SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North AmericaEU edition

Trends > DMAA

Industry hopes Olympics will torch supplement contamination concerns

By Shane Starling+

21-Jun-2012
Last updated on 21-Jun-2012 at 17:23 GMT2012-06-21T17:23:19Z

Olympic Games throw light on supplement contamination

The Olympic Games have in the past brought the food supplements industry to the edge of its collective seat – but not necessarily in fevered anticipation of the world-class sporting fare on offer as anti-doping scrutiny has raised contamination issues.

However better quality products, improved and more transparent supplement testing programmes coupled with more accurate and sophisticated anti-doping controls, mean the supplements industry – at least honest players – have little to worry about at next month’s London Olympics.

While acknowledging contamination issues have drawn unwanted attention at Olympiads past, Paul Brown, lab manager at reputed UK-based product tester, HFL Sport Science, points out that ever-heightened scrutiny around the nutritional inputs of elite athletes means there is a much reduced likelihood of a rogue product smiting an athlete – and besmirching the wider law-abiding industry.

Not that it is non-existent. On your marks: DMAA…

DMAA confusion

“Historically there have been issues associated with supplements and contamination and it is something that is still pointed at as being an issue within the sports supplement industry,” Brown said.

“A prime example in relation to that would be DMAA which we have seen over the last 12-18 months on the market,” Brown observed of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited stimulant that is also drawing regulator heat around the world as a potentially unsafe and illegal constituent of sports supplements – even for regular ol’ ‘Joe Gymgoer’.

That situation has filled ‘gym-goer bulletin boards’ all over the world with irate comment over the loss of a favoured aid, but the situation is even more extreme among elite athletes.

DMAA – which is often listed on-product under a profusion of monikers including 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexaneamine and geranium oil – was the cause of a whopping 123 doping bans in 2010 alone – more than any other WADA-prohibited substance.

“It has caused an awful lot of issues in terms of sports doping control,” Brown reflects.

QC support

But programmes like HFL’s Informed-Sport could offer peace of mind to both Olympians and the supplements industry.

“…the Informed-Sport programme comes over as a unique programme in supporting manufacturers in terms of avoiding potential cross-contamination and helping them manage their quality control processes in what they do.”

“…products not only have to go through a very rigorous testing process but the manufacturing site where those products are produced also has to go through a thorough review of quality procedures, cleaning procedures to ensure there is no risk of cross-contamination; a review of all ingredients used in that production site as well to avoid any potential risks…”

Once such a review is completed products are then able to bare the Informed-Sport approved logo, “which is a clear marker to athletes that it has been subject to a testing programme and therefore that can help athletes review their risk.”

While blind testing of products in 2008 revealed contamination rates of about 10%, serious manufacturers had little to fear if willing to regularly review raw material selection and production processes.

A list of products tested by HFL Sport Science’s Informed-Sport programme and found to be contaminant-free can be found here.

WADA’s 2012 prohibited substance list is here.

The 30th modern Olympic Games runs between July 17 and August 12 in London.

Related products

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Review: B vitamins, the brain (& deficiencies)

Dr David Kennedy

director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre ,...

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US”

Functional & sparking bottled water sales are “very hot in the US,” analyst says

Once considered boring by many Americans, water is becoming a go-to beverage of choice...

CV Sciences forges ahead with CBD development

CV Sciences forges ahead with CBD development despite regulatory uncertainties

Ground breaking CBD firm CV Sciences is seeking to shed the stigma of what...

Work on soil improvement leads to mineral ingredient for supplements

Work on soil improvement leads to mineral ingredient for supplements

Work in organic agriculture led Mineral Biosciences to the development of a “fossil mineral”...

NOW Foods CEO: Transparency is key facet of brand equity

NOW Foods CEO: Transparency is key facet of brand equity

Transparency has become a watchword among dietary supplement companies. Jim Emme, president of NOW...

The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

The rise of adaptogenic herbs: ‘These herbs help mitigate stress & we live in a stressful environment’

Interest in adaptogenic herbs is increasing, but how does industry communicate the benefits to...

Turmeric, matcha & mushroom among specialty teas driving sales

Turmeric, matcha & mushroom among specialty teas that are engaging Millennials and driving sales

Sales of tea in the US continue to climb steadily, thanks in part to...

FDA should focus on tainted products, GMPs, NDIs

FDA’s new dietary supplement office should focus on tainted products, GMPs & NDIs, industry leaders say

With the recent elevation of dietary supplement oversight from a division to its own...

How should mainstream retailers merchandise 'natural' foods?

How should mainstream retailers merchandise 'natural' foods?

How best to merchandise 'natural' foods? For some mainstream food retailers, a store within...

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

The ‘next generation’ of digestive health drinks? Rhythm tunes into consumer trends

Rhythm Health believes its coconut-based kefir beverages and snacks can be the ‘natural successor’...

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

A paradigm shift is needed to force delicate women’s health issues like vaginal infections...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

Professor Gregor Reid

Chair , University of Western Ontario & Human Microbiology and...

UK researcher backs supplements for omega-3 intakes

UK researcher backs supplements for boosting omega-3 intakes

Philip Calder

Professor, University of Southamption

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’ Expert warns wannabes

Beverage brand development guru James Tonkin has warned wannabe entrepreneurs that going up against...

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher, Loughborough University

Caffeine in small doses and during training may boost performance

Caffeine taken during training and even in small doses may boost sports performance: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher in exercise metabolism and performance nutrition

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Professor John Cryan

Chair and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience,...

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel...