How do we ensure the quality of our supplements?
When selecting a supplement brand to add to our product range at VitaGene, we consider the following factors:
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing facilities: All dietary supplements are manufactured in facilities that use good manufacturing practices according to the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). Not all products in South Africa are manufactured in GMP manufacturing facilities. GMP facilities are part of a quality management system to ensure that products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use and as required by the marketing authorization. It includes the manufacturing space, the storage warehouse for raw and finished product, support laboratory areas and analytical methods to evaluate the quality of its products. GMP manufacturing is used for pharmaceutical grade products.
Certifications: A document called certificate of analysis (COA) is used to verify the purity and strength of a supplement and to ensure that specific quality standards have been met.
Ingredients: We ensure that the brands we choose limit the use of artificial ingredients, fillers, additives and preservatives. These brands must also utilize high quality ingredients and easily absorbed forms of vitamins and minerals in their supplements.
To determine the purity of fish oil we look at the TOTOX value. This value indicates the degree of oxidation indicating the adverse effects of the product. A totox score above 26 is considered to be very harmful to the body. Purity of fish oils is essential if using on a long term basis.
Price: We always purchase supplements from reputable manufacturers and consider prices that provide good value.
Third-party testing: We make sure brands have a seal of approval and have undergone testing by an independent lab to ensure identity (the product meets recognized standards of identity and level of quality claimed on the label), strength (contains the amount of ingredient claimed on the label), disintegration (to see if the product breaks apart properly so that it may be used by the body), potency and purity (free of specified contaminants). We use ConsumerLab.com as a trusted source to provide independent test results and information to identify the best quality health and nutrition products.
Other Associations that approve GMP through third-party testing:
Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) Health Safety Regulation
Natural Products Association (NPA)
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International)
USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency)
USP (United States Pharmacopea)
AOAC (Association of Analytical Communities)
South African accreditation:
South Africa is governed by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). This is an entity of the National Department of Health, created by the South African Government to ensure that the health and well being of human and animal health are at its core.
All schedule zero supplements need to fall within the stringent criteria that SAHPRA have provided. If not within these parameters they are considered a medicine and have to be registered as such.
Vetting: All brands at VitaGene have been vetted and approved by our team of experts who evaluate each company's medical reliability and business practices.
Endorsements: We review brands to see if they have been endorsed by well-known associations to verify their authenticity and credibility.
Sustainability: We look for MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified processing which indicates that the company meets international best practice for sustainable fishing ensuring that products such as omega 3 are sustainable.Lifestyle choices: We look for brands offering lifestyle choices which include non-GMO verified, certified gluten-free, organic or vegetarian/vegan products when choosing to stock these options.