News From Our Holistic Nutrition Advisor: CAN YOU LEARN TO BE YOUR OWN SUPPLEMENT DETECTIVE ON-LINE?

CAN YOU LEARN TO BE YOUR OWN SUPPLEMENT DETECTIVE ON-LINE? 

Did you know that not all supplement companies are created equal when it comes to purity and strength?  Well, luckily there is a website that helps take a lot of the guesswork out of which companies stand up to their health claims.  This website is called CONSUMERLAB.COM.  They take many supplements, finding the some of the highest selling brands, and test them in their laboratory to let us, the public, know the truth.  The good thing to aid their credibility is that they don’t get paid by any companies who actually make the supplements, which makes them quite credible, unlike pharmaceutical companies who fund their own research.  Getting all this information at your fingertips is easy and fun, by just signing on and paying a small yearly fee to them, you too, can decide which brand might be best before you buy.  The only drawback to the website is they only list about 10 different companies (and there are so many more actual good ones), but otherwise the information is quite extensive.  Take for instance their findings on the outcome of testing probiotics in the marketplace.  See below my example of their findings, then if you are still interested, go to the website and decide if you want to sign on for more:

What CONSUMER LAB  Found:
PROBIOTICS: ConsumerLab.com selected thirteen probiotic products sold in the U.S. and/or Canada. Some products only listed the amount of organisms that were viable when the product was manufactured and not through the expiration date. This labeling practice is not typically employed with other types of supplements and can mislead consumers when a diminished amount is actually in the product at time of use. One of the products selected by ConsumerLab.com (Kashi Vive) did not list any amount of organisms.

Among the products selected by ConsumerLab.com, only two (Advocare Probiotic Restore and Udo’s Choice Adult Formula) were found to accurately list the number of cells that were viable at the time they were tested. Other products were found to contain as little as 7% to 58% of the amount listed on their labels.

The actual amount of viable probiotic cells in a daily serving ranged from over ten billion to less than one hundred million — more than a 10,000% difference — highlighting the need to carefully evaluated probiotics. However, most products yielded at least one billion organisms, an amount that may still provide some benefit.

Among the thirteen products selected by ConsumerLab.com for testing, the following did not provide the amounts listed on their labels, although some of these amounts related to the time of manufacture:

  • Align claimed to contain 1 billion live bacteria when manufactured “and an effective level until as least the “best by” date.  ConsumerLab.com testing revealed that only 530 million bacteria were viable.  However, a clinical study of the bacteria (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624) in Align showed that it could reduce symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at a dose of just 100 million.  ConsumerLab.com found that the product exceeded this amount, so the product’s claim to provide an effective dose is correct.  Whether or not a higher dose might offer greater efficacy is not known.
  • Culturelle claimed to provide 10 billion cells in a daily capsule through the “best used by” date; ConsumerLab.com found only 5.8 billion viable cells.  It is not clear whether this is a sufficient dose.  Most clinical studies with Lactobacillus GG have used 10 to 20 billion viable cells per day.  A dosing study (Saxelin 1991) using the bacteria in Culturelle (Lactobacillus GG) found that a daily dose of 1.5 billion cells was not able to colonize the gut, but a dose of 15 billion was. The amount found falls between these two dosages.
  • DDS Acidophilus claimed to contain 5 billion cells of Lactobacillus acidophilus at time of manufacture but, when tested, only 1.8 billion viable cells were found, just 36% of the original amount.
  • Metagenics Ultra Flora Plus DF Capsules claimed to provide 15 billion cells per capsule from two different strains but testing found only 1.5 billion viable cells, only 10% of the claimed amount.
  • Natures Secret Ultimate Probiotics claimed to contain 4 billion cells from 17 different strains per tablet at time of manufacture, but testing found just 520 million viable cells, merely 13% of the original amount.
  • Swiss Natural

Contact Linda Wolschlager: naturalnutritionadvisor@gmail.com,  www.naturalnutritionadvisor.com

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this information..it is very helpful!!!!

  2. Cool article. Very interesting.

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