This is the 16th round of product testing NOW has conducted since 2017 to shed light on the lack of quality control and willful adulteration of products sold online.
NOW (Bloomingdale, IL) recently tested 30 Berberine products sold on Amazon and Walmart.com. This is the 16th round of product testing NOW has conducted since 2017 to shed light on the lack of quality control and willful adulteration of products sold online. NOW explains in a press release that Berberine is the latest dietary supplement ingredient to gain attention via social media, and with that brings opportunistic sellers trying to cash in on a trend with little interest in offering quality, effective products.
An intensely yellow colored alkaloid, Berberine is extracted from plants such as Barberry and Oregon Grape Roots, with Berberine supplements typically made in hydrochloride (HCI) form obtained from an extraction of Berberis aristata bark, says NOW. Berberine HCI dihydrate is therefore typically used as a supplement source at 85-90% potency, meaning that 500 mg of Berberine on a product label in HCI form must input 550-575 mg Berberine HCI dihydrate to meet label claims.
“We purchased two bottles of each product from 33 brands, including NOW, sold on both Amazon and Walmart.com,” said Dan Richard, NOW Health Group, vice president of Global Sales and Marketing, in a press release. “It was obvious even before testing that many brands were fraudulently mislabeling potency on the front label panel and many others had suspiciously high claims.”
The products chosen were from lesser known brands or sold almost entirely on Amazon and Walmart.com. Each brand was assessed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet light detection (HPLC-UV) by NOW in its in-house lab as well as the industry leading contract laboratory Alkemist Labs.
Results showed that every brand tested below 100% potency, except for NOW’s own product. Seven brands contained over 80% of labeled potency, and three brands contained 90-97% potency. Eighteen of the 33 brands contained less than 40% of labeled potency, with seven products containing 1% or less of labeled potency.