Before putting something into your body, especially for healing purposes, it’s only sensible to check into its quality. When most people analyze a nutritional supplement, they generally consider three things: that the company isn’t making outrageous claims, the product contains ingredients that support the claims it makes, and the company seems reputable. A more scrupulous and discriminating shopper may continue the analysis by making sure the supplement is organic and doesn’t contain any isolates or synthetics in its ingredient list. An oft-forgotten part of a thorough quality check, though, lies in the manufacturing process.
A company generally won’t list its manufacturer’s certifications (that is, if it has any at all) on its product label because these certifications refer to the production facility only. But here are the important three to look for in a supplement manufacturer — and you can often find them on the company’s website:
GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice. A laboratory abiding by this set of guidelines has committed to a system of processes, procedures, and documentation that was created to ensure the integrity of claims on the dietary supplement’s label — in its identity, strength, composition, quality, and purity. A GMP-certified facility fulfills requirements stipulated by the only accredited American National Standard in the dietary supplement industry.
There are two different parties that certify a laboratory for GMP: NPA and NSF. A manufacturer, if GMP certified, will likely be certified by one or the other. Ideally, but rarely, a facility will have both certifications.
Short for Quality Assurance International, QAI is an global leader in organic certification. When a manufacturing facility is QAI certified, it has been verified as abiding by the the National Organic Program guidelines, and fit to handle or process organic products that are sold, labeled, or represented as “100% Organic,” “Organic,” or “Made with Organic Ingredients.”
Many people think of USDA Organic as applying only to foods, but it also certifies a manufacturing facility for proper conduct in practices requiring the use of resources, or where ecological balance could be promoted or biodiversity conserved. Additionally, it precludes the use of any synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetic engineering in the production of organic goods.
Most companies don’t go through the trouble of having their laboratories GMP, QAI, or USDA-Organic certified, even if they do intend to offer health-promoting nutritional supplements. The reason is that undergoing certification processes requires a lot of effort and the implementation of intricate practices and inspections, and most consumers don’t know enough to care if their nutritional supplement company abides by these practices. Only a few companies, such as NutriPlex Formulas, manufacture their products in a GMP, QAI, and USDA-Organic facility, and it’s typically because the owner of the company cares about his or her product’s integrity. The more you know about the nutritional supplement industry, the more important it becomes to have the highest-quality ingredients manufactured in the most responsible, healthful way — which is why NutriPlex Formulas refuses to compromise its standards and has its facility both NPA- and NSF-certified GMP, QAI, and USDA-Organic Certified.