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We Get Questions: Question 1 - Does Your Stuff Come From China?


Sydney Asks:
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:

Hi Sydney!

Good question, and I thought it was worth sharing with our HealthBeat subscribers.

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.)


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