AYURVEDA – THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
The sages of India developed the advanced and powerful medical system – Ayurveda – more than 3 000 years ago. Ayur, which translates as Life, and Veda, which means Science or Knowledge, is referred to as The Science of Life. Not simply a system for treating disease, it offers great insight and wisdom intended to help people live vibrantly healthy lifestyles, as well as to realise their full human potential.
Ayurveda’s customised, therapeutic approaches rely on a variety of practices and ingredients, including herbs, massage, meditation and lifestyle advice. Ayurvedic philosophy postulates that every human being is born with a unique proportion of biologic principles, referred to as doshas – vata, pitta, kapha – representing the individual genetic code which takes part in forming our mental and physical characteristics.
In India, Ayurveda is considered vital to the healthcare system. Chai Pandith of Himalaya Wellness in South Africa says, “The Government of India takes Ayurveda very seriously. It even has its own separate health ministry – AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy) – under which a Minister is specifically dedicated to Ayurveda. There are over 300 registered Ayurvedic colleges and over 100 Ayurvedic hospitals. Mauritius also has ministry of wellness under which they have eight dedicated Ayurvedic hospitals.” (www.ayush.gov.in)
Due to the increasing popularity of Ayurveda in the West, the efficacy of many of the traditional herbals is being researched in clinical laboratories, paving the way for increased application in Western markets. Botanicals used in Ayurvedic medicine include ginger, tulsi, turmeric, ashwagandha, Indian frankincense and amla. Download Ayurvedic Botanicals Digital Magazine: https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/herbs-botanicals/ayurvedic-botanicals-traditional-remedies-find-modern-application-0
SAHPRA MEETS WITH CAMS CEOs
On 12 June 2018 the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) met with CAMS CEOs in Pretoria for an in-depth discussion on the regulatory status of the CAMS industry in South Africa. The introductory presentation was by SAHPRA acting CEO, Portia Nkambule, and the second by Dr Neil Gouwer. “Overall, it was a positive meeting, but only the first step towards a more appropriate regulatory system for the CAMS and Health Supplements (HS) industry,” says HPA Technical and Regulatory Director, Wayne Robinson.
HPA Chairperson, Maria Ascencao, said that the open dialogue by industry demonstrated how the current regulatory framework classing of Natural Health and Nutritional Products such as CAMS and Health Supplements as a subset of drugs has negatively impacted the industry, leaving most companies unable to operate or plan effectively due to technical barriers and lack of clear policy or directive to trade. This has put many respected suppliers of superior international products in a tenuous business situation, and the survival of their businesses as risk. Safe, effective and reputable products are being steamrolled into full Pharma GMP. “The once robust and thriving South African CAMS/HS industry is today caught in a waiting game,” she states.
“Since 2013 regulations, the Department of Health (DoH) has effectively halted new product innovation in CAMS/HS, bringing industry to a virtual standstill,” she laments. “By stifling future discoveries and innovations, the continued regulatory saga is exerting control over South African consumers’ health choices, preventing an untold number of CAMS/HS benefits from reaching the public and providing health benefits that promote wellness and keep healthcare costs down.
“The DoH is not applying the CAMS/HS regulations based on what is good for South Africans or for the economy. They are enforcing regulations that are clearly inappropriate to the levels of risk involved to natural substances and traditional medicines which have been part of traditional use and/or the global food chain for millennia. This approach will drive up costs and endanger many quality businesses.”
Ascencao reiterated the HPA’s intention to collaborate with SAHPRA to ensure a workable system that is sustainable, in developing and implementing a framework that best serves CAMS; Food/ Nutritional/Health Supplements; the DoH, Government Health Policies, and the South African Consumer.
“The HPA has had such a resolution and framework ready and available for many years. In 2012, the Medicines Control Council (MCC) had, in principle, agreed to the use of the ‘listing/screening’ system, and at the last hour walked away from it,” she concludes. “Thus, the HPA has this system ready to provide to the DoH/SAHPRA, as well as an electronic method of registration. The details for this fast-track registration need very little updating, and can be initiated very quickly. The HPA and the CAMS/HS Industry are prepared to fund this system, and it will resolve the current massive backlog of registrations that are waiting for screening at the DoH.”
CONSISTENT MULTIVITAMIN USE CAN COMBAT NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES; THE COLLAGEN BOOM; HEALTHY AGEING INNOVATION
Micronutrient deficiencies affect more than one in four people in the U.S., according to statistics presented at a briefing led by Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Senior Scientist, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
“Today’s typical diet fails to provide the vitamins and essential minerals we need to live productively,” said Dr Blumberg, who stressed the importance of food enrichment and fortification, nutrition education and access, and dietary supplementation in ameliorating the problem.
INNOVATION IS PUSHING THE COLLAGEN MARKET FROM BOOM TO BLOCKBUSTER
Collagen is breaking through capsule and tablet formulations and going far afield in providing consumers with a range of intake options.
HEALTHY AGEING INNOVATION: FIVE KEY CONSUMER TRENDS DRIVING MARKET GROWTH IN APAC
The first Healthy Ageing APAC Summit in Singapore has heard that there are five key trends shaping demand for new products suitable for Asia’s rapidly ageing population.
IADSA HONOURS HPA PRESIDENT, BRUCE DENNISON
HPA President, Bruce Dennison, has been honoured by the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) for his contribution to this association and the health and wellness industry worldwide. The tribute took place at the IADSA 20th birthday celebrations held in London in June 2018. “I was very surprised by the accolade! I think the only reason they honoured me is because I was at the inaugural meeting in 1998 and still I’m still attending IADSA events 20 years later,” he jokes.
