Supplement Companies - The Good and The Bad (Reference)

This topic is a reference for people to help them find which companies should be trusted or avoided when purchasing supplements. Please feel free to add trusted or bad companies to this topic I’m going to start it off with the Astaxanthin guide which reports on which companies are selling Astaxanthin with the appropriate dose. From this guide we can see the following brands can be trusted:

From ConsumerLab.com (I am a member)

Trusted - 10 Brands (I bolded the ones I personally use)
Bulk Supplements
Deal Supplement
Doublewood
Health Thru Nutrition
Horbaach
Micro Ingredients
NatureBell
NOW (my favourite)
Thorne
Jarrow

AVOID - 13 brands
Amazing Nutrition
aSquared
Best Naturals
Cheeky Nutrition
Clear Formulas
Lilicare
NatuVitz
Neviss
Nootamin
Nootrilabs
Osasuna
Research Labs
TerraVita
We Like Vits

As you can see, there’s a lot of snake oil (or should I say placebos?) out there. Caveat Emptor.

NOW’s Testing Results of Astaxanthin Products August 2023 | NOW Foods.pdf (289.4 KB)

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Its worth getting an idea of which are better brands. There was a study done on NMN which found a lot of supplement manufacturers (on Amazon) were fraudulent. If I can I will see if I can find a link.

I think this link gives a start:

Looking at the analysis I think they were wrong to fail Double Wood who had 243mg of NMN in a claimed 250. Thats only around 3% off the quoted dose.

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I posted the the other year in the forum:

This report and video below really is a good example of this problem… and these test results below are from end user products being sold on Amazon. I suspect that the the probability of a contaminated or inaccurately labeled raw material product being sold in china by a middleman is much higher.

In the worst case - as in the Chinese Infant Formula scandal - people are actually dying. But with many contaminated supplements the causality link won’t be so clear. If you damage your kidneys from some contaminated supplement from China, how to you track it down and link it directly to one given product - its very hard. If you don’t have easy access to a good 3rd party chemical analysis lab that can test the purity and look for all the possible contaminants, I would avoid these products coming out of china.

Report on NMN supplement products: (this study only looked at the % NMN, not for any contaminants)
(and this doesn’t even touch the broader issue of whether NMN is at all effective in increasing healthspan or lifespan - as there is no good human data on that yet, and many opposing views).

Out of 22 NMN Brands tested:

  • 14% had at the level, or above, level of claimed NMN
  • 23% had between 89 and 99% of the claimed level of NMN
  • 64% had NMN had under the method detection or reporting limit, or under 1% of claimed NMN
  • 14% had no NMN

Summary:

image

DETAILS:

Quantitative Analysis of 22 NMN Brands - Lab Analysis / Quality Analysis

Video: 22 NMN Brands Independently Tested | SHOCKINGLY POOR RESULTS FOR MANY BRANDS

From this post: Buy Rapamycin Online - List of Reliable Pharmacies - #63 by RapAdmin

Quantitative-Analysis-of-22-NMN-Consumer-Products-Oct-2021.pdf (196.1 KB)

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At the ARDD 2023 they tested NMN products. The results are shown in the video at 8 min 10 sek.

Hansen supplements came out on top.

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Best Naturals is on your list of brands to avoid. I’ve been using their 500 mg niacin and get a strong flush from it; feels like the real thing. Maybe some brands can be trusted for some supplements, some brands for everything and others for nothing.

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I’m relieved to see this. I mainly buy Now and Bulk Supplements

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I like your list DeStrider!

I would add both Thorne and Jarrow as reliable companies.

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Yes, I think we can say that Thorne and Jarrow are both reputable companies.

The problem is that there are too many disreputable companies and they keep changing their names. I think if you see company names like Energecko, Chribubble or Ultrascam you should stay away. :wink:

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I’ll just skip that brand as they don’t have the routine of testing.

