Where Innovation is a Tradition

Message from Founder & Managing Director

Dr Muhammed Majeed

It is my firm belief that integration of modern scientific techniques into Ayurvedic herbal armamentarium can produce new drug molecules for India and for the world. A revisit into Ayurveda with the help of modern scientific approach from pharmaceutical era can produce very useful and safe products. Drug discovery from Ayurveda using technologies developed in the pharmaceutical era, can result in substantial number of newer molecules for modern therapeutic use.

We should adopt the modern testing and evaluation tools to identify useful herbal drug molecules.

I call upon all established Ayurvedic groups in India to work with research based groups such as Sami Labs to develop innovative therapeutic products for the molecular age.

We at Sami Labs welcome such initiatives.


Write to me at mail@samilabs.com - your input will further our commitment to good science.

Towards better health is our resolution

Dr. Muhammed Majeed




Adulteration with Synthetic Curcumin Risks Industry’s Future;
Industry and Regulatory Agencies Must Act

We’ve passed the point of giving a “heads up” as a courtesy to the industry and must issue a call to action. It’s been a quite some time since we first began raising our voice against adulteration of natural Curcumin, which we believe represents one of the biggest challenges that the natural products industry has ever faced. Invasion of synthetic Curcumin in the dietary supplement industry has become far more rampant than we thought earlier, risking consumer health and undermining the credibility and sustainability of the industry.

Natural Curcumin is a group of 3 bioactive components present in turmeric, viz. Curcumin, demethoxyCurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxyCurcumin (BDMC), collectively termed as ‘Curcuminoids’, which research indicates have synergistic action in promoting an array of health benefits. However, synthetic Curcumin is nothing but the copy of all three or any one or two of these bioactives, and usually made from petroleum-based chemicals. And we need not say that unlike natural Curcuminoids, this sham material certainly lacks any proof of long-term safety, let alone beneficial health effects.

It appears that the ever-increasing popularity of Curcumin has become a threat to its very sustainability. Booming sales suggest that, today, Curcumin has become the top-ranking herbal supplement in the U.S. market. Its future sales are predicted to continue to grow. However, as the industry has witnesed in the past when an herbal product becomes popular, continuous supply of authentic high-quality raw material becomes challenging—previously contracted harvests can suddenly disappear. This creates an unbalanced supply and demand state. Resultantly, certain industry outliers have grabbed this opportunity to infiltrate the market with synthetic versions disguised as naturally derived, or spiking natural Curcumin with synthetic Curcumin.

A number of fair players in the ingredient marketplace are feeling the impact of quacks resorting to unethical introduction of synthetic Curcumin masquerading as natural Curcumin because it is much cheaper to produce and doesn’t rely on harvested turmeric. This unethical and illegal practice does more than eat up the market share of the fair business players like Sabinsa who have invested in producing quality natural material. It poses a serious threat to industry growth in undermining innovation, intellectual property rights infringements, and undercutting years of dedicated research and efforts in bringing out a novel product for the benefit of customers. Synthetic adulteration will also inevitably come to the attention of consumers, sabotaging confidance and sales.

While the industry is being flooded with spurious and inferior Curcumin imitations, agencies and organizations like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), Natural Products Association (NPA) have not taken the aggressive action on this blazing issue that it demands given the level of harm it is doing. At the same time, industry trade groups are vigilant in responding to negative media coverage criticizing bad science or lack of science, or positioning dietary supplements either as dangerous, unregulated or exerting no benefits. The synthetic adulteration issue is doing a vast amount of harm to the industry, so we call on them to become far more proactive in the synthetic adulteration battle.

Hence, it is the duty and responsibility of all the like-minded, ethical firms, trade organizations and concerned regulatory agencies to work together in safeguarding the honor and viability of the industry by expunging those deceitful companies and practices that undermine quality and grind down standards in the entire industry. Moreover, it is equally important to respect and support the diligent and constant dedication of companies that honestly work towards providing high-quality, scientifically-validated natural products that help improve human health and wellbeing. That is where the innovation that drives the industry forward happens, and it’s short sighted not to protect it.

What can you, the reader, do? If you are a formulator, specify ingredients that are guaranteed to be of natural origin. Brands can do the same, and reassure their customers that their product testing programs include confirming 100% natural Curcumin. Retailers can ask the manufacturers whose products they carry how they ensure Curcumin ingredients are truly from turmeric root. Consumers can make sure they are taking products with real Curcumin by asking brands how they confirm it. Had this approach been taken in the past when booming popularity of an herb led to rampant adulteration, the industry could have prevented significant erosion of the market for those herbs. Working together we can avoid that fate for Curcumin.

