Nature's Sunshine's Four Point Path to Unsurpassed Quality [Video]

November 5 2013 | Product Quality

For more than 40 years, Nature's Sunshine has built a reputation for rigorous testing and procedures that ensure the highest quality vitamin and nutritional supplements in the world. Below we have updated our quality video to showcase how we do it:

Quality video 2013-YouTube sharing from NSP on Vimeo.

How is it accomplished? How does a brand of products, proven to transform lives naturally, stand apart in a cluttered landscape of marginal brands that also claim to offer high-quality products?

The answer lies in trust. A trust earned through over 40 years of proven results from products of unwavering purity and potency. We earn and maintain that trust with our exclusive four-point path to unsurpassed quality.

1. Raw Material Sourcing. Our quest for quality begins at the source. Through our relentless search to discover the finest natural ingredients our planet has to offer. Then when we find potential ingredient sources, we conduct rigorous onsite inspections of their entire operation. Before they can qualify to become a trusted link in Nature’s Sunshine’s supply chain. And once we secure those natural and beneficial raw materials, we maintain nutrient integrity by keeping tight control of each and every ingredient from the moment we bring it into our facility, where we conduct thorough analysis to make sure each ingredient is free of pesticides, heavy metals, dirt, and other suspect fillers that can often find their way into other brands of natural products.

2. Formulate for Efficacy. We have the skill and experience to create unique results-oriented formulas that best utilize the raw materials and other key beneficial components in every nutritional product we make. We take every step necessary to guarantee every Nature’s Sunshine natural product contains the precise amount of the right part, of the right species, manufactured under precisely controlled conditions. Formulating for efficacy is the surest way we can deliver on our uncompromised commitment to ingredient potency and purity.

3. Quality In-House Manufacturing. In a marketplace where 85 percent of all branded products are manufactured by third-party suppliers, we proudly create Nature’s Sunshine Products at our 200,000 square-foot facility in Spanish Fork, Utah. Our quality-first production facility is one of a select few to earn NSF Good Manufacturing Certification.

4. Finished Product Testing. Utilizing a range of 600 quality and purity tests, we test our finished products with advanced analytical equipment that literally defines “state of the art” in our industry. Yes, we could rely on less stringent testing protocols, but once again, predictable and repeatable results are what set us apart.

That Nature’s Sunshine Four-Point Path to Unsurpassed Quality: Four key reasons savvy natural health practitioners and natural product users around the world trust the results-driven product of Nature’s Sunshine.


India Day 5 Showed Why It's Important To Do In-Person Audits

April 26 2013 | Product Quality

Note: Lynda Hammons, VP of Global Quality and Regulatory and Ellen O'Neal, Purchasing Manager, are performing an audit on our suppliers in India through April. They are taking pictures and writing updates from India, and we'll be sharing some of their experiences on the blog and on social media. Here's part 5, in their words, where the supplier failed the audit, and in the process, shows why it's important for Nature's Sunshine to conduct in-person audits.

 

One of many signs directing employees to wash hands. But we found no hot water in any restroom.

We are nearing the end of our Indian audit schedule and looking forward to getting home. The last two days were spent with a botanical extract supplier who has three separate manufacturing facilities.

We have shared with you the good facilities but now we need to share the bad. This supplier has expertise , experience and equipment for producing botanical extracts. However, they have limited knowledge of good manufacturing practices ( GMPs). Although they had plenty of signs directing employees to wash their hands, they had NO HOT water in any restroom! FDA Food Code specifies a minimum hand-washing water temperature of 38°C (100°F).

This supplier received a failing grade.

At two of the three facilities the outside grounds and buildings were organized and well kept. The third facility had numerous violations of GMPs – un-screened windows, open doors, bird droppings inside the building and missing rodent control to list a few. This supplier received a failing audit.

In order to be NSP approved, they must correct all violations. This is why it is important for Nature's Sunshine to conduct in-person audits.


India Day 4: Auditing Manufacturer of Standardized Herbal Extracts

April 23 2013 | Product Quality

Note: Lynda Hammons, VP of Global Quality and Regulatory and Ellen O'Neal, Purchasing Manager, are performing an audit on our suppliers in India through April. They are taking pictures and writing updates from India, and we'll be sharing some of their experiences on the blog and on social media. Below is part 4, in their words, where they are auditing a leading researcher and manufacture of standardized herbal extracts:

Ellen observes metal detection for botanical extract

A leading herbal research-driven company in India was the fourth audit for Lynda and Ellen. This supplier’s core competence lies in manufacturing standardized herbal extracts with a state of the art research center. This center has the expertise to discover and develop innovative & high quality botanical extracts with scientific and clinical validation.

