We will get to whether we think the EU version is better or worse per se shortly, but the first question I’d like to address is this…Does it really matter!?
You might argue that if you’re paying the same amount of money for a product that has been amended in some way, and quite possibly has less of certain ingredients, then you would be well within in your rights to complain should you find yourself getting less for your money! My answer to this is as follows…IT DOESN’T MATTER, and why doesn’t it matter, because there is absolutely NOTHING anyone can do about it.
You see, the government and EU has seen it fit to moderate and regulate the standards by which ‘border line substances’ A.K.A supplements, are governed. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) make a clear division between pharmaceuticals/ medicines and supplements, with medicines governed far more tightly than supplements. However, supplements are monitored tightly in the EU and particularly the UK, they are overseen by what is effectively a democracy governing supplement guidelines that include the Department of Health (DoH), the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). All of these governing bodies play a part, with supplements and novel food classification chopping and changing from time to time.
In a nut shell, any supplement that is to be legally distributed in the EU have to meet certain criteria set by the likes of the above, if they don’t then they will either be removed from circulation, or amended to meet the criteria…this is the case with many of the US derived BSN products.
As the largest supplement retailer in the UK, we respect all levels of the legislative, regulatory and Parliamentary processes involved in governing supplements. We appreciate the quality of BSN products and are glad to be selling them, but in order to do so we had to meet current regulations regarding their nutritional content…
BSN Syntha- 6 (US)
Per rounded scoop:
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 15g
Dietary Fibre: 5g
Per 100g / Per 47g / % RDA:
Energy: 1715kJ / 409kcal // 806kJ / 192kcal Slightly lower in calories
Fat: 12.8g / 6g
of which saturates: 4.3g / 2g
Carbohydrate: 21.3g / 10g Less total Carbs
of which sugars: 8.5g / 4g Higher in sugar (by 2g)
Fibre: 10.6g / 5g
Protein: 46.8g / 22g / 44%
Salt: 0.87g / 0.41g / 7%
Calcium: 255mg / 120mg / 15% Added Calcium
Sodium: 351mg / 165mg Lower in Sodium
What the label tells us
As you can see from the above, the EU BSN Syntha- 6 has made some positive changes including less total calories, carbs and sodium, as well as giving a salt equivalent for easier interpretation, and additional calcium. The only down side is the marginal increase in sugar, but this is counter balanced by the less total carbs and overall improved nutritional value.
So the fact is that the EU version of BSN Syntha- 6 is in probably an overall better product, it delivers the same amount of protein, more nutritive value, and less salt, but the fact of the matter remains the same...In order to sell a protein supplement here in the UK you have to adhere to the stipulated guidelines, so whether the product was better or worse, the fact is that the EU one is the only legal option available. It just so happens that as luck would have it…it’s actually pretty damn good!
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), (2013). Science Advisory Council. Retrieved 6th October, 2013, from http://cmu.dh.gov.uk/acbs/
Department of Health (DoH), (2013). Commercial Medicines Unit. Retrieved 6th October, 2013, from http://cmu.dh.gov.uk/acbs/
Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA), (2013). The voice of the natural health industry. Retrieved 6th October, 2013, from http://cmu.dh.gov.uk/acbs/
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), (2013). Borderline products. Retrieved 6th October, 2013, from http://cmu.dh.gov.uk/acbs/