Probiota Champions: In conversation with Jarrow Rogovin

Jarrow Rogovin: ‘Dietary supplements are American folk medicine’

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jarrow Rogovin: ‘Dietary supplements are American folk medicine’

Related tags: Probiotics, Prebiotics, Dietary supplements, DSHEA, Jarrow Formulas

“Dietary supplements are American folk medicine, and it’s a fascinating one because it involves a lot of good science… and – very importantly – we have a regulatory framework, DSHEA, that’s rational,” Jarrow Rogovin told NutraIngredients-USA recently.

Rogovin, who recently sold Jarrow Formulas to private equity firm New Mountain Capital but remains involved as Chairman of the Board, was speaking to us for our recent Probiota Americas Probiota Champions​ video series​.

 “We hear about traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, you have African herbs, Arabic culture herbs, American Indian herbs, etc, etc. Well, dietary supplements are American folk medicine, and it’s a fascinating one because it involves a lot of good science,” ​he said.

“It incorporates from the other traditions. It tries to find out more specifically how it works, what works, what doesn’t work, what it can be combined with, and – very importantly – we have a regulatory framework, DSHEA, that’s rational. Europe is completely irrational and restrictive.

“America has a pretty honest, rational regulation. It’s extraordinary. It’s actually allowing the science and the category to develop.”

A long career

In a wide-ranging interview, Rogovin also discussed his early years establishing Jarrow Formulas and Jarrow Industries, how he first got interested in probiotics, the mentor role played by Institut Rosell’s Dr Edouard Brochu, his founding of the International Probiotics Association (IPA), and what excites him about the future of probiotics and prebiotics.  

“Prebiotics have barely scratched the surface,” ​he said. “What is the ideal prebiotic with a certain probiotic? There’s been very little work on the specificity there. There’s been much more work on probiotics having clinical effects. But what pre-pro combination would have a better effect against, say, IBS? We don’t know.

“There’s also phages. These can also have fascinating effects against diseases. There’s a tremendous field of the microcosm ahead of us.”

We also asked Rogovin what he was most proud of from his long career in the industry? “Founding the IPA,”​ he said. “I realty believe they’re the most respected trade association by the FDA. My very strong sense of it is that they feel all they get from IPA is straight talk and straight science.

“And every October, until this virus attack, there would be a symposium in Bethesda, Maryland, of the IPA so the FDA can attend, and they always do. The whole thing is really quite exceptional.”

The interview can be viewed below.

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