-centric to a health-centric model, says Dr Jeffrey Bland.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute’s recent 4th Annual Thought Leaders Consortium in Phoenix, AZ Dr Bland gave us his insights into where dietary supplements fit into the brave new world of personalization.

“As we’re beginning to understand in real time how a person is functioning with this new technology that’s available of wearables and biometrics, we’ll have the opportunity to fine tune on a continuous basis a person’s health, which then gets into lifestyle principles, diet, exercise – these are modifiable things – and nutritional supplements,” ​said Dr Bland.

“I see the future of nutritional supplements becoming science based around ‘scientific wellness’ that is going to depend upon these new technologies, and moves away from a disease-centric model into a health-centric position.

“I think the future of the dietary supplement industry is to marry itself into this scientific wellness revolution.”

The regulatory issue

But while the science takes massive leaps forward every year, the technology becomes more accurate, more rapid, and more affordable, investment flows and consumers gain better understanding of the possibilities, the potential stick in the spokes are the regulators.

“One of the barriers we’re seeing that retards the acceptance and development of this concept of scientific wellness is the whole nature of the regulatory framework that is still caught up in the disease-centric pharmaceutical model,” ​explained Dr Bland. “I think however we’re seeing a significant transition in this bifurcation between food and drug, which seems like a synthetic boundary as the science develops, because we now recognize within food are all kinds of bioactive principles that modulate human physiology in ways that are very different from the ways we thought of food 50 years ago. I think we’re now seeing the science becoming so overwhelming that the structural impediment called the regulatory agencies are going to transition by new blood coming in.

“I am absolutely confident that we will see structural changes within the regulatory framework that are going to be consistent with the real new truth that is appearing in this whole field of discovery.” 

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