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Quality is more than just a slogan

You want to give your body the best care with glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 or other nutritional supplements, but there are so many providers to choose from. You can get what you need on the internet, in shops, from chemists or pharmacies. And pretty much all suppliers tell you that they provide the best quality supplements. So how can you determine whether this is true?

Quality starts with a mentality. For us at, supplements are not simply products, but a way of life. Due to our scientific and sports background, we are very enthusiastic about nutritional supplements and what they mean for the body and for health. We ourselves take a good deal of supplements.

Based on this affinity for supplements, quality and safety absolutely come first for us. This is expressed in our wide-ranging reviews of scientific studies, followed by a search for the best ingredients and the best manufacturers, even if this costs us effort, time and money.

As a result, you receive the following quality guarantee with our supplements:

  • Correct dosages, based on scientific studies. For additional information, check the page ‘Scientific dosage’.
  • Strong safety profile You will not find ingredients in our supplements that are considered to be unsafe.
  • Purity. All our supplements are checked for contaminants by an independent laboratory. For additional information, please see the page ‘Laboratory control’.
  • Use of ingredients from renowned companies, some of which are even suppliers of material for scientific studies: Bioiberica (Spain), Stepan Lipid Nutrition (Canada/The Netherlands), Bergstrom Nutrition (US), Cyvex Nutrition (US) and Capsugel (Belgium/France).
  • Production of capsules and softgels by manufacturers who work in accordance with GMP and HACCP protocols. This means that they follow procedures that guarantee food safety and hygiene.
  • Production in Western Europe, which guarantees the highest safety standards.
Do you still find this a bit too general? Would you prefer to have more specific information on how distinguishes itself by the quality of its supplements? We can make the quality of our supplements more concrete with reference to three possible ‘quality issues’:
  • Are you receiving the correct dose of glucosamine?
  • Are you receiving real chondroitin or simply ground cartilage?
  • Are you receiving fish oil/omega-3 that is free from heavy metals and dioxins?

Are you receiving the correct dose of glucosamine?

The problem:
Glucosamine sulphate is sometimes provided in doses that are too low and sometimes too high, generally due to ignorance. The world (industry) of nutritional supplements has grown in leaps and bounds in the past decades. Previously this was the terrain of pioneers in the field of nutrition and health. Among these was, active since 2000. At the moment there are also a number of 'entrepreneurs' in this market who have little affinity with the philosophy it all started with.

Scientific research has shown that 1500 mg glucosamine sulphate per day is an effective dose. A provider with no affinity for the product glucosamine sulphate will not know that glucosamine sulphate is stabilised with a salt. If he fails to take this into account, he will supply 1500 mg including the salt. After deducting the salt, only 24% at most will remain, which is too low a quantity.

First reported: pointed out this problem on this website as early as the beginning of 2002.

Official standard instituted:
Only starting in 2006 have glucosamine suppliers been required to indicate the quantity of glucosamine base (glucosamine without ‘partner molecules’) on the label, so that the consumer can see exactly what he or she is buying. But there are still suppliers who provide too low or too high a dosage.

Are you receiving real chondroitin or simply ground cartilage?

The problem:
Chondroitin is primarily harvested from beef cartilage. The process of extracting 95% pure chondroitin is extremely expensive. On the world market, however, ground cartilage with only 5% of chondroitin is traded as pure chondroitin. This is of course much cheaper and until recently could barely be discovered with contemporary lab tests.

First report and our reaction:
In 2005 the first rumours of the trade in ground cartilage appeared. Independent scientists expressed their concern regarding the quality of chondroitin at the beginning of 2006. A scientific publication indicated that the Spanish firm Bioiberica was the most reliable manufacturer. This company was chosen after a stringent selection procedure to become supplier of chondroitin for the large-scale US GAIT study. did not find the assurances of its own supplier sufficiently persuasive and contacted Bioiberica. At the end of 2006 an agreement was finalised for the supply of (very pricey) chondroitin. is absorbing the additional costs in full.

Official standard instituted:
Governments have not yet addressed this problem through regulation.

Are you receiving fish oil/omega-3 free from heavy metals and dioxins?

The problem:
Large areas of the world’s oceans are polluted. These pollutants – heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins – penetrate the food chain and accumulate in the fat of fishes. The dioxin content in salmon, for instance, can be so high that several portions already meet the maximum monthly intake limit. Fish oil supplements manufactured from fatty fish can also contain harmful substances.

First report and our reaction:
The contamination of fatty fish has been known to a small circle for some years now; only recently has the media reported this situation., however, already looked for very top quality oil at the time of the introduction of its fish oil/omega-3 supplement. At the time our choice was Marinol fish oil from Lipid Nutrition in The Netherlands (nowadays Stepan Lipid Nutrition). There are few fish oils such as Marinol that the manufacturer associates with a brand name. The majority of fish oil is traded without brand names by brokers. We want to know, however, which company is behind such a product and which principles it uses in its production.

Stepan Lipid Nutrition makes the purity of the oil its primary focus. Another strong point is the omission of chemical changes in the oil in order to achieve a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Marinol is a pure, natural fish oil.

The fish oil comes primarily from anchovies. These are caught in the Pacific Ocean along the coast of South America. The Pacific Ocean is less polluted in comparison with other oceans. As a result its fish oil is also more pure.

The extracted fish oil is concentrated and purified, after which the end product Marinol is checked. The final result is fish oil with the lowest possible level of contaminants.

We ourselves have the fish oil inspected on a random basis by an independent laboratory (KBBL) for the presence of heavy metals, dioxins and other harmful substances. Concentrations appear to be so low as to be undetectable (heavy metals) or very far under the approved limit (dioxins). You could take several thousand of our fish oil softgels every day (!) before you reach the intake limit of dioxins.

Official standard instituted:
Government norms for the maximum quantity of harmful substances in food have existed for many years. However, no large-scale checks take place.

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