Natreon says organic stamp on shilajit ingredient backs quality message

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

PrimaVie is a branded form of shilajit, a type of rock exudate collected in the Himalayas.  Photo courtesy of Natreon.
PrimaVie is a branded form of shilajit, a type of rock exudate collected in the Himalayas. Photo courtesy of Natreon.
Natreon has announced an organic certification on its PrimaVie shilajit ingredient. As this is not an agricultural commodity, the company views the certification as more of a statement of overall quality rather than primarily a verification of its production practices.

PrimaVie is a branded form of shilajit, which is an ancient ingredient mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. The ingredient is an exudate that oozes from veins in rocks in special locations in the Himalayan Mountain range.  The dark, tarry substance arises from plant material that was encased in layers of stone millions of years ago.  

Standardized ingredient backed by studies

While the original Ayurvedic practitioners were merely scraping this material from the exposed rock veins, Natreon applies a proprietary purification process to the raw material.  This yields a branded ingredient that is standardized to Urolithin A (3,8-(OH)2-DBP), Urolithin B (3-OH-DBP), fulvic acid, and micro-mineral content.

Urolithins, which along with the fulvic acid content are the main active constituents in PrimaVie, are metabolites of tannic compounds within the ancient plant material. The geologic process that takes place with time, heat and pressure is somewhat akin to how these tannins taken in from fresh plants might be altered by bacteria within the gut.

Natreon says it has eight published trials on the ingredient. A recent study demonstrated the benefits of PrimaVie supplementation for the muscles of obese subjects​. According to the company, other research supports skin health, healthy testosterone support and energy and endurance benefits. The company also has a number of patents on the product.

Organic as statement of quality

With all that going for the product, why did Natreon feel it necessary to acquire an organic certification this particular ingredient? After all, no pesticides or chemical fertilizers were being applied to those plants all those millions of years ago.

Bruce Brown, president of Natreon, said the company felt it was important to follow the market and to give consumers what they seem to be asking for, rather than engage in a debate about which certifications best match which ingredients. (As another example, the product has been verified as being free of genetically modified organisms as well.)

“To me ‘organic’ often means something that doesn’t have foreign contaminants,” ​Brown told NutraIngredients-USA. “Having the certification means this is something that is controlled to some extent, and has gone through a process to make sure that it is the same from lot to lot.”

“We have a very strong analytical lab in India where we test PrimaVie for the primary bioactives to make sure we maintain the profile that we believe is the most beneficial to health,” ​he said.

The more the merrier

While some in the dietary supplement industry have observed that there are too many certifications, Brown said they perform a useful function.  

“Consumers are looking for that level of trust.  We are going through the process of getting a sports certification as well,” ​Brown said.

“We want to make sure that we have be best suite of certifications.  This meets the market need for transparency and consistency,” ​he said.

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