Buy well known supplements

I was in this industry and we used to tell people be careful what you buy. Many of the products at your mainstream stores would not have what they claimed on the label. Major brands at those stores even. Nowadays you can get better brands through Amazon, vitamin online retailers etc. But the problem still becomes you get what you pay for. Meaning a lot of the really cheap stuff isn’t what it claims to be.

A lot of us take supplements, and you really don’t want to bother taking something that doesn’t actually contain what you think.

I have to commend NOW Brand. NOW has decided to randomly test products. Sure it’s in self interest. They have to compete against the cheap stuff. But it also helps the whole industry to get rid of the non legit products because they won’t work and customers lose faith when that happens. They have been testing various companies and letting the public know. They mostly test companies sold on Amazon because a lot of these companies only sell there and that is suspect in itself.

So here’s the latest round. Astaxanthin. 13 of 22 brands tested had less than 1 mg in them when the claims were they had anywhere from 10 to 24 mg.

The article is from Nutraceuticals World

"NOW purchased two bottles of each product from 22 brands (including its own) on both and It was obvious even before testing that many brands were mislabeling potency claims on the front label panel vs. the side panel. Two tests were performed to assess the quality of each brand: HPTLC and HPLC. HPTLC (high-performance thin-layer chromatography), was used for identification of astaxanthin as coming from Haematococcus pluvialis algae. HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) was used to quantify the amount of astaxanthin in tested products. NOW in-house labs tested astaxanthin by both techniques.

Externally, NOW sent one unopened bottle of each brand to Alkemist Labs to provide an independent report on the same products. HPTLC was performed by both NOW’s in-house lab and Alkemist Labs, an industry-leading botanical identification contract laboratory for identification of Astaxanthin.

According to NOW, brands were selected based on a number of qualifiers, such as being prominently featured on Amazon and Walmart’s online retail platforms and nowhere else. The company also tested lesser-known brands which have previously failed other testing rounds by NOW. For instance, aSquared brand failed seven different product tests and has the worst record for potencies tested among all brands. We Like Vitamins is another brand which failed six different tests, and each of this brand’s potencies were less than 33% of label claim.

About one third of brands tested were first-timers in NOW’s testing program. These included TerraVita, a brand which made a drastic label error by claiming that its dry capsules contained 450 mg of “astaxanthin algae.” Another product from We Like Vitamins had “Max Strength 10mg” but deceptively placed “10% potency yield” on the label of the product.

“NOW does this testing to publicly report which brandsare labeling accurately,” said Dan Richard, VP of global sales and marketing at NOW. “We welcome brands to communicate with NOW about these findings and openly share this information with all customers, industry trade groups, and FDA.”


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How many of these brands come from China? And how many generics come from China?

I stumbled upon this NOW report not too long ago after purchasing a magnesium supplement for over a year and trying to do some of my own comparisons. It’s really difficult trying to assess these supplements and then trying to find ones that don’t have all the crap additives as well. I thin China is invasive in the supplement market, you can hardly buy pumpkin seeds to eat that are not from China.


Since supplements are not regulated,it is always a gamble.Nancy;50

Supplements are regulated, but as food and not the same as prescription drugs or even OTC drugs. Although they do have GMP in place. You wouldn’t want them to be prescription drugs or recognized as an OTC drug and pay 10 times the cost.

But prescription drugs and OTC drugs are also counterfeited and faked. So is some food. One that was the most surprising to me was an orange juice sold at major mass chains nationwide that turned out to be chemicals, not OJ. Who would have thought OJ was cheaper to fake? There are also companies that pop up and sell those items that don’t contain everything they say is in it. Juices sold at a major mass chain that had a fraction of what it was supposed to. Prescription drugs and the even easier to sell OTC drugs are constantly barraged with counterfeit drugs. It’s just that has been happening to them for a longer time and the companies have a lot more experience at watching out for and catching them. The FDA and FTC don’t even come close to catching a fraction of the misc entities that sell things online, frankly they don’t stand much of a chance, but they don’t seem to try real hard either. They have been more interested in putting more rules in place on the companies that are legit instead of catching the ones that aren’t.


Many of us who have our blood sugar under control work on the next biggest killer: heart conditions brought about by high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. We have all heard that a Mediterranean diet does wonders to control these issues in the European population. One of the key ingredients is the use of extra virgin olive oil high in polyphenols in the diet. What is not exposed in this country is that extra virgin olive oil in the US is not regulated, and as long as there is a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil in the bottle, the balance of the bottle can be “junk oil” totally lacking the required health benefits. In Europe, however, extra virgin olive oil is a regulated certified product. Pure certified extra virgin olive oil from Europe can be found in the US, but not easily. You can find some on Amazon if you don’t have a source or try mine which I have been using for the past few years with great success.

Checkout the products at

These are certified and I highly recommend them, but if others on the forum have recommendations, please let us know as it is always good to have one or more reliable backup sources.

Have you seen the personalized or custom vitamin companies that take a sample of your DNA (I think it is a spit sample or something they use) and then give you a custom vitamin supply? Supposedly it is based on what you need. Do you think that is legit?

Just a quick tip for determining if olive oil is real…put the bottle in the fridge, if it solidifies then it’s real extra virgin olive oil.

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Olive oil from Italy, one of the most commonly “falsified” oils. More imported olive oil is sold here than Italy actually grows or makes. But at least from what I understand it’s at least still olive oil, just not Italian olive oil.

@Eric2 Sorry, I don’t know! It was a fairly new idea that hadn’t caught on when I still had my store. I don’t think much has been covered about it in my trade magazines either.

Content matters for heart health, not country of origin; however, just because certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil is only produced in Europe does not mean that all European olive oils are certified. They need to be certified for domestic sales but not for export. Furthermore, certified Extra Virgin olive oil can legally be blended with other oils in the US and still be marketed as Extra Virgin Olive oil. Those, which are the bulk of what is sold in the US, do not contain the polyphenols required for heart health.

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