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Question about your methodology

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    Question about your methodology


    My organic chemistry professor at some point said something along the lines of "synthetic chemistry is dead," in the sense that we can now synthesize anything if we know its structure. So as a chemist focusing on compounds with applicability to athletes, what is your active focus on? Is it on identifying novel compounds/analogs of known compounds and synthesizing them OR identifying known compounds and theorizing and researching new uses for them?

    As a corollary, how much of the supplement industry, in your experience, is based on novel chemistry and how much is marketing different combinations of previously developed/studied compounds?

    I have a ton of additional questions generally about chemistry and supplements, but I'll leave it at this for now.

    Andrew

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    Interesting question...

    As an exercise physiologist and R&D consultant for GenoMyx, I can tell you my focus is on the latter "identifying known compounds and theorizing and researching new uses for them".

    Most of my consulting research is secondary - i.e.: Compiling the results of other researchers experiments (primary research) in order to form a hypothesis. Analyzing the collective effects of a compound in different populations across varying methodologies allows me to make suggestions regarding if the supplement may be beneficial, and if so to whom under what conditions - a wider scope.

    As a doctoral candidate, I perform primary research with a narrow scope. I compile the results of previous work, develop questions that have not been answered, design and carry out experiments to answer these questions. For example, betaine has been shown by some to improve strength and power in recreationally trained athlete. In animals, betaine significantly improves body composition. I have a several hypothesis of how it works physiologically, but I what I want to know is: can it improve body composition and strength in resistance trained athletes? And thats what I'm testing this winter and next spring.

    Br
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    i am interested in things that improve health and performance on a personal level first and foremost. So I am always reading about that stuff. I stress things that would qualify as nutritional supplements of course because that is something i could sell. I also like to find things that i may potentially be able to manufacture myself so as to attempt to get some sort of exclusivity (you dont get exclusivity if you get the chinese to make it for you).

    i try to find novel ingredients / compounds for bodybuilding, performance, and sometimes general health

    i try to find a way to get some sort of exclusivity (limited or whatever) on the ingredient. That usually involves manufacturing the stuff in house
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABuchan View Post
    My organic chemistry professor at some point said something along the lines of "synthetic chemistry is dead," in the sense that we can now synthesize anything if we know its structure.
    He is saying that with the mindset of of an academic chemist. yes he is probably right for the most part. even if it takes 20 steps and costs 40000 dolllars for 2mg he is still right.

    But from a business standpoint the challenge of synthesis is finding a process that is cheap and practical. That is what i do. Its different from what a synthetic chemist does in a university lab
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABuchan View Post
    Is it on identifying novel compounds/analogs of known compounds and synthesizing them OR identifying known compounds and theorizing and researching new uses for them?
    ummm.....both i guess
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABuchan View Post
    As a corollary, how much of the supplement industry, in your experience, is based on novel chemistry and how much is marketing different combinations of previously developed/studied compounds?
    10 percent of the former, 90 percent of the latter.

    and small companies are mostly resonsible for the latter.

    the big companies are all marketing driven and the need for novel ingredients to gain traction is not like it is for the small companies
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Arnold View Post
    i am interested in things that improve health and performance on a personal level first and foremost. So I am always reading about that stuff. I stress things that would qualify as nutritional supplements of course because that is something i could sell. I also like to find things that i may potentially be able to manufacture myself so as to attempt to get some sort of exclusivity (you dont get exclusivity if you get the chinese to make it for you).

    i try to find novel ingredients / compounds for bodybuilding, performance, and sometimes general health

    i try to find a way to get some sort of exclusivity (limited or whatever) on the ingredient. That usually involves manufacturing the stuff in house
    Is that why you went and came out with R-Spray for all the health benefits that come with taking it on a personal level?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrepNwa23 View Post
    Is that why you went and came out with R-Spray for all the health benefits that come with taking it on a personal level?
    it was something i wanted to use myself and i knew it was not hard to make and that others might wanna use it too
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Arnold View Post
    10 percent of the former, 90 percent of the latter.

    and small companies are mostly resonsible for the latter.

    the big companies are all marketing driven and the need for novel ingredients to gain traction is not like it is for the small companies

    Thanks a lot for your responses so far. Given what you said above, that smaller companies are mostly responsible for novel ingredients, how much non-theoretical work will a company do in-house in formulation of a new supplement? Given financial and various other restrictions on testing, do you have to defer to the existing academic literature when thinking about things like the bioavailability or the body's physiological response to a compound? What about in the case of a compound you've developed yourself?

    I ask bc one of the things I think about is absorption and bioavailability of the ingredients in a supplement. Is there much thought given to that in supplements that contain a huge ****tail of ingredients or even a way to accurately test it?

    (I'd be interested in thoughts from anyone who has an opinion too)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABuchan View Post
    Thanks a lot for your responses so far. Given what you said above, that smaller companies are mostly responsible for novel ingredients, how much non-theoretical work will a company do in-house in formulation of a new supplement? Given financial and various other restrictions on testing, do you have to defer to the existing academic literature when thinking about things like the bioavailability or the body's physiological response to a compound? What about in the case of a compound you've developed yourself?

    I ask bc one of the things I think about is absorption and bioavailability of the ingredients in a supplement. Is there much thought given to that in supplements that contain a huge ****tail of ingredients or even a way to accurately test it?

    (I'd be interested in thoughts from anyone who has an opinion too)
    In response to the first question, yes, most research done into developing a supplement is secondary. Only after the supplement has been developed and marketed is there (quite rarely) primary research testing done.

    Thats the problem with most supplements - they throw the kitchen sink in. Its a quantum leap of connect the dots in their marketing...and, sadly, most consumers who see a statement followed by a (1) or (2), etc. will buy into it full heartedly without even looking at what these citations are referencing.

    Br
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