NIU’s Global Round-up: GNC in China, EU turmeric quality criteria, and more

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Burak Can Oztas
© Getty Images / Burak Can Oztas

Related tags Turmeric anemia Iron supplements Gnc

What’s happened across the Nutra-verse over the past seven days? Stay on top of things with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.

Europe

European experts agree on turmeric quality criteria

Ten experts from around Europe including doctors, biologists and chemists have published a consensus paper to clarify the quality, safety and efficacy of turmeric supplements.

The Advisory Board on the Quality of Botanical Supplements consensus paper states: “The quality of turmeric, like all botanical extracts, depends primarily on the quality of the raw material and the purity of the extract.

“The procedure that enables the plant to be unquestionably identified is by DNA analysis or barcoding of the plant itself. Furthermore, quality turmeric is free from contamination whether accidental or deliberate.”

On safety, the consensus paper states: “Based on scientific evidence it can be stated that the safety profile of turmeric is very high. As regards liver safety, curcumin has been studied all over the world for years in dozens of experimental models as a treatment for the protection of the liver against chemical damage, caused for example by alcohol abuse.

“In case of changes to the liver function, however, use of the product is not recommended.”

For efficacy, the experts noted that turmeric has poor water solubility and is difficult to absorb, therefore limiting its bioavailability. However, piperine has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin and “improve the activity of the latter in the body, enhancing the amount of substance dissolved in the plasma and the extent of absorption.”

The paper also noted that one of the most innovative solutions for boosting curcumin bioabsorption is with a phytosome.

“The phytosome is a formulation developed by Indena to improve the bioavailability and pharmacokinetic profile of active compounds of natural origin using 100% food grade ingredients (lecithin),” ​wrote the experts.

For more on this story, please click HERE​.

Asia

GNC hits Chinese pharmacies with four newly approved products

China © Getty Images pakornkrit
© Getty Images / pakornkrit

US supplement giant GNC has obtained the ‘blue-hat’ status in China for four of its products, which can now be sold in Chinese pharmacies.

The products include 1) a melatonin and vitamin B6 capsule, 2) a co-enzyme Q10 and natural vitamin E softgel, 3) a glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and calcium capsule, and 4) a conjugated linoleic acid, green tea, and l-carnitine softgel.

GNC is partnering with Chinese pharmacy chain Renmintongtai to sell products.

Renmintongtai is owned by Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, which acquired a 40.1% equity stake in GNC in 2018​.

The ‘blue-hat’ registration is a stringent and time-consuming process for health supplements to be sold in China via the brick-and-mortar retail route.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

LATAM

Hemoglobin analyzer aims to reduce anemia in developing regions

EKF Diagnostics is dedicating efforts to reducing anemia rates in South America through the application of its Hemo Control hemoglobin analyzer.

The effort may lead to better responses to anemia, particularly for iron supplements.

Commenting on whether hemoglobin analyzers are used alongside the promotion and encouragement of iron supplements to reduce anemia, Katja Lemburg, Global Product Manager Hematology, EKF Diagnostics Holdings, said: “Yes, these two aspects belong together.”

“The immediate availability of the hemoglobin result from our analyzer has a motivational and educational effect on the patient as they can actually see the measurement and their result during the health check.”​ After the results of the hemoglobin analyzer have been given and explained to the patient, “iron supplementation can be recommended”. ​ 

For more on this, please click HERE​.

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