The production facilities are GMP, ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 22000:2005 certified. The in-house R&D center is a government approved laboratory for testing of traditional medicines. The research team has secured 8 patents and has over 100 publications in national and international peer reviewed journals. The PhD scientists have contributed several analytical monographs on Indian Medicinal plants to the Indian Pharmacopoeia, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India and the United States Pharmacopoeia.

Lynda inspects equipment for blending

The Quality Control labs and Research and Development labs of this supplier were some of the best that we have seen at any of our suppliers- located in or outside of India. The facility also contains an extensive library of authenticated voucher samples of Indian botanicals. This allows for thorough and extensive identity testing of each lot of botanicals prior to QA approving the lot for extraction.

The supplier commented that they have been visited by a few customers other than NSP but NSP has definitely conducted the most extensive audit including every aspect of good manufacturing practices and testing.

Part of supplier's extensive library of authenticated voucher botanical specimens

One of the botanical extracts purchased from this fourth supplier is licorice root extract, Glychrrhiza glabra. Licorice grows wild in some parts of Asia including India. A perennial that grows 3 - 7 feet high, licorice has an extensive branching root system. NSP’s licorice extract is made from the roots and underground stems of the plant. NSP’s licorice root is DGL or deglycyrrhizinated licorice which has the ingredient of glycyrrhiza removed. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice doesn't seem to have the same side effects . Numerous studies have shown licorice extract to be effective for the conditions of peptic ulcers, canker sores, upper respiratory infections (cold, cough) and reflux (GERD).

Two key NSP products containing licorice root extract are Mineral–Chi Tonic , stock 1818 and Gastro Health, stock 917. Go here to see more products with Licorice Root


India Day 3: Auditing Suppliers of Lutein and Betacarotene

April 22 2013 | Product Quality

Note: Lynda Hammons, VP of Global Quality and Regulatory and Ellen O'Neal, Purchasing Manager, are performing an audit on our suppliers in India through April. They are taking pictures and writing updates from India, and we'll be sharing some of their experiences on the blog and on social media. Below is part 3, in their words, where they are auditing the supplier of lutein and betacarotene

Fields of marigolds growing in India

The third Indian audit conducted by Lynda and Ellen was a manufacturer of lutein and betacarotene. The facility was commissioned in March 2013 and NSP was the first audit of this new facility. The owners of the company asked each of us to plant an Indian Christmas tree to commemorate our visit.

The facility was built per US FDA guidelines, is GMP certified, and was given an award by the Indian government for excellence in Quality & Management. A well-educated and experienced staff oversee the production and testing of NSP’s raw materials. Another A ++ supplier to Nature’s Sunshine as witnessed by us in person!

Lynda and Ellen with suppliers’ team of experts upon completion of audit.

Lutein is extracted from Marigolds by crushing the dried petals. Not all marigolds are created equal. The species of marigold commonly found in a home garden is the tagetes variety. The marigold variety that delivers health benefits is calendula. The flowers of the calendula marigold have been used for centuries for their health benefits.

Lutein is sometimes called the "eye vitamin" . Lutein protects the eyes from sun damage and oxidative stress. It may be essential in preventing eye diseases like cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

Lutein also supports heart health. A major human study of atherosclerosis showed that lutein and other carotenoids may help prevent heart attack and stroke. Lutein can help prevent oxidative stress to cholesterol and the cardiovascular system and prevent clogged arteries and carotid artery thickness. Lab tests and animal research also concluded that dietary lutein may help prevent atherosclerosis. Lutein is classified as a dietary antioxidant. Antioxidants help combat free radical damage to the cells and can help prevent oxidative stress and chronic inflammation to the heart and other systems in the body.

Lutein is a key active in NSP’s Super Supplemental, Perfect Eyes, and Breast Assured.

Ellen helping to plant a commemorative Indian Christmas tree.

 

 

 


Day 1 in India: Auditing Psyllium Suppliers

April 15 2013 | Product Quality

Note: Lynda Hammons is performing an audit on our suppliers in India through April. Lynda is taking pictures and writing updates from India, and we'll be sharing some of her experiences on the blog and on social media. Below is part 1, in her words, where she is auditing suppliers of Psyllium.  

The first audit for NSP conducted in India is our psyllium raw material supplier. India dominates the world market in the production and export of psyllium.


Psyllium supplier in India evaluating psyllium to be auctioned

 

By Lynda Hammons, Vice President of Quality Assurance and regulatory Affairs

This was a very interesting audit that included a visit to the local agricultural market where the “raw” psyllium seeds are daily auctioned to the local suppliers. These local suppliers then further process the psyllium by sorting the seeds into different grades, cleaning the seeds and removing the husk seed. NSP’s supplier and his family have been in the business since 1937. They have extensive experience in the processing of highest quality psyllium. Their facility has cleaning and processing equipment unique to their company.  