Adulteration with hidden synthetics is not only the opposite of transparency but also misleading to consumers and potentially causes them harm. Sabinsa is ever dedicated to, and in the forefront of, efforts to clamp down on deceptive practices by crooks trying to increase their profit margins by passing off cheaper and potentially harmful synthetic version of Curcumin as natural.  By Sabinsa’s staunch advocacy of the Curcumin market’s longevity, we contribute something even more enduring than what our strong science endeavors and patent on Curcuminoids did for the past 20 years. 




Muhammed Majeed, Ph.D., Founder

on June 19, 2015

Dear Esteemed Customer of Samilabs,

Let us face it. Natural product industry is facing its biggest challenge now. On top of the misguided genomic testing, we are now faced with adulteration of natural products especially Curcumin.

As the dietary supplement industry in general and herbal products specifically experience unprecedented levels of negative media coverage and legal action on a regional level, those of us with a long-term commitment to this industry must exhibit leadership. Those of us who have spent our careers making and selling products to improve the health of our fellow human beings know that those writing and saying dietary supplements are either dangerous, unregulated or have no benefit are mistaken, and most of the criticism is unfounded.

While much of the criticism is based upon bad science or lack of knowledge, such as testing extracts with a method no true expert would ever use, those of us immersed in this industry know that there are vulnerable points, particularly in the ingredient supply chain. I believe that Sabinsa is not alone in being dedicated to providing high quality, science-based products to enhance human health and well being, and I call on like-minded companies and the industry’s trade associations to weed out those companies and practices that undermine quality and erode confidence in the entire industry.

We’ve spoken in the past of the importance of respecting and honoring Intellectual Property, which we believe is essential for continued innovation. Recently we have discovered a new threat that must be stamped out to preserve the integrity of the industry and safety of the products we all make.

We have discovered synthetic Curcumin being sold as Turmeric extract with forged Certificates of Analysis. A company selling Curcumin extract in India for export to the US was adulterating their product with 43% synthetic curcumin, but not revealing the synthetic contents. We have taken legal action against them, and a criminal investigation has been opened, but it is important the entire industry be on the lookout for more of this adulteration. I believe it is far more rampant than we thought.

With Curcumin sales in the US alone growing so quickly, it isn’t surprising that there are those looking to sell cheaper, inferior product into the marketplace, but we believe this deceptive practice threatens the future. Our fear is that there are other botanical extracts that are similarly adulterated. We just don’t know, but it’s likely, and the industry needs to find out.

The obvious questions with synthetic herbs are “what was it synthesized from? What chemicals were used, and in what process? How do you know it is safe for consumption by humans?” Synthetically made materials may have distinctively different pharmacological activities compared to natural products. If a company is selling synthetic Curcumin, and not identifying that some or all of it was synthetically derived, that lack of transparency is not only misleading consumers who think they are taking a product derived from Turmeric root, but has the potential to hurt people.

FDA views synthetic versions of natural botanical compounds as different from the botanical itself, thus a supplier of such material would be required to file an NDI notification with FDA, including proof of safety, for the products to be legally sold in the US.

Synthetic copies are, however, difficult to trace in a product using routine analysis. Plant-derived products can be distinguished from synthetic products by their content of natural carbon activity. The use of DNA testing for herbal extracts is debatable, however we know the DNA technique fails when it comes to finding adulteration with synthetic material. Therefore identification and quantification of radiocarbon in these cases provides an accurate way to detect adulteration.

As the industry gets more serious about quality issues, identifying synthetic versions of herbal products becomes crucial. We call on the trade associations and all companies committed to the future of the industry to work together to discover how widespread this deceptive practice is, and to take action to weed it out.


Kind regards,

Dr. Muhammed Majeed
Founder, SAMI/Sabinsa Group of Companies




Muhammed Majeed, Ph.D., Founder

on March 10, 2015

Dear Esteemed Customer of Samilabs,

You've likely noticed that we have been talking a lot about Intellectual Property issues within the dietary supplements industry lately, not just in the United States, but abroad as well. We feel it’s an important conversation to keep having, because it directly impacts innovation, which is what drives our industry’s growth. For our industry to be sustainable as the market matures, the historical practice of IP infringement must stop. While we remain committed to this undertaking, we will have no choice except to take legal recourse to those who blatantly infringe.

Among the 87 patents now held by Sabinsa and Sami Labs, seven are specific to an ingredient we trademarked as BioPerine®, Sabinsa’s standardized 95% piperine extract that has been shown in clinical research to increase the absorption of nutrients in nutritional supplement formulations.