CALL FOR HEALTH SHOPS TO UNITE IN THE FIGHT TO SAVE SUPPLEMENTS
Director of Good Health Products and HPA Exco Member, Steve Parker, recently sent out a letter to health shop owners to update them on the current CAMS Regulatory situation and stress to them how this affects their businesses.
The HPA became an IADSA Founder Member when Dennison, who was HPA Chairman at the time, attended the inaugural event of 15 countries in London in 1998. With 40 years’ experience and a broad knowledge of both dietary supplements and complementary medicines, Dennison is an expert in his field. He served on the board of IADSA as Vice Chairman from 2000 to 2009, and now represents the HPA at IADSA Week every year. “We all congratulate Bruce! This is a very well deserved and appropriate honour to him,” says HPA Executive Secretary, Deirdre Allen. “It is through his auspices that IADSA has been very loyal and helpful to the HPA over these many years.”
IADSA is recognised as one of the world’s leading advocates for the suitable regulation of dietary food supplements, and has accomplished great triumphs in the field of manufacturing practice for food supplements, with much of its scientific work published to assist regulators across the globe.
On the current state of CAMS regulations in South Africa, Dennison says; “My great hope is that South Africa WILL EMERGE from the very restrictive legislation that presently exists, and that this county and its peoples can join the rest of the world where Dietary Food Supplements are available to all people without excessive pharma regulations.”
HEALTH SHOPS UNITE
“Health shops, like manufacturers, importers and large retailers of CAMS products, need to be aware of what is going on. They need to have their say in proceedings and be active in the fight to keep CAMS available to all,” writes Parker, who says that health shops possibly have most to lose should the regulatory situation not change.
“It is important to recognise that as the Regulations stand currently, there may be no future for health shops selling CAMS in SA. They are directly compared by the DoH to pharmacies that retail medicines via standard operating procedures (SOP), computer controlled stock inventories, and are run and owned by qualified medical professionals. Further regulation could take CAMS out of health shops altogether, if the DoH has its way.”
Health shop owners who are not part of the HSASA are requested to join the association and become part of the solution to save supplements and help ensure the survival of health shops in the future SA health model. ”If we all speak together as an industry, we believe we have a chance to force changes to the unfair Regulations, but to achieve this take a major industry-wide effort, thousands of man-hours by committed members, and your participation,” he concludes.
IADSA TURNS 20
IADSA celebrated its 20th Anniversary in June 2018 at the Hilton Tower Bridge, London, the city where the Alliance was originally founded and is today based. At this landmark event, the association reflected on the progress made over the past 20 years, and looked forward to the future. HPA President, Bruce Dennison, who represented the HPA, reported: “Overall, the conference was the best I have ever attended, and it showed the progress that has been made worldwide in the supplement industry. But this also shone the spotlight on the lack of progress in South Africa. Unless government changes the regulatory system to fall in line with the rest of the world, we will continue to have a big problem.”
Dennison praised the system in place in Australia. “They meet with government once a week and have a mandate with government to make sure that the industry progresses: exports are good, safety measures are excellent, and the system is designed for expanding business. It makes us look prehistoric. We haven’t made the progress we should have made.”
“The highlight was the first day, when there were outstanding presentations on four major economic blocs – the European Union, Latin American countries, ASEAN countries and the United States. These focussed on the progress made in the last 20 years, the harmonisation and progress in terms of sensible regulations for these product categories. The ASEAN countries have agreed on one common regulatory system, which is a fantastic development. “
Presentations included ‘Has the science of supplementation reached the breakthrough point?’ by Manfred Eggersdorfer PhD, Professor for Healthy Ageing University Medical Center, Groningen, and ‘Toward a nutrition-driven economy: Can dietary supplements aid productivity?’ by Adam Drewnowski PhD, Director, Center for Public Health Nutrition UW Center for Obesity Research Nutritional Sciences Program Professor of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. All presentations can be accessed under IADSA on the HPA website.
ASHWAGHANDA – THE FLAGSHIP BOTANICAL OF AYURVEDA
According to an article published online on 31 May 2018 in Nutraceuticalsworld.com, Ashwagndha, (Withania somnifera), one of the most popular and powerful plants used in Ayurveda, is leading the adaptogenic revolution in the modern global market. Ashwagandha , also known as ‘Indian Ginseng’, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions, and is best known for its restorative and rejuvenating benefits. It helps the body cope with stress, is an excellent general tonic for people of all ages, and for a range of imbalances.
In Sanskrit, ashwagandha means ‘the smell of a horse’, indicating that the herb has the potential to impart the vigour and strength of a stallion. Medical researchers have for years been studying ashwagandha with great interest, and have completed more than 200 studies on its healing benefits.
Ayurvedic guru, Deepak Chopra, states on his website: “Traditionally, ashwagandha has been prescribed as a nerve tonic and adaptogen—an agent which helps the body adapt to various emotional and physical stressors. It has classically been used in India for nearly 5 000 years for conditions such as failure to thrive in children, weakness and debility in old age, rheumatism, constipation, insomnia, nervous conditions, stress, goitre, joint inflammation, parasites, hormone balance, and more. A paste made from the root powder applied topically can treat boils, ulcers and other skin irritations, as well as infections. Ashwagandha is known to help people strengthen their immune system after illness, chemotherapy or surgery. It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress, by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA.”
PACKAGING FOR THE FUTURE
If you want your product to make waves, you must make sure it stands out! With the global market for nutraceutical products projected to reach $578.23 billion by 2025, packaging must evolve to meet consumer demands.
An article in Nutracueticals World states: “The expanding reliance on e-commerce, the need for products to stand out on crowded shelves, continued demands for sustainability, and advancements in protective properties, are all potential game-changers for brands looking to succeed in the nutraceuticals space.” https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2018-04/view_features/the-future-of-nutraceuticals-packaging/