How to Determine Quality Psyllium

The quality of the psyllium is critical to its beneficial properties. If harvested too early, there are more red seeds and it will not be as mucilaginous. Seeds can also be damaged by too much rain, and can also be damaged if not cleaned properly.

Supplier showing differences in 2 psyllium lots being sold. Left sample shows good color and very little stems. Sample on the right is poor quality with extraneous matter and seeds.

 

What is Psyllium Used For

Psyllium hulls are used for their high fiber content: 70 percent soluble and 30 percent insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber offer important health benefits. Soluble fiber transforms into a gel in the stomach and slows the digestion process. Scientific evidence proves its cholesterol lowering effect. Insoluble fiber is eliminated almost intact by the human body and has an important role in helping food move more rapidly through the digestive tract.

To see all the Nature's Sunshine psyllium health supplements go here: http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/general/search/?q=psyllium


Consumer Lab Approves Nature's Prenatal on Dr. Oz

April 15 2013 | Nutrition | Product Quality

A recent Dr. Oz episode investigated the quality of the supplements Americans are putting in their bodies. And it revealed that not every supplement is created equal.

“When I found out that the $28 billion vitamin and supplement industry may be cheating you, it made me angry. I wanted to see for myself. And the results may surprise you,” Dr. Oz says in the episode.

Oz interviewed Dr. Tod Cooperman on research from Consumer Lab in a recent report that tested more than 60 leading vitamins and minerals sold in the United States and Canada. Throughout the episode, you can see a bottle of Nature’s Prenatal from Nature’s Sunshine, which received a full approval from Consumer Lab. To see the episode, go here. To see the report from Consumer Lab, go here

“We tested over 3,000 products and found problems in 1 out of 4 of them,” Cooperman said. The study tested supplements to see if they:

  • Provide exactly the claims on its supplement facts
  • Have too much of a particular vitamin 
  • Are contaminated with heavy metals 
  • Break apart properly for absorption.

The products that passed the tests for all these criteria, as well as met FDA labeling requirements, earned an APPROVED rating. In the interview, Cooperman said defects were found in nearly 40% of the supplements. Here are some of the discoveries Consumer Lab lists on its website:

  • One popular general multivitamin contained nearly 2.5 times its claimed amount of vitamin A in the retinol form. Too much of this type of vitamin A can be harmful. 
  • 12 multivitamins provided less vitamin A, vitamin C, or folic acid, or than claimed, some with less than 30% of the listed amounts. These include a prenatal vitamin and products for men, adults (general), seniors, and even pets. 
  • Tablets of a women’s multi and a general adult multi failed to break apart within the required time -- indicating they may not fully release all of their ingredients for absorption. 
  • One pet multivitamin was contaminated with lead. 
  • A range of multivitamins contained more than the upper tolerable limits established by the Institute of Medicine for niacin, vitamin A, magnesium, and/or zinc.

Consumer Lab tested and approved Nature’s Sunshine Prenatal Vitamin. The report said Nature’s Prenatal contained the claimed amount of nutrients tested, did not exceed contamination limits for lead and disintegrated properly.

This type of quality is what Nature’s Sunshine has been aiming for over the last 40 years. Nature’s Sunshine rigorously tests each product and ingredient to ensure purity, safety and potency.

“Quality has always been, and will always be, central to Nature’s Sunshine Products,” said Lynda Hammons, VP of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs. “High-quality supplements are not an accident. It doesn’t just happen! Nature’s Sunshine spends millions of dollars every year plus a lot of time, effort and expertise, assuring that we offer the highest quality supplements on the market. I have never been asked to cut costs. We have the funding for testing because we need to test to ensure that we can use high-quality ingredients to make the best supplements.”


Why You Can Trust Silver Shield From Nature's Sunshine

November 8 2012 | Immune Health | Product Quality

About Silver Shield from Nature's Sunshine

 

Silver Shield delivers an exclusive 18 parts per million of pure silver that stays suspended in purified, deionized water.

Recent studies by major universities have shown Silver Shield to be an effective immune system booster, discouraging unwanted invaders and making it the perfect addition to your immune-health arsenal. Nature's Sunshine also offers Silver Shield Gel.

Silver Shield technology is charged with two electrons, which contrasts with the single electron used in common colloidal silver. This increases the ability of the silver particles to repeatedly destory targeted pathogens (Current Science Res, 2007). 