After a sizable investment of time and resources, we determined that a 95% purified piperine extracted from pepper was able to enhance the absorption and bioavailability of a large array of dietary ingredients, safely and effectively. The enormous investment Sabinsa made has resulted in seven patents on BioPerine®, with its clearly novel use and process. These patents are strictly enforced in the United States (US 5,536,506; US 5,744,161; US 5,972,382; US 6,054,585), Canada (CA2247467), Europe (EP0810868) and Japan (JP3953513).

Today, black pepper extract is a relatively well known ingredient in nutritional supplement formulas as a bioavailability enhancement ingredient. Prior to Sabinsa’s introduction of BioPerine®, it was unheard of.

The first patent on BioPerine® was issued in 1996, US Patent number 5,536,506 “Use of Piperine to Increase the Bioavailability of Nutritional Compound.” A subsequent US patent, 5,972,382 “Use Of Piperine As A Bioavailability Enhancer” was issued in 1999 and reaffirmed by the US Patent Office’s formal review in 2006.This assessment reaffirms that BioPerine® is the only black pepper extract that can legally be used in nutritional supplements for the purpose of enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients and the only reason for using this in any nutritional formulations.

BioPerine's ability to enhance nutrient absorption and bioavailability has been well researched. Published clinical evidence of safety and efficacy further support the use of BioPerine® incorporated in dietary supplements. When BioPerine® was administered orally to healthy humans, the serum levels of tested nutrients significantly increased:

  • Blood levels off at-soluble beta-carotene, when taken with BioPerine® for two weeks, increased by 60% over the control group receiving the vitamin alone.
  • Vitamin B-6 ingested with BioPerine® resulted in 2.5 times higher blood levels in only two hours.
  • A six week supplementation program of selenium (in the form of selenomethionine) with and without BioPerine®, resulted in a 30% increase in serum levels of selenium in the BioPerine® group as compared to the control group.
  • A human study involving the simultaneous administration of BioPerine® with CoQ10 yielded an absolute increase in blood serum levels of 30% as well.
  • University of Wisconsin published a study on animal models showed enhanced bioavailability of resveratrol when administered with BioPerine®.
  • Use of BioPerine® in enhancing the bioavailability of curcumin was published nearly 15 years ago and independently validated by several researchers even today.

Clearly BioPerine® works, which explains all of the patent-infringing ingredients on the market today.The pioneering efforts behind BioPerine's success have created tremendous competitive envy, and unfortunately, this has taught many a lesson when we last pursued legal action. Yet, it is this same action we are willing to take again, for the sake of the industry and for our loyal customers.

We encourage companies that are utilizing piperine extract in their formulas to execute a licensing agreement with us if they have not done so already. It not only offers total protection to your brand, but is also supported by published science on BioPerine®.

To learn more, contact your Sabinsa sales representative today, or visit www.bioperine.com, www.sabinsa.com, or reach us at info@sabinsa.com.


Kind regards,

Dr. Muhammed Majeed
Founder, SAMI/Sabinsa Group of Companies




Muhammed Majeed, Ph.D., Founder

on January 01, 2014

Dear Esteemed Customer of Samilabs,

You've likely noticed that we have been talking a lot about Intellectual Property issues within the dietary supplements industry lately, not just in the United States, but abroad as well. We feel it’s an important conversation to keep having, because it directly impacts innovation, which is what drives our industry’s growth. For our industry to be sustainable as the market matures, the historical practice of IP infringement must stop. While we remain committed to this undertaking, we will have no choice except to take legal recourse to those who blatantly infringe.

Among the 87 patents now held by Sabinsa and Sami Labs, seven are specific to an ingredient we trademarked as BioPerine®, Sabinsa’s standardized 95% piperine extract that has been shown in clinical research to increase the absorption of nutrients in nutritional supplement formulations.

After a sizable investment of time and resources, we determined that a 95% purified piperine extracted from pepper was able to enhance the absorption and bioavailability of a large array of dietary ingredients, safely and effectively. The enormous investment Sabinsa made has resulted in seven patents on BioPerine®, with its clearly novel use and process. These patents are strictly enforced in the United States (US 5,536,506; US 5,744,161; US 5,972,382; US 6,054,585), Canada (CA2247467), Europe (EP0810868) and Japan (JP3953513).

Today, black pepper extract is a relatively well known ingredient in nutritional supplement formulas as a bioavailability enhancement ingredient. Prior to Sabinsa’s introduction of BioPerine®, it was unheard of.

