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When you buy supplements you want them to be safe and effective. 

But how can you verify the quality and purity of a product? What is the European Union to ensure the safety of supplements? Where can you get additional information?   

In this article we want to provide you an overview about the things you should know about regulations, safety of supplements and certificates. 

Who is responsible for the safety of food supplements? 

According to the EU General Food Law Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, food supplements are considered as foodstuffs. For this reason, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, importer, supplier or distributor to ensure that a food supplement placed on the market is safe.

The European Union has created a list of rules that are applicable to the use of vitamins and minerals and the way they are labelled. One name you should know in this context is EFSA. 

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is an entity set up in January 2002 as an independent source of scientific advice that produces opinions which are then used by the European Commission to adopt legislation. It evaluates the safety and efficacy of food supplements are evaluated. 

What are the labelling requirements for food supplements on the EU market?

These are the official requirements as stated on the website of EFSA (European Food Safety Authority):

Directive 2002/46/EC sets out specific labelling requirements for food supplements. These include

 

  • the names of the categories of nutrients or substances that characterise the product or an indication of the nature of those nutrients or substances;
  • the portion of the product recommended for daily consumption;
  • a warning not to exceed the stated recommended daily dose;
  • a statement to the effect that food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet;
  • a statement to the effect that the products should be stored out of the reach of young children.
  • In addition, presentation and advertising must not attribute to food supplements the property of preventing, treating or curing a human disease, or refer to such properties.
  • More information is available here

    Now you know why labels on supplement bottles can be quite lengthy. This fine print might seem boring and unnecessary, but in fact it contains some really important information. 

    We recommend reading labels and instructions carefully before randomly picking up products. As with many things in life: the devil lies in the detail! 

    How safe are supplements? 

    Food supplements are considered food, and therefore they must be safe. It is the responsibility of the food manufacturers to ensure the safety of their food products. 

    However, it is good to remember that unlike medicinal products food supplements do not undergo any official authorisation procedure, during which actual health safety must be proven prior to placing on the market. 

    For example, in Germany supplements are controlled by random sample checks performed by the official food monitoring bodies. Monitoring of food supplements placed on the market and of manufacturing companies is the task of the food monitoring authorities of the German federal Länder.

    What does this mean? While it is not very likely, it is still possible that you buy a low quality product. 

    That's the reason we lay great emphasis on independent third party testing here at AAVALABS. Instead of waiting for random checks we make sure our products are checked for purity by trusted labs. 

    What are the risks of buying products from unknown sources?

    If you order products directly from foreign vendors or online platforms, there's always a risk involved. This is due to lack of regulation and poor manufacturing practices in many countries. 

    Unfortunately news about contaminated and dangerous supplements are quite common. 

    Supplement groups that seem to be particularly problematic are exercise, weight-loss, and sexual-enhancement supplements, so be extra careful with these!  

    In tests several of the weight-loss supplements actually contained an amphetamine-like drug called sibutramine, which is banned in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.

    What kind of ingredients are allowed?

    You can find extensive lists of vitamins and minerals that may be added for nutritional purposes to food supplements in the EU. 


    In addition there are usually country-specific laws and regulations that manufacturers and sellers have to take into account if they want to sell supplements. 

    For example in the UK most products described as food supplements (such as vitamins, minerals or amino acids) are regulated as foods and subject to the provisions of general food law such as the Food Safety Act. 

    In the US dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA. 

    What kind of certificates does AAVALABS provide for its supplements? 

    Heavy metal contamination in food and supplements is a very real and serious issue. Heavy metals are toxic to the body, and they are known to cause cancer, dementia and brittle bones, anxiety, nerve damage etc. 

    As you can imagine this is NOT something we want for any of our customers or ourselves! 

    Supplements are supposed to support health, not compromise it. 

    For this reason we have made purity a top priority. 

    The certificates that we provide for our products come from independent third-party laboratories. 

    Usually they test supplements on purity and heavy metals, for example Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury. 

    Depending on the test the certificate might also give further information about the contents of a vitamin product. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this. 

    AAVALABS: supplements you can trust 

    Supplements are available everywhere, in the pharmacy, super markets, online shops. Finding the right product can be quite difficult. 

    Our recommendation: Don't buy into false promises by so-called “miracle pills” and only buy products that are approved in the EU from trusted brands. 

    When you buy from AAVALABS you can rest assured that we take quality very seriously. We started out as a small family-owned business. 

    Since our initial days our product range has also grown significantly and we now place a special focus on vegan-friendly supplements. 

    Still, our company's three core values have remained the same and continue to underpin everything that we do. 

    We stand for honesty, natural-living, and giving back to those in need. We are convinced that we can only succeed in this with absolutely pure and high-quality products.



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