Since there is always some new weight loss drug hitting the market, reputable companies can give themselves a competitive advantage by setting up studies to create a weight-loss supplement that best appeals to their target demographic audience.
Well-established companies use scientific research, a systematic way to get objective answers, to create the best products. Good research is based on the scientific method of inquiry and evaluation of research findings.
There are two aspects of research. The first is setting up the best laboratory conditions to develop the best product and the second is investigating to make sure the product actually provides healthy weight-loss benefits.Setting Up Laboratory Conditions
Ideas and hunches are tested in the laboratory, and everything is recorded so that the experiment can be repeated by others. This is a process referred to as "replication."
Since weight loss supplements are often based on the chemical makeup of plant extracts, with exotic varieties of plants imported from all over the world, one of the most important aspects of laboratory research is taking as many precautions as necessary to ensure the integrity of their biological samples.
Samples become vulnerable when the labs run out of room for storage or when the scientists involved in the product's research end the current research phase and have to store the samples they've been working with and creating. Usually, this work is so specialized that they hire a biological transport
company to make sure that these samples are safely preserved despite fluctuations in temperature, jostling, or other factors that could affect their potency.
Once the product has been developed and tested as safe (often via testing on laboratory animals), the next step is to find out if it actually works.Investigating if the Product is Effective
The first step is to identify the problem the product is trying to solve. A weight loss study, for example, will rarely ask if their product will help people who struggle to lose weight. This is too broad. Instead, they might ask "Will this product help women who struggle to lose weight
?" or "What dietary and lifestyle factors influence the efficacy of this weight loss product?"
Next, researchers must review the current literature on the problem the product is designed to help with. This research provides a foundational knowledge about what similar studies have been done, how they were done, and what conclusions were reached.
After reading the literature about the problem, researchers have a whole new understanding of it. They might find, for instance, that they are targeting the wrong population. Conversely, they may find that their product solves issues that no other studies addressed.Clarifying and Defining
Next, researchers clearly clarify all their key concepts. Every concept used in the research must be clearly defined so that everyone is on the same page.
They also define the target population as precisely as possible. If, for instance, the product was designed to help obesity in women, then age, ethnicity, socioeconomic background and other essential factors have to be selected to determine efficacy.Planning
An instrumentation plan for research studies is a plan that will be used for the study. It's a blueprint about how the study will be done.
This plan will answer the following questions:
- Who will be asked to participate?
- How will the information be collected?
- How much data needs to be gathered?
- Where and when will the work be done?
Researchers will now collect the data. Essentially, this is testing to see how people in the target population will react to the supplement. They may, for example, be given a questionnaire. Another technique researchers might use is monitoring their subjects" behavior over a certain period of time.Analysis
This is the last stage. It's when everything comes together. Researchers may conclude that the weight loss is ineffective, moderately effective, or highly effective. They review all the data collected and summarize their results.Reputation
Although it's theoretically possible for supplement companies to underfund their studies, skip research steps, fudge the data to hoodwink the FDA, or find other ways rush the product to market, reputable companies don't cut corners because it will damage their reputation, open them up to legal action, and will only create short-term profits based on marketing hype. In the long run, companies who are dishonest quickly go out of business. They either lose money because their product is discovered to have dangerous side-effects (like supplements with ephedra), or people stop buying their product because it's ineffective.
If you are hoping to develop a product of your own, make sure you follow the steps taken by reputable companies and use science to create your supplement.