“Today, especially, more people are buying their supplements online, which is why we are making this information public,” Dan Richard, VP of NOW’s Global Sales and Marketing, said. “NOW takes defrauding consumers personally and it is in the best interest of the entire dietary supplements to identify and work to purge such bad actors to protect consumers.”
Aaron Secrist, VP of NOW’s Quality and Regulatory Affairs, said that certain products raised red flags, spurring the company to evaluate the accuracy of these claims.
“We initially tested the CoQ10 because we had serious questions about the dosage form: it is almost impossible to run (400mg) of sticky CoQ10 in a dry capsule on machines,” Secrist said. “We suspected the SAMe to be low potency, which they were, with several delivered in an unstable form.”
All samples were tested by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) in NOW’s labs, using industry-validated methods. HPLC is widely considered to be the best fit for purpose test method for both of these materials.
The CoQ10 products, which were almost all labeled as 400mg in dry capsules, contained far below the claimed amount, if any CoQ10 was detected at all. This is the second time NOW tested these and similar no-name brands purchased on Amazon, and these new results are consistent with what was found two years ago.
NOW also tested suspicious SAMe dietary supplements available on Amazon.com. SAMe is typically unstable when exposed to heat or moisture, which is why most brands, including NOW, enteric coat SAMe within tablets. Another way to stabilize SAMe is the form S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine from disulfate tosylate salt. NOW suspected the products they tested to be low potency or in an unstable form.
One additional brand, PureControl Supplements, actually claimed that their product contained 1500 mg of SAM-e from “500 mg as adenosyl-methionone-disulfate-tosylate” in only two capsules, which, of course, is a mathematical impossibility.
“As a business partner of Amazon, we did report this information to them and hope they will take action,” Richard said. “Additionally, NOW has provided this information to other supplement brands, FDA, and to trade associations.”
Here is a breakdown of NOW’s testing results on Co Q10 supplements purchased on Amazon, which evaluated the claimed potency versus actual content per cap or softgel, where each product had an expiration date of 2021 at the earliest:
- X brand, claimed 200 mg, contained 186 mg
- NasaBe’Ahava, claimed 200 mg, contained 0.46 mg
- X brand, claimed 200 mg, contained 193 mg
- aSquared Nutrition, claimed 400 mg, contained 11 mg
- Healthy Way, claimed 200 mg, CoQ10 not detected
- Mental Refreshment Nutrition, claimed 200 mg, contained 16 mg
- BodSmith, claimed 400 mg, contained 219 mg
- We Like Vitamins, claimed 200 mg, contained 8 mg
- NusaPure, claimed 400 mg, no CoQ10 detected
- X Brand, claimed 600 mg, contained 514 mg
NOW Foods also conducted tests on suspicious SAMe supplements available on Amazon.com. The products listed below were suspected to be low potency or in an unstable form, and many of them had results which were below 80% of the potency listed on the label.
- BoostCeuticals, claimed 500 mg, contained 41 mg
- Metaphormine, claimed 250 mg, contained 103 mg
- aSquared Nutrition, claimed 400 mg, contained 190 mg
- NasaBe’Ahava, claimed 500 mg, contained 59 mg
- Healthy Way, claimed 500 mg, contained 48 mg
- Naturetition, claimed 500 mg, contained 108 mg
- Mental Refreshment, claimed 250 mg, contained 130 mg
- monoHerb, claimed 300 mg, no SAMe detected
- Superior Health, claimed 200mg, contained 106 mg
- Favmedsusa, claimed 200 mg, no SAMe was detected
Additional information can be found at truthinadvertising.org regarding various brands called out in a 100-page class action lawsuit about SAMe.