by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Do you know what’s in your supplement?
Are you sure?
Recent reports of stores being forced to pull entire lines of supplements from the shelves illustrates an important point. Supplements are effective, and that makes them big business. Where there is big business, there is someone looking to make an easy profit.
I know you’ve heard about the New York Attorney General conducting tests on supplements and finding that a vast majority of those on the shelves at big box and vitamin stores contained NONE of the indicated herbs. In fact, they were loaded with fillers such as wheat, legumes and other ingredients dangerous to consumers with allergies and sensitivities. Yes, your OTC multivitamin may contain gluten- a major no-no for those of us with PCOS. Besides not containing the promised vitamins and minerals, these supplements could actually be making you sick!
A recent CBS news story reports that, “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says lax oversight of supplements can have serious public health consequences, noting a 2013 hepatitis outbreak traced to a tainted diet supplement and the death of a baby at a Connecticut hospital after doctors gave the child a probiotic supplement later found to be contaminated with yeast.
Happily, I know exactly what is in the PCOS Diva products and supplements I take every day. They are manufactured in the United States by a well-respected company and tested by an impartial third party.
When I chose to launch a line of supplements for women with PCOS, I searched out a company that would assure me of three things:
- products with raw materials sourced from safe, reliable suppliers,
- in-house and third party testing for quality, quantity, manufacturing practices and contamination, and
- products which are focused on bio-availability and continually updated to keep current with research
Whether you buy supplements from PCOS Diva or another source, I encourage you to keep these three things in mind.
Sourcing Raw Materials
The producer of PCOS Diva’s products has an impeccable reputation regarding the quality and care going into the selection of their raw materials. Their quality control exceeds FDA GMP compliance, which requires them to analyze raw materials for heavy metals, microorganisms, and other contaminants. They have undergone multiple FDA inspections, and the facilities are NSF GMP certified and inspected at least four times per year.
We have agreed upon exceptionally high standards for raw material selection, employing an extensive process that meets or exceeds accepted purity standards. We embrace the importance of purity and the need to address chemical sensitivities. Thus, we adopted the following unmatched raw materials commitment:
- nutritional supplements are 100% gluten-free
- products are free of all forms of soy protein
- never add artificial sweeteners or detrimental levels of nutritive sweeteners to products (sucrose, glucose, or fructose, including concentrated fruit juices)
While the source of raw materials is important, more important is the testing that these materials undergo before they are used. No matter the source, raw materials are tested for contamination as well as for purity. When, for example, a batch of raw berberine arrives at the manufacturing facility, it is immediately tested to be sure that it is, in fact, the highest quality pure berberine, unmarred by contaminants.
Self and Third Party Testing
PCOS Diva products are produced and distributed from National Sanitary Foundation (NSF)-registered facilities, and emphasize the importance of third party validation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). When you look for supplements, I cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing those that are certified by the NSF.
The NSF mark is your assurance that the product has been tested by one of the most respected independent certification organizations in existence today. The NSF certification mark on a product means that the product complies with all standard requirements. NSF conducts periodic unannounced inspections and product testing to verify that the product continues to comply with the standard.
- Knowledge that an impartial review against established criteria or guidelines has been conducted
- Evidence that product labeling and claims have been objectively reviewed by a trusted third party
- Backing by a team of professionals dedicated to public health and safety operating in more than 150 countries around the world
In addition to the NSF inspections, PCOS Diva products undergo in-house testing throughout production, from intake of raw materials all the way through bottling and packing. First, all incoming raw ingredients are tested for identity, potency, microbial contamination, and pesticide residue. After mixing, the blend is tested to be sure it is homogeneous and still free of contaminants. Finally, as products are bottled, they are tested again for contamination and contents.
If you have purchased products from PCOS Diva, you may have noticed this principle in practice. Not long ago, we suffered a back-order of protein powder. This back-order was the result of contaminated incoming raw product. Our supplier refused the use the inferior product despite the effect on the “bottom line.” For that, I am grateful. Like you, I use these products every day, and I feel better knowing that they are carefully monitored.
Bioavailability and Ongoing Development
All PCOS Diva products are the result of scientific, evidence based research and clinical experience. There is no guessing or conjecture.
Bioidentical (a form of a particular nutrient as it is in the body) supplements are the goal. This assures the highest efficacy and safety.
Only ingredients backed by adequate scientific research are included in our products, and every nutrient is well researched for its metabolic pathways and potential side effects.
One of my favorite things about my supplier is that once they’ve designed a product with the right ingredients, the quest for excellence continues. Their nutrition and product development experts follow the latest research to ensure that they are using the finest ingredients available. Though not common industry practice, they are always willing to switch to better ingredients when they become available.
You may also notice that sometimes the formulations of favorite PCOS Diva products and supplements change. This is usually a result of new research or finding a better source. For instance, the original PCOS Diva Power Vegan Protein delivered great, bioavailable protein in a completely vegan powder. Our new PCOS Diva Power Vegan Protein is from a new exclusive organic source which delivers the same amount of protein, but from certified organic North American grown yellow peas with no GMOs.
Please, be your own advocate. Ask questions about the supplements you take. Be sure that they are checked by a third party and are developed with a science based formulation. Your health is at stake!
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.