Called ‘BodyReady,’ the initiative will be launched at the upcoming Supply Side West trade show in Las Vegas, NV. Cypress Systems CEO Paul Willis said the effort will extend to one or more white papers and may include other deliverables. But that will depend on what the company hears from the stakeholders who have been invited to meet on the issue.
“So often before the show we have thought about what we are going to tell people. This time, we are going to the show asking, ‘What do you need from us to help tell this story?’” Willis told NutraIngredients-USA.
Cypress Systems manufactures SelenoExcell, a form of selenium bound to yeast that has an extensive suite of clinical research. Willis founded the company more than 20 years ago and in that time the company’s ingredient has been studied for its role in reducing the risk of certain cancers. That evidence has earned the ingredient a qualified health claim from FDA.
Untangling the spaghetti knot
Willis has emphasized that form does matter in selenium supplementation. The mineral is present in three ‘pools’ within the body, each of which feeds a different set of reactions. Willis said SelenoExcell’s organic, food-bound form of selenium has a unique advantage in this regard, as it can replenish all three pools. But conveying that message can be a challenge, even to highly informed people within the industry, he said.
“When one looks at the intricate metabolic pathways of selenium within the body, the result is a spaghetti diagram that would repel most people,” he said.
“Our new BodyReady platform is taking that complexity and turning it into scientifically sound messages that can guide best choices. By carefully examining the combination of selenium forms present in SelenoExcell, we can determine that it is an outstanding fit in terms of how absorption, metabolism, and partitioning of the trace mineral is orchestrated as the body successfully adapts to shifts in selenium intake and metabolic demand,” Willis added.
In addition to focusing on the specifics of selenium, Willis said he hopes the conversation will help to bolster the position of science-backed ingredients overall.
“We look at the industry from the point of view of where do branded and clinically validated products really fit in?” he said.
“Over the past several years at various industry meetings there has been a lot of talk about the low barriers to entry in the business. How do we weed out the bad players and really highlight those companies that are committed to clinically validated ingredients?” Willis asked.
‘Trace’ does not mean ‘unimportant’
Selenium, because of its recommended micro dose, is considered one of the ‘trace’ minerals in the suite of nutrients. Willis said it could be that the mineral has been ill-served by this label, as ‘trace’ could also be conflated in some consumers’ minds with ‘unimportant.’ Nothing could be further from the truth, he claimed.
“Selenium plays such a crucial role in many metabolic functions. It is critically important to the body’s health and wellness,” he said.
“Rather than focusing on the latest glitzy ingredient that consumers are talking about, we want to focus back on basic sound nutrition,” Willis said.
Attendees at the show can hear more about the BodyReady initiative at the Cypress Systems booth, No. 2432.