In the UK, Men’s Health is the number one online magazine for men. This covers a range of popular topics including health, fitness, training and supplement advice. As nutrition experts and supplement specialists Alimentarius were approached by Men’s Health magazine to provide expert advice to the readers. We provided science based editorial comment on a range of food products, exercise training and dietary supplements. The positive response from the readers led to a column called ‘Supplement sleuth’. This translated current scientific research on supplements into practical advice for Men’s Health readers.
In Europe, the publication Food Ingredients First (FIF) provides the most up to date information for the food industry. It covers a variety of topics including raw ingredients, food and beverage innovations, ingredient applications, market trends, functional food packaging and news. Alimentarius were commissioned to write contemporary scientific articles on a variety of food related topics. These included ‘Fat loss supplements’, ‘Functional food packaging’, ‘Sport nutrition’, ‘Antioxidants’, ‘Beta-alanine’, ‘Health claims’, ‘The science of recovery’ ‘Nanotechnology’, ‘Probiotics and cultures’ and ‘Protein innovation’. Each article critically reviewed contemporary science and focused on practical its applications in functional foods.
The Innova database enables subscribers to monitor competitor activity, explore active areas of functional food launches, identify product trends and has been described as ‘the ultimate resource for generating new product ideas’. Covering the full spectrum of functional food ingredients, Alimentarius were invited to provide scientific articles on dairy proteins. These covered the following areas:-
‘The role of dairy proteins and appetite regulation’
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (FFN) is the only publication in the sector to deliver market intelligence from correspondents on the ground in different international locations. All news and feature articles are written by expert writers and independent journalists. With offices located in both Europe and the US, this publication has its finger on the pulse of all major marketing and legislative developments and emerging technologies. It delivers reliable, science-based editorial that readers trust. Alimentarius provide expertise in translating the very latest scientific findings into commercial applications in functional foods. Our expertise was recognized by FFN and we provided a range articles on foods and supplements relating to fat loss, immune function and health. These included :-
‘The whey forward: Science update’
‘Application of whey protein as a functional food for appetite control: contemporary perspectives’
‘Amino acids aid in gut function- marketing applications’
Alimentarius an unsurpassed reputation for translating the very latest scientific findings into commercial applications in functional foods. This expertise was recognized by Nutraceuticals Now and we were approached to provide a range articles relating to functional foods and supplements, including:-
‘Low carbohydrate diets for fat loss and health: fact fiction, fad or future?’
‘Application of whey protein as a functional food for appetite control: contemporary perspectives’
‘ Nutrition to optimize recovery from endurance exercise’
The Westminster Diet and Health Forum provides an environment to discuss critical issues of public policy relating to diet and health. Alimentarius were invited to provide expert opinion on diet and behaviour; contributing to the government debate with written evidence. There was widespread recognition that long chain omega-3 fatty acids could contribute to brain development and function. In our written contribution we focused on other bioactives in seafood that contribute to brain function, the benefits of which had been overlooked. Our written comments together with supporting scientific data were published in FHF The Westminster Diet and Heath Forum Symposium Series. Westminster Forum Projects Ltd. London
The Westminster Diet and Health Forum provides an environment to discuss critical issues of public policy relating to diet and health. A conference was held prior to the Olympics and Alimentarius were invited to contribute to the debate by providing expert opinion on sport nutrition. We addressed three fundamental issues that were not adequately covered by the speakers. These were i) How do sports foods and sports nutrition products differ from ‘normal’ foods? ii) Is there any evidence that sports foods are more beneficial to exercising populations than consuming ‘normal’ foods’? and iii) Why do athletes choose to use sports nutrition products? Our written comments together with supporting scientific data were published in Sports Nutrition, The Westminster diet and health forum symposium series. ISBN I-905029-03-09
Scientific justification for creatine maintenance and creatine loading doses proposed by European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA).
This document reviews the current state of scientific understanding regarding creatine safety. In response to creatine loading at 20g per day and long term creatine use, supplementing in excess of 5g per day for over 5 years produced no adverse health effects. A scientifically based rationale to support the use of 5g of creatine daily as a maintenance dose and evidence for creatine loading at 20g per day over 5 days is provided. These popular and safe practices are efficacious at improving both physical and mental performance and also provide some health benefits.
