ADULTERATION SUSPECTED WITH SOME "MEMORY" SUPPLEMENTS
-- Few Ginkgo and Huperzine Supplements Pass ConsumerLab.com Tests; Quality High for Acetyl-L-Carnitine --
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — NOVEMBER 18, 2008 — Tests by ConsumerLab.com of Ginkgo biloba supplements show that few products meet quality standards. Among the products selected for review, two appeared to contain adulterated material and two others contained less ginkgo than claimed on their labels, one of which was contaminated with lead and also failed to break apart properly. A fifth product failed to identify the part of the ginkgo plant used, a FDA labeling requirement. Only three ginkgo supplements passed ConsumerLab.com's tests.
The results were reported today in ConsumerLab.com's Product Review of Supplements for Memory & Cognition Enhancement which focuses on three ingredients that have shown some promise in improving memory — Ginkgo biloba, huperzine A and acetyl-L-carnitine. Among the huperzine products selected, two passed testing while a third provided only 14% of its claimed amount of the ingredient. All five acetyl-L-carnitine supplements passed testing.
Dr. William Obermeyer, ConsumerLab.com's Vice President for Research and a former FDA Natural Products Chemist, has been monitoring problems with ginkgo for several years. Dr. Obermeyer said, "Ginkgo extract is a moderately expensive ingredient. Some companies put less of it in their products than they claim or use ingredient that has been adulterated with inexpensive material that can fool non-specific tests." He added, "Highly specific test methods, such as HPLC, reveal these shortcomings, allowing us to direct consumers toward products of better quality."
The new report is available at http://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Memory_Supplements_Ginkgo_Huperzine_Acetyl-L-Carnitine/GinkgoBiloba/. Brands covered in the new report include BioSynergy, Bluebonnet, Cognitive Nutrition, Freeda, Ginkgo-Go!, Ginkoba, Life Enhancements, Nature's Valley, Nutricology, Olympian Labs, Puritan's Pride, Solaray, Swanson, Total Nutrition, Universal Naturals, Vitamin Shoppe, and Vitamin World. The report also includes extensive information about how to buy and use these supplements and potential side effects.
Reviews of other popular types of supplements are also available at www.consumerlab.com. New Reviews to be released in coming months will cover CoQ10, multivitamins, and zinc, as well as supplements for bone health (calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K), joint health (chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM), prostate health and weight loss.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated with PharmacyChecker.com, an evaluator of online pharmacies, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. For group subscriptions or product testing contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.