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what’s wrong with Ultrascam??? :grinning:

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I had been using Life Extension brand niacin and get about the same flush effect with Best Naturals - turning bright red and the rest of it. As to potential impurities, that concern is easily addressed by re-categorizing it. From now on I’ll just consider it a shady recreational drug.

Thank you, it’s great to have an idea of what we use that can be worthless.
I think most of us who are in this group, are quite acutely aware of the real importance of good quality, great reminder to have. It’s easy to sometimes be tempted by price offering.

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Of the widely available, well known companies Thorne is right at the top and Life Extension is also well regarded. Carlson Labs and Nordic Naturals are well regarded for fish oils/omega3. Renue by Science(specialize in liposomal encapsulation) and ProHealth are good for NMN. If you don’t mind buying from the big multinational corporations, NOW and Pure Encapsulations are reputable. Double wood, Jarrow and Sports Research are considered good. AOR (from Canada), Nutricost, Swanson and Viva Naturals (for fish oils) are all reliable. I would always look for a certificate of third party testing. I think that supplements sold by Costco are generally reliable but I’m not sure.

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I agree with the recommendations of most brands mentioned above. When I’m uncertain, I like to see if a brand has made the effort to obtain NSF certification (Certified Products and Systems | NSF). Alternatively, I will check for any other reputable third-party testing certification organizations, such as iapmo.org for water (https://www.iapmo.org/), that have searchable databases on their official sites. If a company mentions third-party certification but I am unable to independently confirm it on a certifier’s database, I consider them untrustworthy (who knows what else they may lie about?) and I will not purchase from them.

I’m going to respectfully disagree with many on your list.

Bulk Supplements in particular does not test their supplements after receiving them from China. If you ask for a certificate of analysis, they will just send you a generic one from the lab they purchased from. I have received multiple supplements from them that smell like reagents in the past. I would strongly suggest avoiding them if possible and if cost is an issue, use a brand like Nutricost, which has good QC.

Doublewood has been caught previously underdosing their supplements per tests on reddit. I would steer clear of them too.

Horbaach does not provide COA’s when requested.

The suppplement brands that have a good track record, standardize extracts around bioactive compounds and provide COA’s when requested are:
Nootropics Depot
Life Extension
Pro Health
Jarrow
Nutricost
Thorne
NOW
Natures Way

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I had a bad experience with Nutricost:

Have you (@Rapa1) or anyone else been able to obtain from Nutricost a COA that speaks to the identity or purity (as opposed to whether there’s microbial or heavy metal contamination) of a product?

A couple years ago I got COA’s from them on creatine and vitamin K supplements. They did not list microbial content, but did have purity and heavy metals listed.

I haven’t requested any since.

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Thank you for sharing your opinion. We all have different experiences with different vendors and sometimes a good vendor can mess up. That’s why I go to ConsumerLab for verification before I buy a supplement.

I have a subscription to ConsumerLab. They test hundreds of these supplements which is where I compiled the list from. According to ConsumerLab, BulkSupplements is just fine for many of the supplements they produce. Although to be fair there were 3 supplements of theirs that did not pass their tests.

For many of the supplements I buy, ConsumerLab rates BulkSupplements as a Top Pick (like for amino acids such as taurine.). I put together the list above after examining the reports on many different supplements and seeing which companies consistently passed with high marks.

Not everyone wants to pay for a subscription to ConsumerLab, so I pass on the information I glean from there to you here as a service to the community. ConsumerLab is the most trusted independent testing company I know, so I trust their results.

If there’s a specific supplement you’d like me to find the testing results for, just post it here and I’ll look it up on ConsumerLab.

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When I buy Creatine I go for the Creapure brand. It is a creatine monohydrate produced by Alzchem Trostberg GmbH in Germany. It is marketed and sold by quite a few companies. I don’t know about bulksupplements, but I know that Bulk.com buys Creapure from Germany and sell it worldwide.

What is Creapure®? | Creapure

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Very generous of you to share this info. Thank You.

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