The heart of the technology is a delivery system that improves the bioavailability of the nutrients in the blend, said Steve Kushner, director of R&D for Victory Nutrition.
“We are starting with great nutrients, but the problem has always been the body’s ability to get the nutrients in and use them,” Kushner told NutraIngredients-USA.
Poor absorption is one of the criticisms that has dogged many forms of supplementation for years. Making ‘expensive urine’ is an old cat call from the peanut gallery, which the industry seems to have gotten past by simply ignoring it, using megadoses, and fostering the belief among consumers that multivitamins are a cheap form of nutritional insurance without delving into the absorption question too deeply.
Space ship delivery
So room for improvement remains, and claims of bioavailability improvements are nothing new. Even liposomal technology has been around for decades. So what makes the story of Prodovite compelling?
Bill Downs, founder and CEO, said the company’s propriety absorption delivery technology differs from more familiar ways of forming liposomes in several key ways.
“The closest technology to this as a prototype foundational model would be a liposome. But to compare the two, a liposome would be a World War I biplane and our technology would be a space ship,” said Downs, who has a background in nutritional biochemistry.
“The soy phospholipids we use in the technology have been charged with ions. Most phospholipids are electrically neutral, but we give ours a negative charge,” he said. That electrical potential adds up to greater reactivity and bioactivity, he said.
Downs said the company’s technology, on which it has filed a patent application, can be used to make multiple layers of encapsulations, the result being something they refer to as a protosome. The technology can customize the delivery profile, Downs said, allowing some nutrients to absorb in a time-release fashion. Finally, Downs said the company has perfected a mechanical shearing process to bring the ingredient particles down to tiny sizes.
“The current version of our technology was completed in June of last year with the addition of a kind of mechanical pre-digestion. It’s kind of like a super advanced well milling process (the company brands it as Low Shear TBJet Compression Process) that mills all of the ingredients down to super small, nano sizes,” he said.
Prodovite is a blend of vitamins, minerals and a phytonutrient complex that includes astragalus, decaffeinated green tea extract and citrus bioflavonoids, among other ingredients. It has been marketed as a general wellness product, but the company is also researching its benefits in sports nutrition, Downs said. The company claims the product is WADA compliant, though it does not list any certifications on its web site at the moment.
“I’ve been in the business for more than 30 years, and I was always frustrated by what should have been better results with good ingredients that were simply not helping people,” Downs said.
Telling the story
Downs and Kushner said they chose the network marketing model because the story of their technology advancement, and the benefits it provides, was something that was likely to get lost of the product was simply placed on a shelf in the hope that consumers would find it.
“It’s person to person transmission. If you look at any of the hot ingredients of recent years—mangosteen, garcinia cambogia, acai, goji berry—when a network marketing company put its hooks into that product it catapulted into market awareness. Network marketing companies have made a huge impact in the market,” Downs said.