As the demand for CoQ10 supplements rises, analysis reveals misleading potency labels for several brands sold online.
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In the decades since its discovery in 1957, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been among the key dietary supplements purchased by consumers due to its role in cardiovascular health and cellular maintenance. The supplement has been well-studied for its benefits in conditions such as heart disease, migraine, and nerve disorders, and has a growing market estimated to reach US $1.36 Billion by 2026. But as the demand for CoQ10 supplements grows, so does the concern about the proliferation of substandard products.
NOW Foods’ in-house laboratory ran an analysis on the potency of 10 CoQ10 supplements bought off Amazon website and emerged with a worrying conclusion. The test employed the High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) as its analytical method, which is widely considered a standard technique for measuring the presence of CoQ10 in such products. The results showed that none of the 10 supplements tested reached the CoQ10 concentrations listed in their labels, with half of the samples reaching below 20% of their claims.
According to Aaron Secrist, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for NOW Foods, the analysis was conducted due to doubts on the claims of the brands sampled. “We initially tested the CoQ10 because we had serious questions about the dosage form: it is almost impossible to run this potency (400mg) of sticky CoQ10 in a dry capsule on machines,” he said.
In addition, an independent article published in Nutra Ingredients-USA related how the result of the recent NOW Foods test has been corroborated by the CoQ10 Association. An earlier test ran by the industry group in 2019 similarly revealed how most CoQ10 supplements failed to meet their stated potency. The implication was problematic because the online market had no barriers to entry for products that have fraudulent claims, according to the group.
Since the test results were released, NOW Foods has relayed the information to Amazon, the US Food and Drug Administration, trade associations, and other supplement brands.
“Today, especially, more people are buying their supplements online, which is why we are making this information public,” said Dan Richard, NOW Foods Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. “NOW takes defrauding consumers personally and it is in the best interest of the entire dietary supplements to identify and work to purge such bad actors to protect consumers.”
The names and results for the 10 online products may be accessed in the full report here.