SAN MARCOS, Calif., Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Alternatives International, Inc. ("NAI") (Nasdaq: NAII), a leading formulator, manufacturer and marketer of customized nutritional supplements, today announced that the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), for the first time since its inception eight years ago, granted a lifetime achievement award to Professor Roger Harris of the UK with the citation, "In recognition of your outstanding contribution to the Science of Sports Nutrition." Dr. Harris is one of the original inventors of NAI's extensive beta-alanine patent estate which covers various methods and compositions for increasing the anaerobic working capacity in tissues.
Professor Harris was presented his award by ISSN President, Dr. Jose Antonio, at its 8th annual meeting held in July in Las Vegas. In his award address, Dr. Antonio noted that Professor Harris had spent 40 years in the field of exercise biochemistry since first joining the laboratory of Professor Eric Hultman in 1968 at St Erik's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, where the muscle biopsy technique was first developed.
In 1992, Professor Harris published the first description of creatine elevation in human muscle following three or more days of dietary creatine supplementation. The paper established a new level in sports nutrition and led to the broad use of creatine supplements by athletes and sports persons in an effort to improve exercise performance.
As Dr. Antonio explained, creatine was only the first of two key developments in sports nutrition initiated by Professor Harris, the second being a description of carnosine elevation in human muscle by supplementation of the diet with beta-alanine. Beta-alanine, together with histidine, forms the dipeptide carnosine which is one of the major defenses against the build up of lactic acid during exercise such as running, cycling, rowing, swimming and soccer. Increasing the muscle carnosine store by beta-alanine supplementation was shown by Professor Harris to increase exercise endurance. Today, beta-alanine supplements are increasingly used by elite athletes and undoubtedly will be featured in the nutritional preparation of competitors for the London 2012 Olympics, along with creatine.