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Nutrition for Optimal Wellness

NOW® Foods - What Ingredients We Will Not Use

If you’re looking for high quality, natural products, there are some ingredients you never want to see on the package label. Natural or not, these ingredients are not good for your health.

Here are some of the ingredients you will never find in a NOW® product. And why we’re so careful to do our best thorough research to avoid them:

Alcohols: We use natural grain alcohol (ethanol) in our liquid extracts. Some synthetic alcohols are produced from petroleum, and many have questionable safety.

Aluminum: Aluminum compounds are not used in any of our formulas, and many of our products are tested to ensure the absence of aluminum. Some of our clays and trace mineral formulas naturally contain aluminum, and these products are clearly identified.

Chlorinated and Brominated Compounds: Chlorinated compounds, even organic chlorinated compounds, aren’t natural. In fact, these compounds are toxic and can be very dangerous to humans. PCBs and dioxins are two examples of chlorinated compounds; Sucralose is another chlorinated compound. Brominated vegetable oil is often used to help emulsify oils, like citrus oils. However, it can also lead to unhealthy accumulation of bromine in the body. We refuse to formulate any of our products with chlorinated or brominated compounds.

Ephedra, Bitter Orange, and DMAA: Banned by the FDA in 2004, ephedra refers to an extract of the plant Ephedra sinica, also referred to as ma huang. At NOW® we’ve always questioned the safety of ephedra; even when it was legal we never used it in any of our products. In the past few years Bitter Orange has been used by some manufacturers as a substitute for ephedra. Although Bitter Orange appears to be safer than ephedra, we will not use it in any of our products. We also have never used DMAA in any of our products.

Excipients: NOW® does not use common mass-market multivitamin excipients. These include excipients such as hydrogenated oil, talc, Crospovidone, Butylated Hydroxytoluene. While these excipients increase manufacturing efficiency and cost less than natural excipients, products containing them can no longer claim to be natural, and may adversely affect health. We choose to use more natural excipients, which are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Fluoride: Sodium Fluoride is used to prevent tooth decay and is added to the majority of our water supply for this reason. However, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests fluoride is unnecessary, excessively used, and potentially harmful. We do not include fluoride in any of our products, including toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Read our Non-GMO Commitment.

Heavy Metals: Almost all botanicals contain trace amounts of heavy metals since these metals are naturally found in both soil and water. Although low levels of heavy metals are generally benign, larger amounts are known to be toxic to humans. NOW® tests all appropriate products to ensure that heavy metal levels are within nationally and globally recognized safe limits.

Hormones: We do not sell androstenedione, estrogen, testosterone, or DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). All are considered steroid and/or anabolic steroid supplements, which may have potentially harmful side effects.

Hydrogenated Fats and Trans-Fats: Hydrogenation is a chemical process where unsaturated fats (such as vegetable oil) are chemically modified to make them solidify better at room temperature. Artificial trans fats are a particular form of these chemically modified fats. These synthetic fats are unhealthy, and are associated with higher risk factors for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. NOW® does not use either hydrogenated or artificial trans fats in any of our products.

Irradiation: Irradiation is the exposure of an object or substance to radiation. In the food industry, irradiation is used to kill bacteria. However, there are side effects, since radiation can transform the natural components of herbs and botanicals into unnatural molecules. We conduct thorough microbiological tests, as well as use sophisticated tests that can detect radiation signatures, and we reject any ingredients where gross exposure to radiation is detected.

Microbial Contamination: Many natural ingredients contain naturally occurring low levels of microbes. However, high microbial contamination, and the presence of pathogens and aflotoxins, aren’t natural and are potentially unsafe. Our in-house microbiology laboratory is staffed by trained professionals who test for the presence of microbial contamination.

Parabens: Parabens are synthetic chemicals widely used as preservatives in the personal care industry. Many brands that prominently declare their products to be natural use parabens – making their natural claims untrue. NOW® Solutions personal care products are completely paraben-free.

Pesticide Residues: Pesticide screening is one of the many tests we perform on incoming raw materials. We’re able to detect even trace amounts of pesticides. Plant roots are tested because they are particularly susceptible to pesticide contamination. In some situations, fumigation and other treatments are required by law.

Peak E-Free Tryptophan: NOW® has demanding specifications for our L-Tryptophan products. All of our L-Tryptophan products are free of detectable levels of Peak E. Peak E contamination was linked to a disabling autoimmune illness in 1989. NOW® audits all its sources of L-Tryptophan and tests every lot for contamination. If any Peak E is found, the lot is rejected.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and Propylene Glycol (PPG): Ethylene and propylene glycols are used as antifreeze. PEG and PPG are derived from antifreeze. NOW® does not use any PEG or PPG in our supplements. All of our Personal Care products are PEG- and PPG-free.

Polysorbate: Polysorbate 80 is a PEG derivative used in many formulas to increase bioavailability. This petroleum-derived synthetic ingredient is not used in any of our products. Did you know that many enhanced-delivery CoQ10 formulas contain Polysorbate 80? Our CoQ10 formulas do not contain Polysorbate 80.

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids: Some natural herbs contain these Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs) which are hepatotoxic (liver toxins). These herbs include comfrey and butterbur. Our butterbur is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Borage Seed Oil is naturally free of PAs, although the plant may contain naturally occurring PAs with the greatest concentration being in the roots.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This nasty, irritating synthetic surfactant is widely used as a foaming agent in personal care products such as shampoos and oral products such as toothpaste. NOW® does not use SLS.

Titanium Dioxide and Phosphates: These synthetic ingredients are widely used as excipients in supplements. Excipients are ingredients that have no nutritional value, but have been added to improve processing or add color. NOW® minimizes the use of these additives. In fact, most of our softgel capsules and CoQ10 softgels are formulated to be free of titanium dioxide - a rarity in the market.