Ask Gerda: How Do You Consider Dietary supplements and Wellness Merchandise?

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Gerda Endemann

Gerda Endemann, our Senior Director of Science and Research, has a BS in Nutrition from UC Berkeley, a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from MIT and a passion for cherry picking in our wellness shop. She spends a lot of time interpreting research – both established and emerging. You can find some of her deep insights into health conditions in our growing library of articles called goop PhD. You can send your own questions to Gerda at [email protected]

Dear Goop, I am a little cautious when buying nutritional supplements and other wellness products because I don’t know if they are well made. What should I know and how do you rate products on goop? —Madison

Hello Madison. You can look for some red flags and I’ll get to that in a moment, but wellness products are not easy to review.

I have a long history of nutritional supplements and wellness claims testing, but even for me it can be a difficult and lengthy process to decide whether a product is likely to be effective and safe. When I was a kid, my father sold Nutrilite, one of the first “natural” brands of nutritional supplements. Then, when I was doing an undergraduate degree in nutrition, I was taught to be careful about dietary supplements. (At this point my father accused me of being brainwashed by the establishment.) Since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that dietary supplements can be life changing, but they should be carefully selected.

After college, I worked as a laboratory scientist for a while. And in my second career I was a nutrition educator. My customers had a lot of questions about supplements and wanted me to recommend certain products. Specifying nutrient levels was easy, but evaluating brands was not.

Before joining goop in 2018, I worked in the nutritional supplement industry for seven years, where I worked in research and product development. And that inside information helped a lot. Contrary to what you may have heard, diet supplements and wellness devices are regulated by the FDA. However, the FDA lacks the resources to ensure that all manufacturers are complying. And some aren’t.

If an advertisement or label says that a product is effective or organic, the FDA and FTC require that there be evidence that the claim is true. Consumer goods that are labeled as “organic” must be certified by the USDA, for example, which does not allow the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. If a product is supposed to act on the body, there should be scientific research to back up the claim. Unfortunately, products regularly appear on the market that are advertised with unsubstantiated claims. Regulators will take no action, if at all, for years. At goop, we don’t claim that dietary supplements are effective, organic, or anything else unless we have evidence.

The scientists on our wellness team ensure that claims about the Goop brand and third party supplements we sell are backed by scientific research or, in some cases, ancient medical traditions. Goop’s director of science and research, Jennifer Kovacs-Nolan, PhD, spends most of her day doing research. To give you an idea of ​​her mindset, I asked her about some of the products she rated from different categories: explained. “And the Sugar Control Mints in Sweetkicks 14-Day Sugar Reset are supported by a clinical study on the product and data on the main ingredient gymnem acid.”

  1. Wooden Spoon Herbs PINK GLASSES

    Wooden spoon of herbs PINK
    GLASSES Goop, $ 36

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  2. Sweetkick 14-DAY SUGAR RESET

    Sweetkick 14-DAY SUGAR RESET Goop, $ 46

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  3. vFit VFIT INTIMATE WELLNESS SOLUTION

    vFit VFIT INTIM
    WELLNESS SOLUTION Goop, $ 495

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The vFit device is another great example. It uses heat, red light, and vibration to stimulate blood circulation and promote pelvic floor health. We say this because a clinical study showed benefits for bladder healthy and sexual function. And the brand worked with the FDA to classify the vFit as a wellness device.

EVALUATION OF WELLNESS PRODUCTS: CLAIMS

  1. Do the claims seem too good to be true?

  2. Does the product claim to cure cancer or cause sudden weight loss?

  3. Has the company proven they don’t care about complying with FDA guidelines and not mislead you?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, that is a red flag.

If the information looks okay, the next thing to look at is the ingredients list. Are there any chemicals that you do not know? There is a good chance the environmental working group has information about their safety. And we do that for you as part of our verification process at goop. We check for things like endocrine disruptors like phthalates and parabens and other potentially harmful ingredients. We also check for artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners.

EVALUATION OF WELLNESS PRODUCTS: INGREDIENTS

  1. See if you recognize the ingredient names. (Note: some chemicals are perfectly safe, so an unfamiliar name is not necessarily a cause for concern, just maybe a small investigation.)

  2. Products can contain compounds that have potentially harmful effects on human health or the environment. The EWG is one source you can look for information about ingredients.

goop checks all products for a constantly evolving long list of undesirable ingredients.

The evaluation process becomes more complex when it is necessary to determine whether a product contains the active ingredients listed on the label and no harmful impurities. If it’s made using Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) as defined by the FDA, it should be fine. The dietary supplements we make and the other brands of dietary supplements we sell are made in facilities that use CGMP. Many go far beyond that and seek CGMP certification by an external auditor, including Gaia and that of The Nue Co.

  1. The Nue Co. SKIN FILTER

    The Nue Co. SKIN FILTER Goop, $ 60 $

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  2. The Nue Co. VITAMIN D SPRAY

    The Nue Co. VITAMIN D SPRAY Goop, $ 25

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  3. Gaia Herbs DAILY SUPPORT FOR ADRENAL HEALTH

    Gaia Herbs DAILY ASSISTANCE FOR ADRENAL HEALTH SUPPORT, $ 31

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However, CGMP compliance requires extensive costly testing to verify the presence of active ingredients and the absence of heavy metals and harmful microbes. It can take years for the FDA to catch up with manufacturers who are not compliant. “We check the results of tests for heavy metals – lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic – and for bacterial contamination to make sure the products are safe,” says Kovacs-Nolan.

EVALUATION OF WELLNESS PRODUCTS: QUALITY CONTROL

  1. The focus of quality control is to determine whether the product contains the desired ingredients and whether it contains harmful impurities.

  2. The FDA requires that CGMP be used in the manufacture of nutritional supplements. CGMP requires testing for identity (is this ingredient what the manufacturer says?), Purity (is this ingredient as strong as it is supposed to be?), And contamination (is this ingredient free from adulterants, naturally occurring or otherwise?), Under other parameters.

  3. The implementation of CGMP by a manufacturer can be validated by certification by an independent auditor such as NSF or USP.

An important part of CGMP is clearly labeling when allergens such as peanuts are present. All of goop’s five vitamin protocols are made without the common allergens of wheat, soy, egg, dairy, nuts, and peanuts. And you are
gluten free.

  1. goop Wellness HIGH SCHOOL GENES

    goop Wellness HIGH SCHOOL GENES goop, $ 90 / $ 75 with subscription

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  2. goop Wellness WHY AM I SO TIRED?

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  3. goop Wellness THE MOTHER'S LOAD

    goop Wellness THE MOTHER LOAD goop, $ 90 / $ 75 with subscription

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  4. goop Wellness MADAME OVARY

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  5. goop wellness BALLS IN THE AIR

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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied on for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article contains the advice of a doctor or alternative practitioner, the views expressed are the views of the expert quoted and do not necessarily reflect the views of goop.

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