Banner host 5th annual nutritional symposium

GREENSBORO, NC (May 19, 2004) – Banner Pharmacaps, Inc., a global innovator of drug delivery technology and proprietary health care products held its 5th Annual Education Symposium at the Grandover Resort. Five experts from around the world offer insight to industry leaders regarding the future outlook of nutritional vitamins and supplements that drive future growth in the marketplace. Banner’s symposium addresses the season’s newest products, the role of specific dietary fatty acids on insulin resistance, new supplements and health claims, research and omega-3 fatty acids.

“Key market drivers for spending in the vitamin and supplement industry can be attributed to increased health awareness, ‘wellness’ trends, condition-specific marketing, niche products and popular natural ‘feel-good’ items,” says Adrienne Crossley, Integrated Marketing Information System’s account manager for OTC Healthcare Euromonitor International in London .

Crossley says vitamin and supplement industries are not alone when finding ways to appeal to the emotional purchasing power of global consumers. Several traditional beauty and skin care companies are maximizing their product offerings to attract consumers who want a well-rounded concept of living well and feeling good. “Hot, new products are evolving from a beauty positioning,” says Crossley. “Products like Olay’s vitamin B Komplex (Complex) have become very popular.”

Research efforts for new health and nutrition formats are also evolving—where traditional delivery vehicles that were once packaged in one format are now taking on a new delivery method, either in the form of a spray, chewable, fiber, soluble calcium, liquid supplement or chewable multivitamin.

There is also an increased interest to continue research efforts to provide nutritional solutions in preventative healthcare by looking at healthier diets.

Jennifer C. Lovejoy, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Nutrition and Exercise Science Department at Bastyr University, says complex carbohydrates (and high-fiber foods) instead of simple carbohydrates (high sugar foods) should make up 55 to 60 percent of a diet.

“A total dietary fat intake should be limited to no more than 30 percent of calories (lower if possible) to maintain insulin sensitivity and prevent diabetes,” says Lovejoy. “Saturated and trans fats have been associated with insulin resistance in human studies, and intakes should be limited to maintain insulin sensitivity.”

Studies show that there are several herbs, botanicals, and trace minerals that appear to have insulin sensitizing and/or glucose lowering properties, including fenugreek and bitter melon, among others. However, most studies have significant methodological problems, so future research by the nutrition industry is recommended.

“There is a strong need for more research to improve consumer awareness and restore consumer confidence,” says Paul Mittman, N.D., president and CEO of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences.

Mittman says the average cost to conduct a study starts at $35,000 and increases depending on sample and case. Foundations are great funding sources and there are also R&D credits for qualified research efforts and tax credits (IRS Form 6765) for new internal and external research.

Overall it is clear, with the barrage of nutritional products on the global market, that the nutrition industry has to become the driving force behind nutrition education to equip companies, suppliers and customers with adequate and correct information to be able to make informed decisions.

Bruce J. Holub, Ph.D., professor at the Department of Human Biology & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph , says “contrary to belief, omega-3 is ineffective for lowering blood level cholesterol, and when false prognosis enters the doors to the media, this is what gives products an unfair chance.”

Holub says future nutrition labeling and health claims should provide both listings for the omega-3 fatty acids of interest (ALA, EPA, and DHA) and evidence-based health claims for EPA and DHA related to lowering of blood triglyceride levels and heart health for example.

Regulatory bodies have begun developing health claims for nutrition issues affecting the U.S. market. Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) says nutrition claims will be rated depending on qualifying language and strength of evidence. There are four claim-rating categories— from claim A (meaning unqualified), to claim D (meaning increasingly qualified).

Dr. Dickinson says that the FDA is beginning to request the substantiation that DSHEA has always required; therefore, companies should ensure that they are prepared to provide the appropriate documentation.

While GMP guidelines will be finalized later this year, large companies will be expected to comply within one year of final ruling and within three years for smaller firms.

In addition, bioterrorism concerns have resulted in legislation providing FDA with sweeping new authorities to protect the welfare of the nation. All domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture/process, pack or hold food or supplements must be registered with the FDA. In addition, advance notice to the FDA is required of any shipment being imported to the US (effective Dec 12, 2003 ).

Banner is a global company that researches, develops, and manufactures drug delivery technologies and proprietary health care products. With state-of-the-art, FDA-approved manufacturing facilities and significant investment in research and development, Banner provides innovative oral delivery solutions and unique products to the health care industry worldwide. A wholly owned subsidiary of Sobel N.V., Banner has operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

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