NutraIngredients-USA Global Round-up: A landmark year for supplements Down Under, omega-3s and blood flow in the brain, and more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / bluebay2014
© Getty Images / bluebay2014
It’s a global industry and there’s a lot happening. We know it’s not always easy keeping up with everything that’s happening around the world that could impact the US dietary supplements industry. The answer? Our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.

1. A ‘truly landmark year’ for Aussie supplements industry  

In a guest article for our Asian edition​, Carl Gibson, CEO of Complementary Medicines Australia, looks back with some pleasure on a great 2018 for the complementary medicines industry in Down Under.

Gibson explains that among the significant legislative reforms in Australia over the past 12 months, one of the most exciting is the development of IP protection mechanisms.

“[This] development […]represents a ground-breaking opportunity for complementary medicine products to gain recognition for undergoing rigorous scientific assessment,” ​wrote Gibson “ It was back in 2003 that the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System recommended to the Parliamentary Secretary that the TGA should convene a group to identify possible mechanisms, including data protection and market exclusivity on the basis that ‘a viable, innovative and responsible complementary medicines industry is dependent on research to support quality, safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness, and to develop new products’.”

“Incentivizing expansion of the research base for complementary medicines will encourage even more investment by industry into Australian research bodies,” ​he added.

“It has been a truly landmark year for the Australian complementary medicines industry. The new regulatory framework, resulting from the biggest reforms in 25 years, means that we have progressive legislation that encourages and rewards investment.

“We continue to showcase our high quality products in China, our major trading partner, and supporting our exporters to capitalize on existing and future export opportunities. And we continue our advocacy for complementary medicines to ensure that they remain an accessible and affordable way for people around the word to actively contribute to their health,” ​he added.

2. Omega-3’s blood flow benefits for your brain

Omega-3 brain © Getty Images Obencem
© Getty Images / Obencem

Also in the news this week were results from a UK-Australia research collaboration found that omega-3s may enhance neural blood flow possibly preventing memory decline caused by restricted blood flow or brain cell inflammation.

On the other hand, no significant changes were observed for mood or cognition in either men or women.

The study, which was published in Nutrients​ (10​(10), 1413), involved 48 people with borderline hypertension. The participants were aged between 40 and 85, and they were randomly assigned to receive either four capsules of EPAX 1050 fish oil per day or a corn oil placebo for 20 weeks.

The team found cerebrovascular responsiveness (CVR) to elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the blood (hypercapnia) increased by 26% in women. However, no change was observed in men.

Significant increases in neurovascular coupling were observed in men, but not women, and this was correlated with an increase of erythrocyte EPA.

“These preliminary observations indicate that LC omega-3 PUFA supplementation has the potential to enhance blood flow in the brain in response to both hypercapnic and cognitive stimuli,”​ the authors wrote.

For more information on this, please click HERE​.

3. European approval for sports nutrition trademark

Our last news to note this week concerns the approval of a European trademark to identify sports nutrition products belonging to members of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA).

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) approved ESSNA’s trademark, which is intended to help the public differentiate between products that may be misleading or breaking the law, and those that sign up to ESSNA's Code of Conduct.

The code emphasizes a company’s commitment to quality and consumer safety and making a promise to the consumer that they uphold the laws put in place for their protection.

Dr Adam Carey, Chair of ESSNA, said: “We are continuing to work diligently to improve consumer knowledge around our members’ products. The majority of the sports nutrition industry is responsible and law-abiding but unfortunately a handful of problematic companies still exist.

“We recognize that many uninformed consumers gravitate towards these non-compliant products believing their misleading promises to be fact, and that’s what we’re trying to change with our campaign. We are hopeful that our new trademark will go some way towards helping the public make more informed decisions.”

For more on this, please click HERE​.

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