Why Silver Shield?

  • Increasing concern about antibiotics
  • Non-toxic; poses no risk of heavy metal contamination
  • 90 mcg silver per serving
  • Supports the immune system
  • May not affect beneficial bacteria
  • Fine particle-size colloids for maximum bioavailability

 

Aqua Sol Technology

 

Nature's Sunshine uses Aqua Sol Technology, which represents the latest advancement in colloidal silver. With Aqua Sol Technology, silver particles with an interior of elemental silver and an exterior of ionic silver oxide are placed in a colloidal suspension in water. 

The result is fine, particlesized colloids with 99% bioavailability. The silver is processed by the kidneys and may not affect populations of beneficial bacteria.

 

How Nature's Sunshine Ensures High Quality Silver Solutions

 

With every product, we take extra steps to make sure what you put into your body is pure, potent and free of any pollutants. It's no different with Silver Shield.

Here's how we do it: 

Nature's Sunshine's Quality Control department tests the potency of Silver Shield using the Inductively Coupled Plasma–mass Spectrometry, or as we refer to it, the ICP-MS. 

 

The inside of the ICP-MS that tests the potency of Silver Shield

This instrument in our mineral lab detects part per trillion (ppt) level for silver as well as contaminates such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. 

This testing assures that each teaspoon contains 18 ppm or 90 micrograms/ teaspoon of silver.

It also assures the product is not contaminated with other minerals or contaminations. In addition, the micro lab tests for any microbial contamination such as molds, yeast, E. coli, salmonella,  and staph.

It is manufactured using a patented process with strict quality control. The result is fine, particle-sized colloids with 99% bioavailability.

Or in other words, with Silver Shield, you get a pure silver sollution you can trust. 

 

 


How Our CEO Uses Nature's Sunshine Products to Support His Health

October 18 2012 | Children's Health | Immune Health | Product Quality

By Michael Dean, CEO of Nature's Sunshine Products

I cannot count the number of personal testimonials I’ve heard from colleagues and distributors from around the world, attesting to the power of our people and our quality products.

After 40 years, I can only imagine how many millions of people Nature's Sunshine has helped in their lives and with their health. It is staggering to me, and it humbles me to think of the impact that we had as a company, as a family and as individuals.

I’d like to share my own testimonial. While my story is not amazing or overwhelming, it is personal and true.

Nature's Harvest green drink was a hit at Dallas Leaders Conference.

When I joined Nature's Sunshine, I was new to the business of helping people with their health, as I had come from industries that were not related to health and wellness. I also did not have a full appreciation of the value of dietary supplementation. I have very rarely taken pharmaceuticals, including virtually no use of pain killers or aspirin. I did not take vitamins or herbs either, nor did I see much reason to (mistakenly!).

How Nature's Sunshine Has Supported Health in Michael's Family

 

I have enjoyed excellent health my whole life, without a single serious illness, and I have never stayed a night in a hospital or even broken a bone. I am not a good customer for doctors, having provided them little to prescribe. The joke among my buddies is that I’m the healthiest man alive (they somehow meant it as an insult, but I still don’t get the joke).

However, I now have three kids that are 11 years and under. And for the last decade, I seem to have contracted almost every cold and flu that they had. I don’t get too sick and I recover quickly, but I contract the sickness nonetheless. As long as you don’t ask me at the time of sickness, I will tell you that it is a reasonable cost of being close to my children. This has happened several times every single year without fail.

When I became the CEO of Nature's Sunshine, it was important for me to begin using our products so that I could have firsthand familiarity and understanding of them. I have used a regimen of products (Super Trio®, SmartMealNature’s Harvest, Nutri-Calm® and many more) almost every day now for nearly three years.

And I think I’ve had only one stuffy nose during this entire time. Nature’s Sunshine products clearly provides my immune system with the support it needs. My kids continued to get the typical seasonal colds and illnesses, so of course, I now have them taking our products, too. The only thing left is to get their entire schools on Nature's Sunshine products, and then we’ll have all of our bases covered! And maybe a few future distributors? Okay, I’ve gone too far.

So you see, my story is not miraculous, and perhaps many of you have similar ones. But then, we impact lives in ways both big and small. All that matters is that we help. I am clearly healthier now that I use Nature's Sunshine products daily.

This is my small story, but it is a part of why I have such belief in what we do and such optimism for our future.

