Moving the Needle on Nutraceutical Research

By Sean Moloughney

With increased regulatory oversight, it is paramount that companies invest in sound science.

Recognizing the potential return on investing in research, and the potential cost of lacking clinical validation for products, more nutraceutical companies are partnering with contract research organizations (CROs) to prove new concepts, substantiate existing claims or differentiate unique product formulas.

Historically, the nutraceutical industry has relied heavily on “borrowed science,” noted Gitte Jensen, PhD, research director, NIS Labs, Klamath Falls, OR. However, more companies are conducting their own clinical studies to strengthen marketing claims and reinforce their regulatory standing.

Dr. Jensen said NIS Labs has seen sizeable growth in clinical studies over time. “We run a full-fledged immunology lab. Fifteen years ago the majority of our work (about 90%), was lab work documenting mechanisms of action in vitro and 10% clinical studies. Today, although our lab is much busier, the balance between lab work and clinical studies is 30/70 and the majority of the lab work is on samples from the clinical studies.”

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