Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are all Supplements Created Equal?

Supplement Quality--What's the Deal?

In the United States alone there are approximately 1,000 supplement manufacturers. These companies can be anything from a mom and pop operation putting raw materials into capsules in a garage to a multimillion dollar lab with high tech equipment comparable to some of the large pharmaceutical companies. And there's no government regulation of the supplement world. This often leads the consumer to question the purity and manufacturing process of what they see on the shelves, as they should. All supplements are definitely not created equal. But just because the government doesn't regulate the supplement industry (which is good, because they would probably make it worse) doesn't mean the industry doesn't have some internal regulation.

I now direct you to the Natural Products Association, a company that, among other things, has a "Good Manufacturing Process" seal of approval available to supplement companies that pay to have their labs audited. If the supplement company goes for it, and passes, they get to put the "GMP" stamp of approval on their products. I already mentioned that there are 1,000, give or take, supplement companies in the U.S. There are only 77 companies that have made it through the process and sport the GMP label.

And of the 77 that have made it that far, only one company can claim that they also, in fact, manufacture actual pharmaceuticals, and therefore have inspectors and auditors of various natures in their facilities on a very regular basis. And that supplement company is Anabolic Labs--the guys I deal with.  Not just because of their level of quality; their actual line of products is congruent with my thinking about what people need less of: inflammation. They're making it easy these days by putting 30 day packages together of the four supplements I think most people should take: vitamin D, magnesium, fish oil, and a multivitamin that contains no iron (more on that in a future post). The clinical results from a low inflammatory diet (more on that, too) and the addition of the aforementioned supplements can be impressive.

I'm not telling you not to take the stuff they sell at your corner vitamin/supplement store, I'm just telling you to be aware that there are quality control measures in place. There are some good companies that aren't participating .   The one company that I personally have always trusted is Anabolic Laboratories!