Duffy MacKay, Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Senior Vice President of Dietary Supplements, and co-author of the paper, Perspectives on the Use of Proprietary Blends in Dietary Supplements, recently published in the Journal of Nutrition, released the following statement today regarding the publication:
“Our paper specifically summarizes the rationale for the use of proprietary blends in dietary supplements, product labels, their implications for researchers and consumers, and future perspectives. While proprietary blends of non-nutritive ingredients are permitted under current law, the issue is not without controversy, as manufacturers are not required to disclose the exact amounts of each ingredient used in the blend.
“This raises transparency issues and challenges for both researchers and consumers when it comes to understanding exposure levels. For example, researchers needing to calculate exposures in assessments of intakes or determine doses in clinical trials must use alternative ways to arrive at amounts. From a consumer standpoint, this creates obstacles to informed decision making, as it’s challenging to understand if the product will provide the intended benefits if they are unable to determine the amount of each ingredient included in the blend.
“When it comes to purported safety concerns, it’s important to consider that ultimately, FDA does have access to the specific amounts of each ingredient included in the blend through the Master Manufacturing Record. However, this is very much seen as ‘reactive regulating’. To that point, it’s equally important to consider the potential benefits of proactive regulating, especially considering the attention supplement modernization has received in Congress.”
Background: Duffy MacKay, ND, is the Senior Vice President of Dietary Supplements at CHPA, where he leads the association’s dietary supplement scientific, policy and legislative initiatives. Dr. MacKay’s career in supplements spans more than 25 years. The paper's lead author was Leila G. Saldanha, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.N.D., Senior Nutrition Scientist at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Additional co-authors included ODS Senior Nutrition Scientist Johanna T. Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D. and Constance J. Hardy, Interdisciplinary Scientist at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).