HOW PRODUCTS WERE EVALUATED:
How Products were Selected:
Products selected represent those commonly sold and/or available nationally in the U.S. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers, catalogues, or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
Products were tested for their total calories, total fat, poly- and monounsaturated fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, protein, amino acids, total carbohydrates, total sugars and sodium content using AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Communities) International methods by an independent laboratory.
Analyses for lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and sodium were performed using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy).
Quantitative analysis of gluten in any product claiming to be gluten free by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
Any product not passing any initial testing criteria was sent to a second independent laboratory for repeat analysis using similar methodologies.
The identities of the products were not disclosed to the laboratories performing the testing.
To pass, a product must:
- Specify the amount of all nutrients in the product as required by the FDA and be appropriately classified as a food or dietary supplement.
Meet its label claims within a specified range for each nutritional component as indicated below:
- Total Fat (within 1 gram or 15% of claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero total fat, no more than 0.5 gram/serving);
- Saturated Fat (within 0.5 gram/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater);
- Trans Fat within 0.5 gram or 15% above claim, whichever is greater. A claim of Zero trans fats can have up to 0.5g per serving (FDA 2015);
- Cholesterol (within 4 mg/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero cholesterol, no more than 2 mg/serving);
- Sodium (within 50 mg/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero sodium, no more than 5 mg/serving);
- Protein (within 1 gram/serving or 15% of claim, whichever is greater);
- Total Carbohydrates (within 5 gram/serving or 15% of claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero to 3g/serving of carbohydrates, within 1g of claim);
- Total Sugars (within 1 gram/serving or 15% above claim, whichever is greater; or, if claiming zero sugar, within 0.5 gram/serving of claim)
- Total Calories (within +/- 20% of claim)
- Heavy Metals: Products containing whole herbs and/or more than 250 mg of minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
- 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).
Mercury: contain less than 2 micrograms of mercury per daily serving (based on EPA limit for mercury in 1 liter of water).
- Gluten: To be "Gluten-free" solid and powdered supplements and products with a serving size of less than five grams or liquid supplements and products with a serving size of less than five mL must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten per serving (FDA). Products with serving sizes greater than five grams or five mL must contain less than 5 ppm of gluten per serving.
* 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.