Our Obsession with Quality, Efficacy, and Safety
You might say we’re obsessed at QOL Labs®. Obsessed with developing and delivering supplements that are so transformational, they make your life noticeably better. To that end, we dedicate ourselves to ensuring our products meet an unreasonably high quality standard.
What does that mean, exactly?
Consider this: In the course of making anything, you are faced with a series of decisions, some large and some small. Which ingredients will you use? Where will you have it manufactured? How will you package it? And how rigorously will you test the finished product? With each question (and there are literally hundreds), you have the opportunity to make — or not make — the quality choice.
At QOL Labs®, we pride ourselves in making the quality choice at every juncture. Because a product is only as good as the choices that go into making it.
Quality = Efficacy + Safety
Two of the most important factors determining quality are efficacy and safety.
Everyone wants their supplements to work. How does QOL Labs® assure the efficacy of our formulas?
The toughest research standard
When developing a new product, we start with research. Our Research & Development team combs through independently conducted human clinical studies to assess which ingredients work and which ones don’t. In fact, every ingredient in every product we make is validated by human clinical studies. This kind of study, in which scientists test a hypothesis on human subjects, is considered the gold standard of scientific research.
The right ingredient forms
After determining which ingredients have conclusively been shown to work in humans for a specific health condition, we then source the best forms of those ingredients on a case-by-case basis. For example, we search for the most bioavailable forms for each individual vitamin and mineral, and we determine which botanical ingredients need special sustained release technology to increase their absorption and utilization.
The appropriate dose
Next, we further analyze the research to determine how much of each ingredient we should include. In fact, every ingredient in every product we make is delivered in dosages shown to be effective in humans. You’ll never see a tiny sprinkling of the latest trendy ingredient on a QOL Labs® label — unless a small dose is all you really need. Ultimately, we care about what works, not about reeling in customers with ingredients they’ve heard about on talk shows.
The best manufacturing practices
When it comes time to manufacture, all our products are made in GMP-certified plants, in other words, facilities that meet the Good Manufacturing Practices established by the U.S. FDA. This ensures five key elements:
- Identity, meaning each ingredient listed on the label is in the product.
- Purity, meaning the product is free of microbes.
- Limits on contaminants, meaning the product meets strict criteria for minimally low levels of heavy metals and pesticides.
- Strength, or potency, meaning each ingredient matches 100 percent of what’s on the label.
- Composition, meaning the formula as a whole matches what’s on the label.
The right “other ingredients”
Underneath the Supplement Facts box on every supplement bottle you’ll see a line called “other ingredients.” These are the ingredients the manufacturer adds to either hold the tablet together (binders) or make sure the ingredients don’t stick to the manufacturing equipment (excipients).
QOL Labs®’ “other ingredients” are made from natural sources like vegetable cellulose, rice flour, and cornstarch. We do not use the excipient magnesium stearate because research suggests it may inhibit nutrient absorption (the last thing you want in a nutritional supplement!) and that it may also slow the pace at which ingredients dissolve in the body (so your supplements won’t act as fast). Our SR (sustained release) line of products is carefully formulated to be released at an exact speed for maximum effectiveness, and magnesium stearate could throw off these precise formulations.
The most rigorous quality testing
QOL Labs® tests our finished products to make sure the active ingredients are present in the amounts stated on the label and that they distintegrate at the right time. We also conduct stability testing using both real-time tests, to see how our products hold up under normal storage conditions, and accelerated testing, to see how they fare under harsh conditions such as high temperature. This allows us to pinpoint the exact expiration date our products should carry.
Just as important as efficacy to quality is safety. No matter how well a formula works, you don’t want to take it if it is unsafe. How does QOL Labs® assure the safety of our formulas?
The selection of safe materials
Many of the ingredients we use have been safely consumed as part of the food supply for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years. We steer clear of ingredients that have known safety issues, such as yohimbe and bitter orange (both herbal stimulants). In addition, many of our ingredients have GRAS certification, meaning they are “generally regarded as safe,” an FDA classification that validates an ingredient’s low potential to cause harm. And finally, when we develop formulas, we pay attention to safe ingredient forms, appropriate dosing, and possible interactions among ingredients.
The full battery of safety tests
It may come as a surprise that by law, dietary supplement manufacturers do not have to demonstrate the safety of their products before bringing them to market. That’s why you’ll be relieved to know that every ingredient QOL Labs® uses has been tested for safety, either through:
- Monitoring for adverse events and changes in metabolic parameters during human clinical trials, and/or
- Evaluating potential toxicity in animal studies, and/or
- Determining mutagenicity through in vitro research
The right protection against contaminants
Furthermore, we conduct extensive laboratory analyses on our finished products to make sure they contain the ingredients they say they do and to guard against:
- Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic
- Harmful microbes, such as yeast, mold, and bacteria
- Aflatoxins and mycotoxins (in mushroom ingredients)
- Pesticides (in botanical ingredients)
- Adulteration, in other words, the purposeful addition of impurities, in ingredients at high risk for foul play