NOW Reports Testing on Brands of Alpha Lipoic Acid

November 11, 2020

This report is NOW’s fifth in 2020 regarding suspect brands whose main sales appear to be on Amazon. Previous reports include: CoQ10, SAMe, Acetyl-l-Carnitine, and Phosphatidyl Serine. In October 2020, NOW purchased two samples of each Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) product listed below on Amazon. We tested each product internally on our HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography) instrument by the test method known as RP-HPLC with UV detection. We also sent the same lot of each product to Eurofins, which is a recognized and independent quality laboratory, to test by the same method.

Results were actually better than expected compared to prior reports, where average potencies were often below 50% of label claims. For ALA, NOW brand tested at 110% and the other 13 brands combined to average 69% of label claim. Six out of these 13 brands were under 75% potency. All of these products listed were legally unacceptable as cGMP’s (current Good Manufacturing Practices) require minimum 100% potency tested at label claims. 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. For ALA, NOW adds min. 5% overage to always test over 100% of label claim. This is normal for NOW, but not standard practice for many brands. NOW also tests all ALA products in-house for heavy metals, micro (E-coli, Salmonella spp., total bacteria, etc.), and other impurities. This assures that the end product is safe and tested to meet full potency label claims.

Amazon ALA 2020 Nov Analysis Count Lot # Expir. Date Label Claim NOW Results Eurofins Results Av % Result
NOW (Plus Formula) 120 Vcaps 3154580 04/23 600 mg 659 mg 661 mg 110%
Absonutrix (Code barely legible) 60 Caps AS51618.1 05/21 600 mg 11 mg 20.9 mg 5%
AMVILABGA  60 Caps 347095  07/23 600 mg 540 mg 591 mg 94%
Best Naturals NJ  120 Caps 62053  06/23 600 mg 402 mg 433 mg 70%
Boostceuticals NY  180 Caps 260218  02/22 300 mg 128 mg 92.6 mg 37%
BRI NY - Expired next month  120 Caps 2017-01628  10/20 250 mg 224 mg 230 mg 91%
Health Thru Nutrition NY  120 Caps 0361 9121  01/22 600 mg 559 mg 561 mg 93%
Mental Refreshment, MD  180 Caps 23072004.4  08/22 600 mg 559 mg 579 mg 95%
Nova Nutritions NJ 120 Caps 120062016 06/23 600 mg 404 mg 430 mg 70%
NusaPure FL 180 Caps 2005001 04/23 600 mg 557 mg 594 mg 96%
Sun Pure NJ - Expired on arrival  120 Caps AV -8070301  07/20 600 mg 375 mg 298 mg 56%
Superior Labs UT 120 Caps 006271 07/22 600 mg 565 mg 599 mg 87%
VitaDirect UT  120 Caps 20032662  07/22 300 mg 253 mg 268 mg 87%
We Like Vitamins Ml  180 Caps 10022001  07/24 600 mg 49 mg 49.3 mg 8%
One brand tested was over 100% potency and not included in above.