Foods as drugs

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal asks, Do Food Claims Help Consumers or Baffle Them? The FDA has allowed food and dietary-supplement companies to make health claims about their products since 2003, but the companies must disclose their level of proof. Since most claims are not very well established, the wording can be a turnoff. For example:

Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of nuts… as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

The article doesn’t mention it, but food companies are already working on mini versions of the clinical trials done by pharmaceutical companies. Beyond dietary benefits, some foods may be useful for improving medical conditions such as mental state (think anti-depressants), behavior (think ADHD drugs), and memory.

At MedPharma Partners, we are helping clients bring some of the tools from the pharmaceutical R&D world into the food industry.

May 28, 2005

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