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Standards for Supplements

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One of the key challenges the health-conscious consumer faces is judging the product labels on supplements

One of the key challenges the health-conscious consumer faces is judging the product labels on supplements. Since there is such a variety of testing methods for ingredients, it can be hard to compare products put out by different companies.

In order to establish a standard, the Association of Analytic Communities (AOAC) was asked to set up the Official Methods program. This program attempts to validate methods for determining ingredients in dietary supplements. This will confirm public confidence in the natural health products industry, so people can be assured that the products are safe and healthy for use.

The first method to be approved is the NOW Foods' glucosamine HPLC method. The approval process was intensive, involving two years of testing at a minimum of eight different laboratories. This is significant because it provides a standard by which all products containing glucosamine will be tested. Currently, the AOAC's Dietary Supplements Task Force is drawing up methods for 24 other products, such as Coenzyme Q10, echinacea, and garlic.

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