The Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) have announced the creation of a certification process for nutritional supplements containing carotenoids. The team behind Supplement Certified work at the Howard Laboratory in the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) at WIT.
The laboratory is named after Dr Alan Howard who supported much of the early research at NRCI into the use of dietary supplements containing carotenoids to enhance eye and brain health. The idea for testing the actual carotenoid content of nutritional supplements against their label claims came from Dr Howard during the work on the Meso-zeozanthin Ocular Supplementation Trials (MOST) which began in 2010. The trials were showing some surprising results and Dr Howard suggested testing the supplements that were being used. This showed that supplements may not actually contain what the label says and this amount may also decline over time.
The team, led by Professor John Nolan and Dr Alfonso Prado-Cabrero, have been involved in research into nutritional supplements for over 20 years. In the last few months they have analysed some 47 nutritional supplements containing carotenoids and found that 64% do not meet the content described on their labels. The team have also worked with supplement producers to help them improve their products so that they do indeed contain what the label states and what the consumer expects.