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Joint Health Supplements Review (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Boswellia)
 


HOW PRODUCTS WERE EVALUATED:
How Products were Selected:

Products were selected to represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. and Canada. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers, and direct sales or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.

Testing Methods:
Joint Health products were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
  1. Products containing glucosamine or chondroitin were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) following enzyme digestion or capillary electrophoresis (CE) (USP 36, DSC 2015). Loss on drying (LOD) was done for 4 hours at 110°C (USP 36).
  2. Products containing MSM were analyzed for their claimed amount of MSM and any DMSO contamination by Gas Chromatography (GC).
  3. Products containing boswellic acids were analyzed by HPLC α-boswellic acid, β-boswellic acid, 3-Acetyl-α-boswellic acid, 3-Acetyl-β-boswellic acid, 11-Keto-β-boswellic acid, 3-Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA).
  4. Analyses for lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury were performed using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy) (only for products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose).
  5. Non-chewable, non-capsule and non-time-release formulations were analyzed for disintegration utilizing United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <2040> recommendations entitled "Disintegration and Dissolution of Nutritional Supplements."

Any product not passing any initial testing criteria was sent to a second independent laboratory for repeat analysis using similar methodologies.

Identities of products were not disclosed to laboratories performing the testing.

Passing Score:*
To pass, a product must:
  1. Contain 100% and not more than 150% of label claim for levels of the appropriate forms of glucosamine and/or chondroitin.
  2. Contain 100% and not more than 120% of label claim for MSM. Also be absent of the DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) impurity
  3. Contain 100% and not more than 125% of label claim for total or specifically listed boswellic acids. If Product does not specify quantity of boswellic acids but does specify an amount of oleogum resin and/or Boswellia extract the product must meet the following minimum specifications: Boswellia oleogum resin contains a minimum of 1% of keto derivatives of β-boswellic acid calculated as the sum of 11-Keto-β-boswellic acid + 3-Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid. Boswellia extract contains 6% of keto derivatives of β-boswellic acid calculated as the sum of 11-Keto-β-boswellic acid + 3-Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (USP 36).
  4. Heavy Metal Contamination:
    Products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
    Lead**:
    • Products marketed for use by children may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if the product contains more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
    • Products with a single serving weights of less than 5 grams which are not marketed for use by children, may not exceed the State of California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.4 mcg if containing 250-999 mg/day of any combination of elemental calcium, magnesium and potassium or 0.8 mcg if containing more than 1,000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. An additional allowance of 0.5 mcg is provided if containing 250-999 mg/day of whole herb (not extract) or 1.0 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day or more of whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg.
    • Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more which are not marketed for children may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
    Arsenic: Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit - based on 1 liter of water).
    Cadmium**: If marketed for use by children, may not exceed 3.0 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on Canada's limit for a child weighing 75lbs). If not marketed for use by children, may not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).
    Mercury: For products containing glucosamine and non-bovine sources chondroitin,contain less than 2 micrograms of mercury per daily serving (based on EPA limit for mercury in 1 liter of water).
  5. If applicable to the product, it must meet recommended USP <2040> parameters for disintegration for dietary supplements (excluding capsule, chewable and time-release products).
  6. Be in compliance with FDA labeling requirements.
A "Pass" was based on meeting the above criteria in either the first or second rounds of testing.

* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. ConsumerLab.com reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.

** If available for sale in California, a product that exceeds the State of California's Prop 65 lead limit requires a warning label. However, with or without this warning label, a product cannot pass ConsumerLab.com testing if it exceeds the levels described in this paragraph.





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