Scams in the supplement industry

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any company listed in the following, nor any supplement mentioned in here. The questions for Huel are in the past paragraph.

I came across this reddit post that contains an interesting video on laboratory setup and methods, and discussing purity of various products in the supplement industry.

The feeling I get from it is that lots of supplement providers don’t use testing from reputable labs, or unintentionally (or perhaps even intentionally) use testing methods that don’t end up properly separating the desired substance from others.

Huel uses many different suppliers for the various micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, lutein, lycopene, …) that need to be topped off in the powder due to not being contained in sufficient quantities in the oats/flax/… Does Huel simply trust the supplier provided certificates on testing, or does Huel send each supplier’s product for independent testing? Does it get tested in a properly certified and accredited laboratory? Has Huel verified that the laboratory is using the correct methods for testing (such as the difference between liquid chromatography vs UV spectroscopy as discussed in the reddit post)? Would Huel be willing to regularly share these lab results (possibly censoring the supplier name to protect Huel secrets)?

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One for me I think. Before I start it’s important to say the Reddit post is about relatively niche US supplements which as an industry can be a bit like the Wild West at times.

We send each product/ingredient for independent third-party testing.

Yes.

Yes we have information on the testing methods used, where possible the accredited method is used for the food and compound that we want to obtain results for.

We do share specific lab results on request based on particular concerns raised; you can find several of these on the forum. However, due to confidentiality, the amount of lab results that we have and how often we do them, we can’t share all of them.

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