NOW testing of Amazon products reveals ALA potencies below label claims

November 19, 2020
Alissa Marrapodi

NOW released a new report on alpha lipoic acid (ALA), its fifth report in 2020 regarding suspect brands whose main sales appear to be on Amazon.

NOW (Bloomingdale, IL) released a new report on alpha lipoic acid (ALA), its fifth report in 2020 regarding suspect brands whose main sales appear to be on Amazon. NOW purchased two samples of each ALA product listed below on Amazon and tested each internally on its HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) instrument using RP-HPLC with UV detection. Each sample was also sent to Eurofins, an independent quality laboratory, to test using the same method. NOW’s brand tested at 110% and the other 13 brands combined to average 69% of the amount claimed on the label.

“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 for NOW, in a press 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.”

NOW adds significant overages to all supplement products in order to exceed label claims through the listed “Best by” date. It also tests all ALA products in-house for heavy metals, micro (E-coli, Salmonella spp., total bacteria, etc.), and other impurities.