NutraCast Podcast: Mark LeDoux on industry opportunities, setbacks & FDA shortcomings

By Danielle Masterson contact

- Last updated on GMT

NutraCast Podcast: Mark LeDoux on industry opportunities, setbacks & FDA shortcomings

Related tags: Fda, GMP, coronavirus, Npa, Immune health, Efsa, TGA, nutracast

On this episode, we talked with Mark LeDoux, founder, CEO and board chairman of Natural Alternatives International as well as the chairman of the Board of the Natural Products Association.

The coronavirus has impacted every corner of the globe, including the dietary supplement industry. The pandemic has underscored just how interdependent this business is. With so many focused on immune health right now, we’re seeing shortages on ingredients, delays due to transportation disruptions and an FDA basically paralyzed in many ways after suspending on-site GMP inspections. 

LeDoux, who has over 43 years of experience in the nutritional supplements industry, said we need to look at the role nutrients play in preventing people from getting sick in the first place. 

“When doctors start seeing the role that dietary supplements play, as part of their arsenal, to treat these types of diseases and outbreaks, it’s a wonderful opportunity for responsible industry to step up and continue to work with the medical and scientific community to see if there are other substances that show promise as well because once we get through this COVID epidemic, there will be another epidemic in the future.”

LeDoux also expressed frustration with health claims, asking “Why do we have to turn everbody into Sherlock Holmes in North America to figure out what really works and what doesn’t?”

“What about the role of elderberry? Or what about the role of glutathione? What about the role of beta-alanine in muscle development? What about the role of vitamin D3 in protecting IgG? What about the role of all these other substances that have lots of research and we can't get the FDA to expand the review for the acceptance of what EFSA has come out with or TGA has come out with? I mean, these people aren’t living under a rock.”

LeDoux added that teamwork should be the focal point. “What we need to be focused on as an industry is what can we do in funding research, working collaboratively with the National Institutes of Health, with lots of different medical schools, and research organizations, domestically and around the work to see where nutrients will play an adjunctive role in creating therapies to help stimulate a more robust response to these types of predators in the viral or bacterial area.”

To hear more about what LeDoux says is holding back the industry, listen to the NutraCast. You can also subscribe on iTunes here.​ 

NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA​. Music by Kevin Macleod.

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