Coenzyme Q10 suppliers and manufacturers should follow the lead of omega-3 and probiotics suppliers, and band together to ensure quality standards and promote the benefits of their ingredients, according to a leading manufacturer.
The enzyme's sales have blossomed in recent years as its heart, skin and other health benefits have been publicised, but particularly because of its ability to address the co-Q10-depleting side effect of prescription statin-drug consumption.
But Kenn Israel, vice president of marketing at California-based manufacturer Robinson Pharma, and formerly of co-Q10 giant Soft Gel Technologies, warned that the good times could abruptly come to an end if the industry is not willing to band together to promote its best interests.
"If someone had mentioned three years ago that vitamin E would come under fire — would be associated with increased risk of mortality — and be 30 per cent of what it was then, people would have scoffed," Israel told FF&N. "But that is exactly what has happened, so our industry needs to be vigilant to make sure this does not happen to us. The GOED omega-3 group is a great example of being pro-active and our industry could learn a lot from them. We need to be much more pro-active in managing media and managing consumer perception and scientific perception than we have been," he said.
A coalition should:
- Ensure rigorous standards are set and met regarding impurities and isomers
- Educate consumers about co-Q10 health benefits and safety
- Cease in-fighting over issues such as fermented vs synthetic co-Q10
- Weed out unscrupulous suppliers
Israel said that while a co-Q10 organisation existed, it was engaged in academic rather than commercial work.
One major supplier, who did not want to be named, said the formation of such a trade group was a good idea in principle.