NOW Finds Quality Issues with CoQ10 and SAMe Online Brands
Testing Identifies Significant Quality Failings in Supplements Purchased Online
NOW® is making public a series of product tests the company did internally on CoQ10 and SAMe products purchased on Amazon.com that showed potency far below label claims.
“Today, especially, more people are buying their supplements online, which is why we are making this information public,” said Dan Richard, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. “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.”
“We initially tested the CoQ10 because we had serious questions about the dosage form: it is almost impossible to run this potency (400mg) of sticky CoQ10 in a dry capsule on machines,” said Aaron Secrist, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. “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 highly respected labs using validated methods. HPLC is widely considered 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 due 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, badly mislabeled their product by claiming 1500 mg SAM-e from “500 mg as adenosyl-methionine-disulfate tosylate” in only two capsules, 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.”
Determination of CoQIO in Dietary Supplements by HPLC
February 28, 2020
NOW Foods conducted a survey on CoQl O dietary supplements available on the market. All sa1nples were tested by HPLC, employing a validated method for the determination of CoQl O in dietary ingredients and finished products. The details of the survey are summarized below. None of the 10 samples tested passed label potency. Five of the 10 brands tested had less than 20% of labeled potency. Below na,nes the brands that were below 80% potency:
⚠︎ = potency claims not met or poor results
|Sample||Manufacturer||CoQlO Claim||Result||Lot Number||Expir. Date|
|⚠︎1||X Brand||200 mg/sgel||186 mg/sgel||01181061||12/2021|
|⚠︎2||NasaBe’Ahava||200 mg/cap||0.46 mg/cap||8100||06/2022|
|⚠︎3||X Brand||200 mg/cap||193 mg/cap||3107191||08/2021|
|⚠︎4||aSquared Nutrition||400 mg/cap||11 mg/cap||10202||11/2022|
|⚠︎5||Healthy Way||200 mg/cap||Not Detected||8100||06/2022|
|⚠︎6||Mental Refreshment Nutrition||200 mg/cap||16 mg/cap||11111905.1||01/2022|
|⚠︎7||BodSmith||400 mg/cap||219 mg/cap||11111904||11/2021|
|⚠︎8||We Like Vitamins||200 mg/cap||8 mg/cap||25111913||01/2024|
|⚠︎9||NusaPure||200 mg/cap||Not Detected||1910052||12/2022|
|⚠︎10||X Brand||600 mg/cap||514 mg/cap||091932||09/2022|
Analytical Testing of SAMe Brands on Amazon
March 9, 2020
NOW Foods recently conducted a survey on suspicious SAMe dietary supplements available on Amazon.com. SAMe is typically unstable due 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. The products below were suspected to be low potency or in an unstable form. One additional brand, PureControl Supplements, badly mislabeled their product by claiming 1500 mg SAM-e from “500 mg as adenosyl-111ethionine-disulfate tosylate” in only 2 capsules, which is mathematically impossible. All samples were tested by HPLC, employing a validated method for the determination of SAMe in dietary ingredients and finished products. The details of the survey are summarized be!ow:
⚠︎ = potency claims not met or poor results
|Test #||Manufacturer||Lot #||Expir. Date||Claim||Results Below 80%|
|⚠︎QC-40657||Prunus amygalus||SE56279||22-Jan||500 mg/cap||41 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40658||Metaphormine||1012005||24-Jan||250 mg/cap||103 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40661||aSquared Nutrition||NA||22-Sep||400 mg/cap||190 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40662||NasaBe’Ahava||10228||22-Sep||500 mg/cap||59 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40663||Healthy Way||20028||23-Jan||500 mg/cap||48 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40664||Naturetition||116-260||22-Jun||500 mg/cap||108 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40665||Mental Refreshment||16012004||22-Jan||250 mg/cap||130 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40666||monoHerb||NA||21-Pxct||300 mg/cap||Not Detected|
|⚠︎QC-40667||Superior Health||31121906||24-Jan||200 mg/cap||106 mg/cap|
|⚠︎QC-40659||Favmedsusa||709843||24-dEC||200 mg/cap||Not Detected|
NOW’s Commitment to Quality
100% of NOW SAMe products are tested for potency and have minimum overage of 5% added at time of manufacture to assure full potency at time of expiration. NOW SAMe is also tested for disintegration time, microbiological safety and heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in every lot sold.
Additional information can be found at truthinadvertising.org (search for “SAM-e”) regarding various brands called out in a 100-page lawsuit about SAM-e.