At NutriGold, we recognize that dietary supplements—especially those made from foods—can produce allergic reactions if they have been contaminated by high-risk allergenic foods (e.g., soy lecithin) during manufacturing or contain ingredients derived from high-risk allergenic foods. Even though the FDA doesn’t require that supplements be tested for allergens or include allergen warnings on labels, we take your health seriously. That's why every lot of every NutriGold product is verified free of the most prevalent allergens: corn, egg, gluten, milk, peanut, shellfish, and soy.2
Even though about 50% of the US population take supplements and 15 million have food allergies,1 current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) cover the bare minimum quality and safety standards that supplements must meet before they can be approved for sale. In light of these statistics, the potential for a supplement to produce an unexpected reaction or an undesirable side effect is high.
5 REASONS WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT ALLERGENS IN SUPPLEMENTS
15 Million# of Americans with food allergies
8 Allergens# of allergens that account for over 90% of all allergic reactions
Every 3 MinutesFrequency of emergency room visits related to food allergies
Active IngredientsMany active ingredients are derived from allergenic raw materials like egg, fish, and soy
Most ExcipientsMost excipients are derived from allergenic ingredients like corn and soy
Allergy vs. Intolerance
Food allergies and intolerances are distinct medically, but they may produce similar symptoms. The difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance boils down to whether or not the immune system is activated when you eat a particular food. If the immune system is activated, you have an allergy. Food allergies can be serious and life threatening. Food intolerances, on the other hand, produce unpleasant symptoms (possibly making you sick for days) but do not have an associated risk of death. Most people with food allergies and/or intolerances should avoid dietary supplements made with foods they are sensitive to.
Contrary to popular opinion, allergen labeling requirements apply only to those foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. Supplements, however, are exempt from these requirements. That means manufacturers of dietary ingredients and supplements are NOT required to list allergens that may be present in the supplement or provide statutory warnings regarding the potential for allergic reactions from taking the supplement.
Ingredients derived from high-risk allergenic foods are routinely present either as an active ingredient or as an additive in dietary supplements (e.g. soy lecithin). Given the high number of Americans who suffer from food allergies, finding allergen-free supplements can be a serious challenge.
NutriGold's Allergen Testing & Labeling Initiative
Consistent with the guiding principle to “do no harm,” we stand by our commitment to offer only quality, affordable products that are free of seven common food allergens, including:
Every product is subject to a six-step process to ensure that it is safe for individuals with known or suspected food allergies. A stringent < 2.5 ppm specification provides the basis for allergen-free claims on product labels, which is exacting when compared to the more liberal < 20 ppm limit set by the FDA for gluten-free claims.
Guidelines for shopping allergen-free products
In order to avoid possible allergens in dietary supplements, begin by finding out about the manufacturer's practices. Here are some points to keep in mind as you research:
- Allergen testing is currently NOT required by law for dietary supplements. Many companies do not test their products.
- Disclosing possible allergens or contaminants on labels is also not required by law on dietary supplements. Don't assume a product is safe simply because it has no warning label.
- Buy supplements that do voluntary third-party allergen testing and list potential allergens on the label, but check with the supplement company to find out how stringent their allergen testing is. The allergen-free standard used by some companies may not be stringent enough to prevent allergic reactions.
At NutriGold, we care about allergens in supplements and test both our materials AND our finished products for allergens because we believe that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
|Step 1: Indentification and review of high-risk allergenic active and inactive ingredients||Step 4: Stringent compliance with cGMP standards to minimize cross-contamination from high-risk allergens during manufacturing|
|Step 2: Extensive verification of ingredient documentation to determine allergen risk status||Step 5: Voluntary, independent verification of finished products for corn, egg, gluten, milk, peanut, shellfish, and soy allergens|
|Step 3: Voluntary, independent testing of raw materials for corn, egg, gluten, milk, peanut, shellfish, and soy allergens||Step 6: Declaration of allergens (if any) and allergen warnings (if applicable) on product labels in the interest of complete transparency|
Click here to browse NutriGold’s gluten free products.
- United States Census Bureau. Sourced on October 15, 2015.
- Ninety percent of food-related allergic reactions come from eight main food categories: fish, shellfish, peanuts, cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, tree nuts, and soybeans.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Sourced on October 15, 2015. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/food-allergies.aspx.
FDA. Sourced on October 15, 2015.http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm079311.htm.