Turmeric: Advisory Board defines safe and efficacious

Indena has formed The Advisory Board on the Quality of Botanical Supplements that has published a paper on the multidisciplinary approach to quality of botanicals

Photo as seen on the 'Food Supplements of Botanical Origin: a multidisciplinary approach to quality. The case of turmeric' paper

The Advisory Board on the Quality of Botanical Supplements has been formed to address the issue of ‘how should supplements that guarantee quality, efficacy and safety be chosen’, and to clarify questions on the basis of scientific evidence and clinical experience.

The “Advisory Board on the Quality of Botanical Supplements” was created on the initiative of Indena, a company active in the production of quality botanical ingredients, and of Scharper, a pharmaceutical company also with a history of development and marketing of food supplements promoted exclusively to the medical profession.

The board gathered ten Italian and international experts: doctors, biologists, chemists from a range of specialist fields to draw up a consensus paper called ‘Food Supplements of Botanical Origin: a multidisciplinary approach to quality. The case of turmeric.’

The paper has received backing from the Italian Nutraceutical Society (SINut), an independent non-profit association which develops, encourages and promotes nutraceutical research. The scientific value of the Paper is recognised and deemed consistent with the objectives of the association.

The report was recently presented in Milan and covers quality, efficacy and safety of botanicals, giving a case study for turmeric.

Correct consumption

A supplement of quality can be recognised, mainly with the expertise of a doctor or pharmacist. Prescribers can request information to evaluate the quality and safety of products, transparency on the production chain, from the raw material to the finished product, and scientific evidence such as preclinical, clinical, pharmacokinetic studies on botanicals.

Equally important is awareness in the use of supplements. The widespread tendency among consumers to consider them natural products and therefore “in themselves good”, together with their easy accessibility, have fostered a “do-it-yourself” approach. However, the use of supplements of botanical origin requires an overall assessment of the individual’s condition, any possible interactions between the active ingredients contained in the supplements in question and other drugs or supplements the individual may be taking: skills which doctors and pharmacists possess.

The case of Turmeric

The consensus paper presented in Milan by the experts of the Advisory Board on the Quality of Botanical Supplements delves into the case of turmeric, one of the most studied and used botanical extracts in the world.

Recognised by the Italian Ministry of Health for its antioxidant effects and its osteoarticular function, turmeric has been the subject of clinical studies that have demonstrated its anti-inflammatory function, through which it contributes to maintaining gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, osteoarticular, and liver health.

As regards its efficacy, turmeric, like many botanical extracts, is not easily absorbable by the body, a problem addressed by a number of formulations, such as the technologically innovative turmeric phytosome.

Despite the widespread availability and high consumption of turmeric, it is still advisable to seek the opinion of doctors or pharmacists to evaluate if taking such a dietary supplement.

Members of the Advisory

Dr Pietro Allegrini: R&D Director, Indena

Prof Giovanni Appendino: Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Piedmont, – Indena Scientific Advisor

Prof Arrigo F.G. Cicero: Associate Professor in Applied Dietary Science, Department of Medical Science and Surgery, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna; President of the Italian Nutraceutical Society (SINut)

Dr Alessandro Colletti: Department of Drug Science and Technology University of Turin; Regional Officer for the Italian Nutraceutical Society (SINut) and National Secretary of the Italian Society of Nutraceutical Formulators (SIFNut)

Prof Diego Fornasari: Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine University of Milan

Dr Parris M. Kidd: Independent Biomedical Consultant, Pinole, CA, US

Dr Ernesto Marco Martinelli: Group Quality Director, Indena

Dr Giovanni Musso: Gradenigo Humanitas Hospital, Turin

Dr Antonella Riva: R&D, Product Research Manager, Indena

Prof Mariangela Rondanelli: Associate Professor of Dietary Sciences and Techniques, Operations Manager, Metabolic Rehabilitation Unit, Director of the School of Specialization in Food Science, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Pavia.


To read the paper click here.

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