Testing Conducted by NOW Raises “Profound Concerns” About ALA on Amazon

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Bloomingdale, IL—NOW has released another report—its fifth report in 2020—regarding the quality of brands sold mainly on Amazon. This new report focuses on alpha lipoic acid (ALA). Previous reports from NOW include CoQ10 and SAMe, Acetyl-l-Carnitine, and Phosphatidyl Serine.

NOW purchased two samples of each ALA from 13 brands that appear to be sold primarily on Amazon, according to a press release. Each product was tested on NOW’s HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography) instrument by the test method RP-HPLC with UV detection. NOW also sent the same lot of each product to independent quality laboratory Eurofins, which tested the products by the same method.

The finding: NOW brand ALA tested at 110% of label claims; the other 13 brands combined averaged 69% of label claim. According to the release, NOW adds “significant overages” to all supplement products in order to exceed label claims through the listed “Best by” date.  For ALA, the release explains, NOW adds min. 5% overage to always test over 100% of label claim, but this is not standard practice for many brands.

“Six out of these 13 brands were under 75% potency, and all of these products listed were legally unacceptable as cGMPs (current Good Manufacturing Practices) require minimum 100% potency tested at label claims,” said Dan Richard, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at NOW, in the release. “Results were actually better than expected compared to prior reports, where average potencies were often below 50% of label claims, but given that many consumers rely on Amazon for dietary supplement purchases, the finding of significant quality concerns in every category we have tested raises profound concerns.”

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