There was an event called Nanotech and Your Daily Vitamins based on a newly released report called A Hard Pill to Swallow January 14, 2009, at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN). The event has been posted as a webcast. I watched it a few weeks ago and finally got a chance to review the report today. The most disconcerting thing about the affair is how little information anyone has about nanoscale ingredients in dietary supplements and the speed at which these products are proliferating. From the report’s introduction,
[When we started] there were 11 dietary supplements on the market that claimed to use nanoscale ingredients, such as calcium, magnesium and silver. Now less than two years later, our research has found indications that the number of manufacturer-identified dietary supplementary products claiming to use nanoscale ingredients has more than tripled to over 40 products.
I imagine that not every manufacturer wants to admit that they’re using nanoscale ingredients (so it makes me wonder how many more of these products there are) or even agrees that the ingredients should be considered as something unique. As a matter of fact, in a report of this kind I’d expect to see a definition for what constitutes a nanoscale ingredient. Overall, the report and the webcast where the authors discussed their findings were a disappointment to me. My impression is that the authors did not have a good grasp of the topic. If you’re curious about their findings and their recommendations, you can find the report and the webcast here, just click in the sidebar on the right.