The first-ever pan-European good manufacturing practice (GMP) for sports nutrition is the topic of hot debate as industry weighs up whether it will help enforce quality and weed out bad actors lacing products with doping analogs like steroids and stimulants.
Specialized Nutrition Europe (SNE) and The European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) argue the voluntary GMP will build confidence in the sector among elite and other athletes.
However, the European Specialized Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), Europe’s largest sports nutrition-focused industry body, says the standard is ill-defined and will sow confusion.
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) in a lengthy position paper published at the end of 2019 in its eponymous research journal the answer is ‘yes’. But it called for more research and noted the overall research base provides only ‘modest evidence’.
What it made clear though was that the best results come from using the right strains at the right doses. ISSN said the research review that formed the basis of its position paper was complicated “by variations in clinical outcome measures and most importantly, as probiotic benefits are strain-specific, by different strains used in these studies.”