How to choose safe and high quality supplements
Supplement industry is not well regulated as we hope. It is well known that you can not trust labels on products; some of the listed ingredients may not be present, or posted amount may not be true or accurate. Purity of the supplement is questionable as well. Many manufactures are using cheap contaminated materials/ingredients to formulate their products and they don’t spend enough money and time for quality assurance process. Therefore the supplements you are taking may contain dangerous chemicals.
During the creation of synthetic vitamins, similar compound which is normally not present in our natural food source will be created as bi-products. The problem is that some of these molecules are so similar to the authentic vitamins. In order to filter all these similar “fake” compounds out, manufactures needs to install highly advanced technology for purification/filtration process. Unfortunately, many manufactures don’t spend enough money, time and effort for this purification process, rather many focus on how to make more profit and how to bring the production cost down. Some may simply don’t have enough finance to invest in quality machines or don’t have knowledge or technology.
Many companies are profit driven, and they choose to use cheaper ingredients/materials rather than focusing on quality.
For example, it is known that over 95% of Vitamin C in the US market is made in China. Many supplement companies formulate their vitamin products using these cheap possibly contaminated made-in-China Vitamins. Not only supplement industries but food industries are doing the same; many vitamin enriched products including bread and cereals contain these cheap and possibly contaminated synthetic vitamins.
Some companies use vitamins extracted from natural food source. Our body can absorb these vitamins easier for various reasons. Also these naturally produced vitamins are safer as long as manufactures are using non contaminated, fresh and high quality raw materials.
Naturally Plus’ broad spectrum multi carotenoid supplement “Super Lutein” is one of the best supplement I found. All ingredients were extracted from natural food source, ingredients are high quality, fresh and no contamination. Formula they use is easiest for the body to absorb and utilize.
If you’d like to purchase Super Lutein in the US, you can order from here. Or if you live outside of the US, please let me know so that I can send you the Website to order.
Other than Naturally Plus, I found Garden of Life, Country Life, Mega Food, New Chapter and Now seems to be trust worthy.
Garden of Life
Garden of Life responded to my email as below:
Thank you for your email and interest in Garden of Life‘s products. All of the ingredients that are included in our Vitamin Code formulas (aside from AlgaeCal RAW and Red Algae) are sourced and manufactured in the USA. AlgaeCal RAW washes up on the pristine shores of South America and the Red Algae is sourced in Ireland.
We offer whole food supplements and do not use synthetics in our formulas. The vitamins and mineralsincluded in our Vitamin Code formulas are delivered in a whole food form as RAW Food-Created Nutrients. The vitamins and minerals are produced through a fermentation process prior to going through Grows process as described below.
We “grow” the vitamins via our proprietary dual cultivation process using yeast and probiotics. This process utilizes a single isolated vitamin or mineral that is fed to the yeast or probiotic. A specific peptide designed for that particular nutrient is then introduced in order to allow the nutrient to be metabolized (or absorbed) through the yeast’s cell wall.
This process mimics nature, just like when a plant takes an inorganic mineral salt that is naturally occurring in the soil (selenium for example), and absorbs it into its roots, the plant becomes rich in selenium. This process is conducted with two distinct organisms – S. cerevisiae (baker’s yeast) and L. bulgaricus(probiotic culture used in traditional yogurt recipes which is non-dairy). RAW Food-Created Nutrients are delivered “body ready“.
Garden of Life, LLC.
4200 Northcorp Parkway, Suite 200
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410
Country Life responded to my email as below:
At Country Life, integrity is our #1 ingredient. Every product is rigorously tested to ensure it measures up against Country Life’s 5 Integrity Standards: 1) authenticity 2) cleanliness 3) freshness 4) consistency of the formula and 5) accuracy of labeling. We call this our Pledge of Integrity. Our industry is constantly under scrutiny, and we wanted to take this time to reinforce our commitment to this Pledge and assure you that we will never relax our standards so that we can continue to uphold the trust that consumers have in our brands. We take this trust very seriously.
Country Life’s approach is to build quality into our products at every step of the production and distribution process. Our fully trained production staff works closely with the Quality group to ensure that every ingredient listed on our bottles actually meets label claim. Oversight of the entire process is provided by our Quality group which includes scientists, chemists and quality assurance specialists, working to fulfill our Pledge to you.
Even before a new ingredient can be brought into our facilities, every ingredient must pass our thorough qualification process. To meet our standards, each ingredient must be supported by proper documentation that may include certificates of analysis, other certifications (e.g. non-GMO, gluten free, USDA Organic), process flowcharts, ingredient specifications and test results. The ingredient is further subjected to our own internal testing processes to verify the accuracy of the supplier data and its conformity to the various label claims on the Country Life product label. Only after the Quality group is fully satisfied that the ingredient conforms to our high standards will the material be approved for use in production.
Every lot of raw material that enters our facility is immediately quarantined until the Quality group has carried out all required inspections and testing. The Quality group will only release the material for use in manufacturing if it conforms to our exacting standards. During this raw material inspection process, testing for ingredient identification/purity/potency, as well as the presence of any potentially hazardous materials such as heavy metals and pathogens is routinely carried out.
Manufacturing and packaging of our products is carried out under rigorous standard operating procedures by full qualified staff in a plant built and operated to current cGMP standards as verified by NSF and inspected by FDA. During the entire manufacturing and packaging processes, a dedicated team of quality professionals maintains oversight. Our quality control staff carries out analytical testing on every lot of finished product, using many different techniques depending on the material being tested. We follow current USP (United States Pharmacopeia), FCC (Food Chemicals Codex) and AOAC (American Association of Analytical Chemists) protocols as well as internally developed scientifically sound methodologies. These include:
- Near-infrared spectroscopy
- Ultra-violet-visible spectroscopy
- Thin layer chromatography
- High Performance/Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography
- Chemical identification via USP
- Infrared spectroscopy
- ICP-OES/MS Spectroscopy
Our commitment to source the highest quality ingredients does not stop at testing. We also require detailed ingredient-specific regulatory documents/affidavits from our suppliers. These are frequently verified by on-site vendor audits by our Quality team. This group is authorized to disqualify a vendor if the audit indicates failure to meet any of Country Life standards.
Prior to release of the finished product our Quality group at Country Life tests the final products to ensure they conform to product specifications and compliance with product label claims and also carries out a review of all of the data and information collected during the production process. Even at this final step, if a product does not meet specification, it will not be released for sale. Raw ingredients and final packaged samples are retained so that we can also do any follow up testing work, if questions arise on product potency, changes, etc.
We are proud to say that all of our current products are manufactured in the USA, the majority of which are made at our NSF-GMP certified facility on Long Island, New York. Even when we use a third-party contractor to craft a few of our highly specialized products, we conduct a full investigation of their manufacturing facilities to ensure they continue Country Life’s high quality standards. All of our suppliers have high standards of GMP, which are verified by audits by our internal specialized teams.
Many of the ingredients in our Coenzyme B Complex are scientifically made.
We, at Country Life, take great pride in the quality of our products, the professionalism of our staff and ‘state of the art’ manufacturing and analytical facilities. Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
We make every effort to purchase as many products and ingredients as possible from U.S. based suppliers. However some of the raw ingredients may have originated in countries outside of the United States. , Regardless of where they originated, all raw materials follow the same high level testing protocols to ensure they contain no harmful foreign materials, and that they contain exactly what is claimed. At Country Life, we are committed to manufacturing in the United States.