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.
Joint Health products were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
- Products containing glucosamine or chondroitin were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) following enzyme digestion or capillary electrophoresis (CE) (USP 36, DSC 2015, AOAC 2015.11). Loss on drying (LOD) was done for 4 hours at 110°C (USP 36).
- Products containing MSM were analyzed for their claimed amount of MSM and any DMSO contamination by Gas Chromatography (GC).
- 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 (KBA), 3-Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA).
- 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. Analyses for lead, cadmium and arsenic were performed using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) .
- 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."
ConsumerLab.com 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. If a product did not meet a Passing Score criterion (below), it was sent to another independent laboratory for repeat testing.
To pass, a product must:
- Contain 100% and not more than 160% of label claim for levels of the appropriate forms of glucosamine and/or chondroitin.
- Contain 100% and not more than 130% of label claim for MSM. Also be absent of the DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) impurity.
- 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).
Heavy Metal Contamination:
- 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.
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 75 lbs.). 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).
- If applicable to the product, it must meet recommended USP <2040> parameters for disintegration for dietary supplements (excluding capsule, chewable and time-release products).
- Be in compliance with FDA labeling requirements.
**Based on State of California's Prop 65 limits. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label.