Natural Products Insider

JAN-FEB 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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14 INSIDER January/February 2019 The sports nutrition market has expanded well beyond competitive amateur and professional athletes, but the primary certifi cation unique to sports supplements is banned substance testing, which was primarily established to serve athletes subject to drug testing by Olympic and pro league bodies. However, the value of banned substance testing also may go beyond this initial focus to provide valuable insight on quality and integrity for any supplement brand or product aimed at sporting and active consumers. Four main banned substance testing fi rms focus on compounds on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list and the lists maintained by professional and Olympic sports governing bodies: Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG)—Certifi ed Drug Free ® NSF International—Certifi ed for Sport ® LGC—Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport The Cologne List (Kölner Liste) As banned substance certifi cation continues to draw attention, and the testing programs continue to tweak and expand their offerings, what is the value of these certifi cations to the overall sports nutrition marketplace; and how do leagues, companies and consumers choose between the programs? A major factor in choosing the best certifi cation program is understanding what each one does and does not offer. Each program is careful to note no certifi cation offers a 100 percent guarantee a product is free from contamination, adulteration and, specifi cally, banned substances. However, these programs provide the market with a starting point for investigating which products are made with rigorous quality processes and are tested for banned substances. "Awareness is higher among certain customers, especially those engaged in sports at the collegiate and professional level," said Guru Ramanathan, chief innovation offi cer and senior vice president of GNC. "These customers tend to seek out products that have been certifi ed." Doug Kalman, Ph.D., senior vice president of scientifi c affairs for Nutrasource and nutritional consultant for various collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes and teams, confi rmed high awareness among his elite athlete clientele. However, the average sports nutrition consumer is much less aware of these certifi cations and what value they offer. "Probably at least 50 percent of non-drug- tested athletes do not know about [banned substance testing] prior to meeting with me," said Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., founder of High Performance Nutrition and trainer/ nutritionist to a range of active consumers, including professional athletes and teams. Kalman and Kleiner agreed the value of banned substance testing is essential for drug-tested athletes, but also can help the entire sports supplement category improve its reputation with all consumers. "Yes, cer tifi ca tion aids drug-tested athletes; however, at the same time, it can elevate the whole category as being more responsible and adhering to the law versus being rogue and a source of drugs," Kalman explained. "Now, more than ever, sports nutrition brands need this sort of independent testing." Longtime formulator for top sports nutrition brands, Bruce Kneller, now a partner in HiQ Financial Holdings Inc., argued banned substance testing would be less necessary in a world where dietary supplements have a high compliance with federal law, regulation, quality and integrity. "Free of banned stuff, certifi cation is essentially saying, 'this product meets cGMPs [current good manufacturing practices] under DSHEA [the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994],' which it must anyhow," Kneller reasoned, noting meeting cGMPs would mean the supplement only contains bona fi de dietary ingredients. "For me, I see this as added cost and expended redundancy." Oliver Catlin, president of BSCG and the Anti-Doping Sciences Institute, noted some legal dietary ingredients are banned by WADA and various sports leagues, so the obvious is value for anyone subjected to anti-doping testing, as well as anyone interested in not ingesting banned performance-enhancing substances. The educational effort to increase awareness and understanding of banned substance certifi cation has been step-by-step, with more ground to cover going forward. "Certifying bodies have put a lot of effort in educating brand owners, and to a limited extent, professional sports leagues," Ramanathan reported, noting this was a critical fi rst step and needs to continue. "They should now increase their focus and spend more time at the school and collegiate level, signifi cantly increasing their efforts on educating parents, students and coaches at the school and collegiate level." Sports N utrition: Banned Substance Testing Banned Substance Testing Programs Provide Extended Value to the Sports Nutrition Market by Steve Myers Learn more about banned substance testing programs For a deeper look at the awareness of and value from banned substance testing certifi cation, as well as how brands choose such programs, how programs are improving and e xpanding, and how grey areas of ingredients challenge these programs, check out the full article online. provide-extended-value-sports-nutrition-market Scan Here Yes, certification aids drug-tested athletes; however, at the same time, it can elevate the whole category as being more responsible and adhering to the law versus being rogue and a source of drugs. Now, more than ever, sports nutrition brands need this sort of independent testing. – Doug Kalman, Ph.D., senior vice president of scientific affairs, Nutrasource

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