Food supplements, dietary supplements, whatever we call them, are just that – a food. Or, at least, something that we put in our bodies with the aim of bettering ourselves in a certain way. Because of this, the European Union sets strict regulations for companies that develop these ‘food stuffs’ to ensure they aren’t selling harmful products.
But is that enough? Sure, when using food supplements, we want reassurance that none of the ingredients are harmful. Yet don’t we also want to know that these things we’re trusting to help us are actually doing just that?
Yes, health and safety is the number one priority, but after that comes trust, reliability and ultimately peace of mind. This is why we go the extra step; carrying out four laboratory analyses on our products, not only including those required by EU law, but also additional tests on content and quality to ensure that what we promise to our customers is what we deliver.
Putting aside jokes about Black Sabbath and co, heavy metals are substances that we can neither avoid nor want to in some cases. You may be familiar that iron is responsible for the binding of oxygen to molecules, which in turn carries it around our bodies, making it essential to life. What you might not know is that we also require trace amounts of copper for enzymatic reactions. Yet too much of the latter can cause the production of free radicals, causing serious systematic issues. We often need small amounts of things that in larger quantities can be harmful. In short, just like our diet, the body is a fine balancing act.
The reality is that most food products have the possibility of containing substances such as metals due to modern production processes or even natural elements such as lead found in soil. The mercury levels in fish is a well-known and highly criticised issue in the food industry (a problem we avoid with our plant-based products!).
In most cases and at such small levels, our bodies are more than capable of flushing out any harmful substances, which is why the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) states that these entities are safe for consumption under certain levels. The four heavy metals that make their way into food products are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. These metals are the ones which every food supplement company should and must test for by law, so if you have any supplements lying around, make sure you check that they’ve been tested and, if they haven’t, they don’t belong anywhere near your body.
We use independent laboratories that use the ICP-MS method of testing. This is the most widely used technique worldwide and experts agree that this test gains the most accurate results. We’re proud of our thoroughness, that’s why for every test we carry out, we make sure to display the results online on our website and wherever we sell our products such as Amazon. We can also provide further copies of analysis certificates for any customers who need or want to know more. Transparency is the name of the game!
One of the most important aspects of safety with food supplements is hygiene. Contamination of raw materials or production equipment, for instance, can result in unwanted bad bacteria, mould or even salmonella leading to sickness, stomach pain and a whole host of baddies. Something as simple as an ingredient not being dry enough can enable this bacteria to spread, therefore testing for microbiology is of the utmost important for health and safety.
We carry out our tests in Germany, where our products are manufactured. Yet because of the natural nature of our supplements, we want to be able to source our raw materials from all over the world to ensure we can get the most potent extracts, the best quality vitamins and the highest form of minerals possible. This often means a big supply chain and with big supply chain comes big responsibility. This means that when we test our final products for microbiology, we also do so to ensure that our whole production line is working towards keeping our products safe and our customers healthy.
Our dream is to one day be able to provide all our products organically. With an emphasis once more on transparency and reliability, we test all our organic range for pesticides to make sure that our vision rings true. When we say organic, we want you to know that it is 100% free of non-natural additives.
We also test certain products notorious for contamination such as kelp. With these ingredients, we want to be able to provide them for our customers whilst at the same time providing peace of mind if they’re known to be prone to certain issues. Therefore we test for pesticides and other harmful substances whether they’re organic or not.
Our fourth test is our pride and joy. We analyse our key products for content and quality to verify that the vitamin, mineral, extract or active ingredient contained in our supplement is a) present, b) in the amount we say and c) of the highest quality. For example, our Vitamin B12 spray is tested so we can be sure it contains 250mcg of pure B12 coenzyme methylcobalamin per spray as promised, nothing more, nothing less.
This test, which we undertake once a year, is something we’re immensely proud of. We think everyone should do it! But, until then, we’re happy to be ahead of the curve. Our motto is ‘from nature, with passion, for you’ and we don’t just want to say it. We want to live it through what we make and what we do as a company.
You are what you eat, and we want you to be safe, healthy and awesome!