Understand the process that goes into making a quality supplement and what Dr. Jack looks for beyond the product label to ensure product purity and potency.
Some of the things Dr. Jack looks for and considers when evaluating any supplement include:
Quality Assurance of Ingredients
The production of a nutritional supplement with high levels of quality assurance is much more than what is listed on the label. It rather is related to the entire system used by the company to produce its product starting with the selection and confirmation of quality of the ingredients.
- The composition of formulas has become much more complex in the past decade due to the inclusion of various extracts of herbs, spices, and food products. For example, many foods are now being genetically modified and are labeled GMO or non-GMO yet sometimes products are incorrectly labeled. To address this, you must have sophisticated PCR (polymerase chain reaction) genetic testing on the ingredient. Similarly, the inclusion of herbal ingredients requires chemical characterization and standardization of the product.
- For most ingredients there are multiple manufacturers from which it can be purchased. Different suppliers provide the same ingredient with different purities and potencies. A quality finished product manufacturer must qualify each of their ingredient suppliers to confirm that the materials they receive meet their specifications. A quality finished product manufacturer will not rely upon the “Certificate of Analysis” of an ingredient provided by its ingredient manufacturer, but rather will engage in independent laboratory confirmation of its chemical purity and potency. This includes testing the ingredient to ensure it is free of chemical toxins such as lead, mercury or other toxic heavy metals, pesticides, or herbicides.
- A quality manufacturer will also test each ingredient to ensure it is free of microbial contamination. In this age of new infectious agents such as the bacteria e-coli as well as mold and fungal contaminants, it is increasingly important to ensure microbial purity.
- These analyses for ingredient quality are not represented on the label of the product, therefore, it is possible to have label that looks excellent, but is of lower quality upon analysis of purity and potency.
Potency and Purity
- Once quality ingredients have been confirmed the product must then be tableted, encapsulated, or blended into a powder. To ensure quality, the product potency and purity needs to be assayed at this point as well. If the product is a tablet or capsule, it also needs to have the supplement disintegration time tested. It is possible, due to poor quality control in the manufacturing process, for the final tablet or capsule to not break down well in the digestive system and be of little value to the individual at all.
- Next, a product must be tested for retention for label-claimed potency over the length of its shelf life. This allows for the product to be labeled with an expiration date and be assured that it will still have the stated potency throughout the period.
In summary, the quality of a supplement is related to the overall system the company uses for the production of its products and attention to quality by all the employees of the company. It is important to understand beyond the label of a product what the company stands for and how it does its business.
- Is the company open for inspection?
- Does it share its quality assurance process when asked?
- Does it have its own manufacturing facility, or does it rely upon a contract manufacturer to make its product?
- Does it have a good reputation in the field?
Dr. Jack has performed extensive research and inspections into various manufacturers, which have resulted in quality relationships that we trust.
The brands carried within our store are the brands we take ourselves and recommend for all our patients, friends, and family.
Feel free to explore the various supplements we carry at our Store.