The first patent on BioPerine® was issued in 1996, US Patent number 5,536,506 “Use of Piperine to Increase the Bioavailability of Nutritional Compound.” A subsequent US patent, 5,972,382 “Use Of Piperine As A Bioavailability Enhancer” was issued in 1999 and reaffirmed by the US Patent Office’s formal review in 2006.This assessment reaffirms that BioPerine® is the only black pepper extract that can legally be used in nutritional supplements for the purpose of enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients and the only reason for using this in any nutritional formulations.

BioPerine's ability to enhance nutrient absorption and bioavailability has been well researched. Published clinical evidence of safety and efficacy further support the use of BioPerine® incorporated in dietary supplements. When BioPerine® was administered orally to healthy humans, the serum levels of tested nutrients significantly increased:

  • Blood levels off at-soluble beta-carotene, when taken with BioPerine® for two weeks, increased by 60% over the control group receiving the vitamin alone.
  • Vitamin B-6 ingested with BioPerine® resulted in 2.5 times higher blood levels in only two hours.
  • A six week supplementation program of selenium (in the form of selenomethionine) with and without BioPerine®, resulted in a 30% increase in serum levels of selenium in the BioPerine® group as compared to the control group.
  • A human study involving the simultaneous administration of BioPerine® with CoQ10 yielded an absolute increase in blood serum levels of 30% as well.
  • University of Wisconsin published a study on animal models showed enhanced bioavailability of resveratrol when administered with BioPerine®.
  • Use of BioPerine® in enhancing the bioavailability of curcumin was published nearly 15 years ago and independently validated by several researchers even today.

Clearly BioPerine® works, which explains all of the patent-infringing ingredients on the market today.The pioneering efforts behind BioPerine's success have created tremendous competitive envy, and unfortunately, this has taught many a lesson when we last pursued legal action. Yet, it is this same action we are willing to take again, for the sake of the industry and for our loyal customers.

We encourage companies that are utilizing piperine extract in their formulas to execute a licensing agreement with us if they have not done so already. It not only offers total protection to your brand, but is also supported by published science on BioPerine®.

To learn more, contact your Sabinsa sales representative today, or visit www.bioperine.com, www.sabinsa.com, or reach us at info@sabinsa.com.


Kind regards,

Dr. Muhammed Majeed
Founder, SAMI/Sabinsa Group of Companies




February 01, 2012

Buy One (1) Kg Patented Ingredient, Add Nine (9) Kg Generic "Equivalent" and Claim Patented Product Benefits?

Innovation and science are what drive the Nutraceutical industry worldwide. Today, numerous clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals for such ancient herbs as curcumin and pepper are putting previously obscure herbs in the mainstream of systemic disease prevention and treatment.

But there is a systemic disease that threatens the future of our industry by undermining investment in science and consumer confidence. There are some companies that think it's smart business to buy one kg of a patented ingredient and nine kgs of a generic "equivalent" but use the patented product claim on their marketing materials and labels. These unscrupulous marketers are exploiting the credibility of the branded ingredient to their advantage, citing clinical studies and quality criteria on the branded ingredient that are not actually applicable to the diluted product.

Manufactured products containing such diluted ingredients which fail to meet quality standards or are proved to be non-efficacious in biological testing, have detrimentally affected the credibility of the branded ingredient.

The fact that this is unethical aside, this practice cheats the consumer, and undermines investment in future innovation and clinical studies to grow the industry. Generic "equivalents" are anything but equal in quality and activity, cheating the consumer of the health benefits they expect and deserve. It also robs those companies who invest in good science from the capital to continue doing so.

Sami Lab's investment in research and patents, and the pivotal role of these efforts in garnering credibility for scientifically validated ingredients, is a case in point. For example, our BioPerine® patent brought out the concept that it is not what you eat, but what you absorb that is important in the area of nutrition. This formed the basis of a fundamental paradigm shift in how we approach supplementation. Numerous scientific publications in subsequent years validated this concept.

Another example is our C3 Complex®, the material of choice by researchers documenting the significant health benefits of curcumin because of the consistent quality we guarantee. This is truly a premium product in all senses of the word - the finest curcumin in the marketplace.

Each one of our brands, backed by scientific research, have brought little known traditional phytonutrients to the forefront, generating greater demand for these herbal extracts or nature-identical materials.

For more than two decades, Sami Labs has invested in science and innovation, and has more than 70 patents to show for it. We are committed to continuing on this path, and protecting our intellectual property in order to continue that investment. We look forward to being your partner in providing the highest quality science backed, innovation products available.

With Best Wishes,

Sincerely,

Dr. Muhammed Majeed
Founder
Sami Labs Limited


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