Weight-loss supplements are not merely getting hit up by regulatory bodies for alleged safety infractions (Hydroxycut), but fully 46 per cent of all industry executives at the NBJ Summit last year believed that "more than 70 per cent" of weight-loss supplement products contain illegitimate claims. In second place, at 25 per cent of respondents, was the belief that "between 50 and 70 per cent" of products were beyond the pale. Perhaps it's been easy enough to float fluffy claims when the feds were predisposed to look the other way, but in the early days of the Obama administration, it certainly appears as if the sheriff is back from being gone fishing. The industry will continue to flout integrity at its peril.
On May 1, 2009, the FDA issued a warning to consumers to stop using Hydroxycut weight-loss products. Although it is not yet known which specific ingredient in the multi-ingredient formula was responsible for the alleged liver problems. The actives in an example product in the Hydroxycut line include Garcinia cambogia, Chromium polynicotinate, Gymnema sylvestre, caffeine, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, ginger, raspberry and quercetin.
Sabinsa, supplier of Citrin and GarCitrin brands of Garcinia cambogia but which are not used in Hydroxycut products, issued a position paper on the safety of its hydroxycitric acid as found in its branded-ingredient products, specifically Citrin and GarCitrin.
The US weight-loss supplements market is valued at $1.7 billion, according to Nutrition Business Journal. The market has not found its footing since ephedra was pulled from the market in 2004, with no clear ingredients emerging to lead the next generation of weight-loss ingredients.
"Decreasing nutrient absorption, inhibition of appetite, and increasing thermogenesis are all currently being considered as possible pharmacological methods of treatment for obesity," says Scott Hagerman, president, Chemi Nutra and Chemi Pharma, which offers the category PhosphoLean, a phospholipids/green tea combination. "More specifically, through discovery of special nutrients and newly discovered metabolic pathways, management of appetite suppression is opening new science doors to both the understanding and treatment of overweightness and obesity.
Americans tend to look at weight management as a problem best solved by diet pills. But, of course, food is the real key. Satiety product launches have increased by nearly 50 per cent from 2007-08, according to a report by Business Insights.
"We know that a higher-protein diet can be an excellent way to feel fuller longer and may help reduce the desire to reach for unhealthy snacks between meals," says Matt Pikosky, registered dietitian and director of research transfer at the National Dairy Council. "Whey protein added to foods and beverages can help increase daily protein intake to achieve a higher protein diet, which can help promote a feeling of fullness."
A May 2009 study even found almonds may boost satiety by increasing absorption of unsaturated fat.
Food-grade ingredients such as CarboStar from Saatwic Foods is part of the better-for-you food-ingredient movement. CarboStar is composed of naturally derived ingredients such as carrageenan and pectin, which is added to a flour formulation at a concentration of between one and three per cent, depending on product application. In soup noodles, it reduces calories by 25 per cent; in a brownie mix, calories from carbs are cut by 35 per cent.
"If the nutritional value of foods that people enjoy could be increased without affecting taste and enjoyment, those products presumably could gain widespread acceptance in the marketplace," said Ajay Chawan, president of Saatwic Foods. "Thanks to numerous in-depth studies and pilot consumer trials over the past four years, we are finally gaining acceptance of our CarboStar Method from consumer packaged-goods firms. The primary hurdles we had to leap to reach this point were proving that our technology really worked and consumers would embrace it."
And finally, we should probably note that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss.
Condensed, dietary-fibre formula that promotes healthy weight loss. Interacts with liquid in the stomach to swell to nearly 200 times its original size to promote a feeling of satiety. Acts as a magnet, attracting and binding excess oils and calories.
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Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Bio Serae Laboratories
Brown-seaweed extract. Full-spectrum weight-management support. Helps to reduce caloric intake by inhibiting digestive enzymes (lipase and amylase). Also provides a natural source of marine polyphenols and minerals.
