Some years ago I observed that many of my patients improved from the nutrient products I prescribed — but a significant number of them did not. I often wondered if the failure was truly a treatment failure (not everybody responds), or if it was caused by some quality issues with the products I was prescribing. I went on a hunt to try and find out.
I investigated two things:
I spent a few months educating myself on nutritional supplement quality assurance guidelines. Once I had this information I called the suppliers of my clinic and asked if they followed the quality assurance guidelines I had learned about. I discovered that my suppliers and manufacturers did little to assure product quality and consistency of their supplements.
In fact, I learned that the nutritional supplement industry as a whole does little or no quality assurance testing of their products. This industry is not held accountable by any government or private agency to comply with any standard of quality assurance. There is a lot of talk about quality, but little proof of quality assurance. The motivation behind the lack of quality assurance seems to be financial gain, not integrity.
When natural product manufacturers buy raw materials from their suppliers they believe in good faith that these raw materials are properly tested and are therefore authentic, potent and not contaminated. Most (probably 90%) manufacturers do not perform independent testing to confirm the quality of their raw materials, and thus they cannot verify any level of quality assurance that is actually in their products.
In summary, most manufacturers of natural products do NO quality assurance testing of raw materials or finished products. Scary thought isn’t it?
More and more there are reports of randomly tested nutritional supplements that were found to be contaminated, sub-potent, adulterated, or simply just not what the label claimed them to be.
Because of this situation it is probably very unwise to “assume” that a supplier is providing you with top-quality products, just because they say so. They must be able to provide you with comprehensive and conclusive proof that their products are exactly as they are represented to you. This is key and the most important factor to ensure a good clinical outcome.
Vital Nutrients is a nutritional supplement manufacturer that supplies most of the products for the patients of the Connecticut Center for Health. Our physicians have found that they get a better clinical outcome with their patients when they use Vital Nutrients products. Vital Nutrients is one of a handful of US companies that provides extensive proof of independent quality assurance testing on raw materials, finished products and stability samples.
Using cheap nutritional supplements is not worth the gamble that they may be sub-potent, inauthentic or contaminated. High quality, independently tested nutritional supplements may cost slightly more but you gain the comfort of knowing you are taking an authentic, clean and maximum potency product that is safe and likely to be far more effective.