We Get Questions: Question 1 - Does Your Stuff Come From China?
With my limited knowledge and information, it is my understanding that many
vitamin ingredients are sourced from China. In light of the recent pet food
recall, I would prefer not to be purchasing food stuff and vitamins with
ingredients from China. Would you possibly know where your Maxi-Multi vitamins
are sourced from?
Dr. Myatt Responds:
Good question, and I thought it was worth sharing with our HealthBeat
Raw materials come from all over the world, although most of ours are sourced
from the US, Japan and Canada. More important than where they come from is how
they are evaluated and tested and quality controlled. Here's what I mean.
Even US-sourced raw materials can contain contaminated ingredients; this problem
is not unique to China but is world-wide. SO, guaranteeing "non-Chinese" raw
materials is really meaningless in terms of true safety. We go much farther than
simply sourcing raw materials from certain countries. Here is what we do to
guarantee the purity of our Wellness Club products.
Raw materials are analyzed for purity and potency when they first arrive at the
manufacturing site. We have several different manufacturers, all FDA inspected
and approved. (For as impotent as the FDA can be sometimes, plants that
wide-open to inspection typically uphold much higher safety standard than
non-inspected facilities). This means that the raw materials are analyzed for
purity as soon as they arrive and before they are paid for. Those that don't
make the grade are refused for purchase.
Next, the products are manufactured, which often means blending multiple
ingredients and encapsulating them, as with my Maxi Multis.
The finished product is analyzed "in house" to be sure that everything that is
supposed to be in the capsule is really there, and in the dose stated on the
label. Sometimes, products that are not fully mixed do not have a consistent
amount of all ingredients in each capsule. These will be discarded. This is
again a time when the product is re-checked for purity, to be sure something
didn't contaminate the batch during production. Even pure starting materials can
be contaminated during production, and only the best manufacturers re-check the
product after production to verify that they continue to be contaminant-free.
Finally, the finished product is sent to an outside lab for independent testing
and final quality verification.
So, in answer to your question, I believe it is far more important to do all of
these pre and post manufacturing analyses than just to look for supplements that
don't contain raw materials from China. Again, "bad stuff" (raw materials) can
come from any country. Contaminants can also make their way into products during
manufacture. And products can fail to meet the "label claims," meaning the
capsules don't really contain what the label says they do. Their is no FDA
oversight of this part of the nutritional supplement industry.
The checks, safeguards and re-checks are a surer way to guarantee safety and
purity, and that's how we do it at The Wellness Club. Maybe that's why my
nickname in this business is The Dragon Lady?!
(Nurse Mark adds this insider story:
"The Dragon Lady" is a name that Dr. Myatt wears with pride - it comes from a
distant episode of much back-and-forth with a manufacturer over the ingredients
for a new formulation. Dr. Myatt had called to speak with the biochemist for the
umpteenth time and was put on "hold" while the secretary fetched him to the
phone. Unbeknownst to the secretary, the "hold" had not muted her voice to Dr.
Myatt who heard her tell the biochemist "It's that Dragon Lady again..." - the
name stuck, and we have heard through "the grapevine" that it has spread through
the industry as various biochemists have talked with each other.)