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Cargill Health & Nutrition
Natural, zero-calorie bulk sweetener. Suitable for weight management, sugar avoidance and dental health. Works well with new natural intense sweeteners, as well as artificial intense sweeteners, to round out the sweetness profile.
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Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
PhosphoLean NOPE + EGCG
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White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA
Naturally sourced, nonstimulant ingredient, clinically proven to safely reduce body fat and optimize body composition. The most clinically studied CLA with more than 17 published clinical studies and excellent safety record in both dietary supplements and functional foods.
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DSM Nutritional Products
Patented lipid emulsion for satiety. Reduces the sensation of hunger, curbing appetite and helping people to reduce calorie intake. Backed by extensive clinical studies. Natural, with no side effects. Available in liquid and dry emulsion form, and can be used in foods, beverages and dietary supplements.
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GAT Food Essentials
Clarinol CLA & PinnoThin PNO
Micro-encapsulated nutritional oils. Clarinol concentrated CLA has been shown to improve body composition by reducing body fat and increasing lean-muscle mass in the specific areas of the body where fat loss is most desired. PinnoThin, derived from pine nuts, has been shown to suppress the desire to eat by promoting a feeling of satiety and helping to reduce the excessive consumption of calories.
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GLG Life Tech
Rebiana RA 97 Stevia Extract
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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Tucson, Arizona, USA
Bulk manufacturer. Suitable for food supplements, diabetic medicines and products, and weight-reduction products.
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Patented, all-natural, nonstimulant fruit extract used as an ingredient in dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages. Contains standardized levels of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), clinically shown to promote satiety, reduce body weight, burn fat and inhibit fat production.
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Benicia, California, USA
Increases the rate of metabolism, reducing appetite and purifying the body system. Customized formulations to maintain a natural balance.
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Secaucus, New Jersey, USA
Green coffee-bean extract with a unique mechanism of action to help consumers better manage their weight. Inhibits glucose-6-phosphatase and increases fat release from the adipose tissue. Scientifically tested and clinically proven.
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Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
Japanese 5% and 10% FucoPure
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Elmwood Park, New Jersey, USA
Sucralose and Rebaudioside-A
Complies with FCC, NF, JECFA, EC and Codex standards. Kosher and halal certified. Made at an ISO9001:2000 and HACCP certified facility. 95%+ Rebaudioside-A.
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Chromax chromium picolinate
Most efficacious and safest form of chromium. Proven effective for weight loss, satiety, cravings and mood. Long established as the leader in glucose metabolism.
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Purchase, New York, USA
OmniActive Health Technologies
Proprietary encapsulated form of premium, highly concentrated natural capsicum fruit extract. Formulated to meet diverse manufacturing requirements. Utilizes patented encapsulation technology to deliver functionally effective levels of active capsaicinoids while minimizing the oral and gastric irritation often experienced with unprotected red-pepper product applications.
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Short Hills, New Jersey, USA
Phase 2 Carb Controller
StarchLite reduces the calories in starchy foods such as potatoes, rice and pasta. Clinically studied and GRAS. Also reduces serum glucose and the glycaemic index usually associated with eating dietary starches.
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Kearny, New Jersey, USA
Premium Ingredients International
Stevia rebaudiana. Native of Paraguay and member of the composite family. Sweet herb 300-400 times sweeter than cane sugar. Leaves contain 15-20 per cent stevioside, a natural, nontoxic and zero-calorie substance. Fast becoming a major source for high potency bio-sweeteners, replacing synthetic sweeteners and table sugar.
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Carol Stream, Illinois, USA
Scientific Food Solutions LLC
Comforteze is a dietary supplemtn made with all natural earth minerals to relieve acid related discomfort. Fast acting relief in a chewable or tablet form.
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Solpro isolated soy protein
Designed for extruded crisps, dry-blend beverages and ready-to-drink beverages. Characterized by high protein and important functional properties for a large variety of food applications. Available in low- or high-viscosity and pH, with a bland flavour profile.
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