The Study Methodology Used for Comparing & Rating Multivitamin Brands
In order to determine the best multivitamin brand on the market today, the following criteria and methodology were utilized. The criteria includes the following:
Manufacturing Facilities — cGMP? 40%
Bioavailability or Assimilability 30%
Product Composition 10%
Speed of Results and Potency 5%
Customer Testimonials 5%
Product Guarantee 5%
As you can see, a lot of weight has been given to manufacturing facilities and bioavailability and assimilability. These two actually go hand in hand, which will be seen most specifically by bullet point number three in the list below.
What is “cGMP Compliance”?
Why is GMP (or cGMP) compliance so important? It’s because those companies voluntarily subscribe to the requirements’s laid down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) per the U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP) verification program. As you can see from the above table, most companies don’t ascribe to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cGMP code for Dietary Supplements. As of June 28, 2010, any companies wishing to sell products in US markets, must be GMP compliant. However, as of late 2011, 70% are still not compliant (Matthews, An Insider’s View of The Supplement Manufacturing Process, para 13).
To quote directly from the USP website, they say, “The USP Dietary Supplement Verification Program is a voluntary testing and auditing program that helps dietary supplement manufacturers ensure the production of quality products for consumers” (para. 1).
From these criteria, a potency score was tabulated. As you can see, product assimilability and the manufacturing facilities bear the most weight.
Why is that?
If a supplement product is produced in a cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices), it means rigorous standards have been met. You can read more about it here, but essentially it means:
- The product has the ingredients listed on the label in the stated amounts. This is not common, actually. Supplement fraud is commonplace and the vast majority of supplement companies don’t adhere to this basic standard.
- Product is devoid of harmful, specified contaminants.
- The product will “break down and release into the body within a specified amount of time.” This is where most nutritional supplements fail. Most are released in the stomach and not the duodenum
- Most importantly, the product has been manufactured according to rigid FDA cGMP standards using well-controlled procedures.
Other Vital Factors
Other factors that coalesce into the judging criteria include some notable factors. For a complete overview of these factors, visit the page within this website entitled, How to Choose The best Multivitamin.
There, the factors I go over in some depth are as follows:
- Product Development and Nutrient Reactions
- Scientific Formulation
- Vitamins & Co-Factors, Standardized Herbal Extracts, Amino Acids, Active Enzymes, & Essential Minerals and Trace Elements
- Manufacturing Procedures
- Delivery System (Enteric Coating)
- Product Quality & Freshness
- Nutraceutical Quality
- Value for Money
- Customer Testimonials
- Money-Back Guarantee
All of these factors were, as mentioned, were tangential components of the reviews. They are absolutely vital.
A product that is truly quality covers the full gambit of research, product creation in cGMP-compliant facilities with a state-of-the-art biological delivery system that emulates pharmaceutical quality and is well received by customers who freely testify of the products efficacy.
What About Cost of The Study?
To have all of these products tested in a laboratory would have cost literally around $100,000 per product. To have just one of the supplements tested by ConsumerLab would have cost over $750,000 (Matthews, Why don’t we have Consumer Lab test our products?, para. 13)! So, I tested these products myself over many years.
I hope this information has been helpful to you.
Yours in health,
Matthews, Warren. (2012). An Insider’s View of The Supplement Manufacturing Process. Retrieved from http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/12-05-03/An_Insider_s_View_of_the_Supplement_Manufacturing_Process_Part_1.aspx?id=390949
Matthews, Warren. (2012). Why Don’t We Have Consumer Lab Test Our Products? Retrieved from http://www.xtend-life.com/Blog/12-05-09/Why_don_t_we_have_Consumer_Lab_test_our_products.aspx?id=390949.
Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand. (2005). National Health and Medical Research Council. Ministry of Health: Sydney, Australia.
USP Verified Dietary Supplements. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.usp.org/usp-verification-services/usp-verified-dietary-supplements.