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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.”

Test Results

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

 

 

visual assessment brands coq10

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.

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