A growing concern amongst physicians and consumers is whether dietary supplements contain all of the active ingredients listed on the label. This apprehension is based on well-publicized analyses of commercial supplements showing considerable variation in ingredient quality and quantity.
The Life Extension Buyers Club learned a long time ago that there were few ingredient suppliers who can be trusted to consistently deliver high quality ingredients. That is why the Buyers Club mandates extraordinary quality control measures in order to guard against the counterfeiting that has become so prevalent in the supplement industry.
Life Extension introduced SAMe to its members in 1996, but the media did not recognize the nutrient’s multiple benefits until 1999 when several books and numerous articles were published.
In April 1999, a national news magazine was working on a cover story on the multiple benefits of s-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe). The editors of this news magazine were concerned about the quality of SAMe supplements on the market because this nutrient is so expensive and difficult to produce. The news magazine approached several independent analytical laboratories and requested that they assay popular SAMe supplements to verify potency. All of these commercial testing laboratories declined because they had not yet developed a validated analytical method to test for SAMe.
The news magazine then approached Life Extension to perform these assays because we were known as the pioneers of SAMe in the United States. We were asked to analyze seven different brands of SAMe. We informed the magazine editors that our reporting might be considered biased since we sold SAMe, but they reviewed our track record and expressed confidence that they could trust our findings.
The results of our assays showed that two out of the seven brands had no SAMe present whatsoever. One brand used the wrong form of SAMe, while two other brands had less than 100% potency. Only Life Extension (our brand) and Nature’s Made products had 100% of the right form of SAMe. Many consumers who trusted the reputations of some very well-known companies were clearly not getting what they paid for.