Low-carb dieting gives supplements sales a boost

From low-carb megabrand Atkins to mainstream lines such as One-A-Day and Centrum, supplements manufacturers are reformulating their multivitamin lines to accommodate low-carb dieters looking to boost their nutrient intake.

?By severely limiting carbohydrates in their diets, many people may not be getting the full complement of nutrients required for optimal health,? said Andy Davis, senior vice president for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, manufacturer of the Centrum Carb Assist multivitamin.

Compared to its standard multivitamin, Centrum Carb Assist contains triple the amounts of vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, thiamine, and selenium, and twice the amounts of niacin, manganese, and vitamins C and E.

Bayer?s One-A-Day CarbSmart is formulated with additional B vitamins, antioxidants and biotin. A spokesperson said B vitamins are lost from not eating fortified grains like bread and pasta, and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. Biotin has been inserted at 1.5 times the RDA for its purported effects on helping break down fats and proteins into energy. It also functions as a point of market differentiation, as the 450mcg far exceeds that of Centrum?s line, which contains 40mcg. Atkins? Basic 3 multivitamin contains 300mcg of biotin.

?The idea is to replenish what?s been lost nutritionally in switching from a high-carb diet,? said Jacqueline Eberstein, director of nutrition information at Atkins Health and Medical Information. About 5 million low-carb dieters take supplements, according to the Natural Marketing Institute, which also numbers about 44 million Americans who are either on a low-carb diet or are watching their carb intake.

Another entrant in the low-carb supplements field is Pharmachem Labs with its Phase 2 starch product. Their white bean extract neutralises the alpha-amylase digestive enzyme, which prevents the digestion of complex carbohydrates.

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