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How Products were Selected:

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

Testing Methods:

  1. Products containing glucosamine were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) (AOAC 2005.01, USP DSC 2021).
  2. Products containing chondroitin sulfate were analyzed by HPLC following enzyme digestion or capillary electrophoresis (CE) (AOAC 2015.11, USP DSC 2021).
  3. Products containing methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) were analyzed by Gas Chromatography (GC) (USP DSC 2021).
  4. Products containing boswellic acids were analyzed by HPLC for α-boswellic acid, ß-boswellic acid, 3-Acetyl-α-boswellic acid, 3-Acetyl-β-boswellic acid, 11-Keto-β-boswellic acid (KBA), and 3-Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) (USP DSC 2021).
  5. All products containing glucosamine or non-bovine chondroitin were analyzed for lead and those containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg per daily serving of minerals were evaluated for lead, cadmium and arsenic by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
  6. Disintegration of tablets (excluding chewable, sublingual and time-release formulations) using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <2040> recommendations entitled "Disintegration and Dissolution of Nutritional Supplements."
Any product that did not initially pass (below) a test was sent to another independent laboratory to repeat testing for the criterion on which it did not pass. may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
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 160% of label claim for levels of the appropriate forms of glucosamine and/or chondroitin.
  2. Contain 100% and not more than 130% of label claim for MSM.
  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 Metals: Products containing whole herbs, glucosamine non-bovine chondroitin and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
    • Supplements with single serving weights of less than 5 grams 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 to 999 mg/day of whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg per day.
    • Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
    • May not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).
    • Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water).
  5. Meet recommended USP <2040> parameters of disintegration for dietary supplement tablets (excluding chewable and time-release products).
  6. Be in compliance with FDA labeling requirements.
* Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to display unacceptable variation in quality, present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.

**The State of California Prop 65. California requires products exceeding this limit to bear a warning label.

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