Getting Your Money's Worth With Supplement Labels
by Mark Cammack June 15, 2018
Lecithin supplement label: This is what a nutritional product label should look like. There is full disclosure. We can clearly see who made it, where it was manufactured, and the amount of ingredients. The story that follows is about a different firm.
Recently I made an inquiry to a major nutritional company. They have been in business for decades. When I was a child, it was a struggle to improve health. A highly educated and experienced specialist placed me on products by this well-known firm. He stated that I should stay on a high protein diet with specific supplements. While I have not always used the recommended brand, the overall program has been helpful. Reasonable trust was placed in their product line.
My question to them regarded their lecithin, as I had been obtaining the item elsewhere. I noticed that their product label stated: Lecithin 1200 mg per softgel capsule. How strange. Normally the typical amount of choline and inositol, key primary substances, will be listed. I had found these to be beneficial for my brain performance and sleep when needed. A container of lecithin was previously purchased from another source. It did not mention the amount of choline and inositol included, and did not work for me. I thought it wise to ask before buying this time.
A representative replied in a timely manner. They said:
We don't measure choline and inositol in our lecithin. We go for the total amount of lecithin and the amounts of the choline and inositol will vary as it plant based...We do extensive testing on raw materials to include impurities, heavy metals and some potency to make sure it's pure lecithin. In 2011 we had decided not to quantify the various constituents as the additional testing would increase the cost to the consumer. Our testing prior to that established consistent constituent levels. We continue to use the same raw materials supplier and feel confident that the levels remain the same.
Oh my, oh no! Without testing, they do not know what they have. At first they claim the amount will vary and then state that prior testing showed consistent levels. What?
If they can test for impurities, they can test for the amount of important items that the consumer is paying for. A quality first approach is needed. What they are really saying is that the product is nontoxic but may be inadequate.
To further confuse matters, their container of lecithin granules claims to contain 1500 mg of choline and 900 mg of inositol per tablespoon. If they are not performing an analysis, how do they know this to be true?
The idea of testing and having complete listings is important. It helps to ensure value. When any product has only partial information we must ask,“Why?”
Lecithin supplement label photo was taken by author.
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