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Six of Eight St. John's Wort Products
Devoid of Active Constituents

As a board member of a top full wholesale to patient company we do some purity testing. We released an independent lab analysis of some of the top nutritional supplements created to promote mood enhancement.

According to vitacost.com, six out of the eight tested products failed the lab analysis. The products were also evaluated for their effectiveness, safety and value by a panel of board-certified physicians.

Each product was tested for its concentration of hyperforin and hypericin, which have been reported in some research to reverse the effects of poor mood and low energy caused by mild depression. San Rafael Chemical Services conducted the analysis, which is an independent Utah registered lab. San Rafael is one of the few labs that utilizes the high-pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC) method.

This type of testing is a state-of-the-art, and is more accurate than the often-used DAC86 method (Deutscher Arzneimittel Codex).

The products tested and evaluated were:
  • Nature's Way St. John's Wort - Standardized Extract
  • Natrol's Mood Support - St. John's Wort
  • Nature's Way Mood Aid with St. John's Wort
  • Nature's Way St. John's Wort - Herb Single
  • Thompson St. John's Wort
  • Twinlab Maxilife St. John's Wort and Kava Capsules
  • Nature's Herbs Certified Potency Power Herbs: St. John's Wort
  • Nature's Answer St. John's Wort Herb, liquid extract

Products that contained at least 90 percent potency (based on standards found in recent scientific literature) of 3.0 percent hyperforin and 0.3 percent hypericin were considered to have passed. Anything with less than 90 percent potency was considered to lack efficacy.

The independent lab analysis determined that only two products contained at least 90 percent potency of hyperforin and hypericin; Nature's Way Standardized Extract and Natrol's Mood Support. The actual lab reports are scanned and have been posted on vitacost.com's Web site for those interested in reading them.

"We take pride in not only being the first and only online store offering wholesale prices to consumers, but also helping consumers make safe and educated decisions when purchasing nutritional supplements," said Dr. Allen Josephs, president of vitacost.com and a board certified internist and neurologist. "We will also discontinue selling those products that fail our independent lab analysis."

"Until recently, hypericin alone was considered the primary active ingredient in anti-depressants. In 1998, a study, titled "Pharmacopsychiatry," concluded from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study on 147 male and female outpatients suffering from mild to moderate depression, that hyperforin is the most crucial ingredient," stated Dr. James Schaller, M.D., MAR, and member of vitacost.com's scientific advisory board.

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