Amino acids have a fundamental role in nutrition and numerous research studies support their role in general health as well as enhancing both mental and physical performance. There is a wealth of peer reviewed scientific data on healthy humans demonstrating the benefits of amino acid supplementation. Despite this, a report from the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) concluded the addition of amino acids to foods was not necessary except to improve protein quality. The SCF report titled on ‘Composition and specification of food intended to meet the expenditure of intense muscular effort, especially for sportsmen’ was submitted to the European Commission and as a consequence they released directive (SANCO D4/HL/mm/D440182). This stated :-
‘The addition of amino acids is permitted solely for the purpose of improving the nutritional value of the proteins and only in the proportions necessary for that purpose’
If written into EU law this would have been potentially catastrophic for the functional food industry and consumers, as it would have removed amino acid supplements from the European market. It would also have meant that many products with added amino acids would need to be reformulated to remove them and their associated health claims. Such products include mainstream fat loss supplements, ready to drink energy products, recovery drinks, energy bars, energy gels and protein bars.
As experts in amino acid metabolism and regulatory issues relating to dietary supplements, Maximuscle approached Alimentarius to write their position statement on the amino acid fortification of foods. We prepared this document using peer reviewed scientific data and highlighted numerous cases where amino acid fortification of foods was required for reasons other than improving the nutritional value of proteins. The position statement provided by Alimentarius was subsequently adopted by the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) to overturn EU directive (SANCO D4/HL/mm/D440182). This has allowed health, energy, sports performance, recovery and muscle building products to remain on the market without reformulation. It has also ensured that foods and supplements can continue to be fortified with amino acids. A full copy of the position position statement on amino acid fortification can be obtained here.
Creatine is one of the most important nutrients for the sports nutrition market and is a key ingredient in sports performance, muscle building and recovery products. It is typically supplemented in 5g daily doses, but to quickly attain maximal tissue creatine levels it can also be ‘loaded’ by supplementing 20g of creatine per day for 5 days.
In 2001 the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) provided the European Commission with a report on ‘Composition and specification of food intended to meet the expenditure of intense muscular effort, especially for sportsmen’. This report claimed that data were lacking regarding the safety of creatine and that ingestion of more than 2-3g of creatine daily for prolonged periods may not be safe. In 2004 a report complied by the French food safety agency (Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, or AFSSA) questioned the safety of creatine loading and long-term creatine supplementation. As a consequence the European Commission released directive (SANCO D4/HL/mm/D440182) limiting the recommended conditions of use for creatine in supplements to 3g per day. This would have been potentially catastrophic for the sports nutrition industry and consumers. Although this low dose supplementation can produce some health benefits, higher doses are needed to produce the performance effects claimed on most products. Therefore, limiting creatine supplementation to 3 g would make most products too deficient in creatine to produce the claimed effects, indirectly removing legitimate creatine ‘health claims’ from the European market.
As experts in both creatine metabolism and regulatory issues relating to dietary supplements, Maximuscle Ltd. approached Alimentarius to write their position statement on creatine safety and toxicity. We prepared this document using peer reviewed scientific data and addressed all the safety concerns expressed by the SCF and AFSSA. Our report demonstrated that creatine monohydrate supplementation at 5 g per day is safe for periods of 5 to10 years. The position statement also showed that in contrast to the unsubstantiated claims in the 2004 AFSSA report, creatine loading was both justified and safe.
This creatine opinion was subsequently adopted by the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) and was used to overturn the EU directive. This has allowed sports and muscle building products to provide conditions of use that are appropriate to produce the claimed performance effects. The ESSNA position statement is still the most comprehensive document on creatine safety and toxicity available. As such it is widely referenced to support the safety of creatine products by companies such as Lucozade. It also formed part of the evidence reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) when providing their positive article 13.1 opinions on creatine and performance. A summary of the ESSNA position statement on creatine safety and toxicity can be obtained here and a full copy of the report here.