 

About Michael Dean

Michael D. Dean is the President and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine and serves as a member of the Board of Nature’s Sunshine Products. Prior, Mr. Dean served as Chief Executive Officer of Mediaur Technologies Inc., responsible for all aspects of the privately-owned satellite technology company that provides proprietary antenna system solutions for both private industries and governments. Before joining Mediaur, Mr. Dean worked at The Walt Disney Company from 1997 to 2003. He was Executive Vice President of ABC Cable Networks, a multi-billion dollar global division of Disney, where he was responsible for the non-creative, day-to-day business, including Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Finance, Legal, Broadcasting Operations, IT, Human Resources, and Business Development. Earlier at Disney, he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategic Planning and Development, responsible for all corporate strategy, development and deal work in Disney’s broadcasting, cable, and film studio businesses. Before Disney, Mr. Dean was a strategy consultant with Bain & Company and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.


6 Facts about Gluten and How NSP Guarantees Gluten-Free Drink Mixes

October 10 2012 | Product Quality

Gluten-free products can be hard to come by along grocery store shelves, but the movement is growing. It's even reached your Halloween bucket.

People are choosing a gluten-free diet for myriad reasons. For some, gluten may pose various health problems. For others, they are choosing a gluten-free diet for weight loss or to increase energy. Here are six facts about Gluten and some reasons why some are avoiding it:

1. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Bakers will tell you it is gluten that makes bread dough stretchy and gives a finished loaf its structure and texture.

2. Certain people should avoid gluten. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities need to avoid gluten. Other people say that avoiding gluten helps them feel more energetic or is part of their weight-management routine.

3. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. When someone with celiac disease ingests gluten, the immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi in the lining of the small intestine, affecting the small intestines’ ability to absorb nutrients and leading to malnourishment.

4. Some people are just sensitive! People with gluten sensitivities may experience digestive or intestinal distress, but without the damage to the small intestine that occurs with celiac disease.

5. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are on the rise. More than 2 million people in the United States have celiac disease, or about 1 in 133 people. One study shows that celiac disease is four times more common today than it was in 1950. Americans will spend an estimated $7 billion this year on foods labeled gluten-free, according to the market research firm Mintel.

6. Are processed foods the culprit? While the cause of celiac disease is unknown, many researchers are looking at today’s highly-processed diet, including processed wheat products, which use wheat types high in gluten content.

 

Nature's Sunshine's Gluten-Free Guarantee



Nature's Harvest from NSP from NSP on Vimeo.

 

For those reasons, Nature’s Sunshine offers two, complete, protein-rich, meal replacement drink mixes that are gluten-free: Love & Peas and Nature’s Harvest

It can be difficult for some companies to guarantee gluten-free products becaus of cross contamination in the manufacturing process. It can easily happen when the same equipment is used to make a variety of products. 

That doesn't happen at Nature's Sunshine.

Nature’s Sunshine’s unbeatable quality assurance includes a gluten test so you can be positive that every batch is completely gluten-free. Lynda Hammons, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs for Nature's Sunshine said:

“We test each lot of Nature’s Harvest so people can feel 100% confident and safe that it is gluten-free. Love and Peas is also gluten-free, and our quality control team conducts the same testing on each lot of Love and Peas.”


 


Why You Can Trust NSP's Chinese Formulas For Potency, Purity and Safety

September 5 2012 | Product Quality

By Lynda Hammons, Vice President, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs






The popularity of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) is on the rise. Globally, hundreds of millions of dollar are spent on TCM products each year. In the US, more than 1 million people annually use Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Nature’s Sunshine’s TCM products have a clear quality advantage over the competition. We spend millions of dollars each year on Quality Control testing, which involves 3 critical areas:

  1. True identification of raw materials so you can be assured the correct genus and species of plant is used.
  2. Distinguishing between the regions of origin of the plants so we can be confident that the optimum actives in the correct amounts are always present in each lot.
  3. 600 different tests and procedures for contamination, purity, potency and safety.

In truth, this could be a scary time to take herbal supplements from just any company. With tremendous growth in the industry, many companies with little experience are trying to produce herbal supplements without our same model of testing the products.

Anyone can encapsulate them and package them with professional-looking labels to make a "nice-looking" product. These companies aren't required to be tested for purity, safety or potency. 

We recently tested several other competitors’ TCM products in our quality labs. The results were surprising.

  • Three competitors’ products tested positive for aristolochic acids. The FDA has warned consumers against taking products that contain aristolochic acids, because they have been associated with permanent kidney damage as well as certain types of cancers.
  • One competitor’s product tested high for lead content.
  • One had microbial contamination.
  • We also tested five brands of cordyceps products alongside NSP Cordyceps. We found that NSP Cordyceps had the highest combination of cordycepic acid and adenosine per capsule.

While not every competitor had bad results, the evidence shows you probably want to think twice before choosing just any supplement.

Because we produce and test our own products, we don't have to rely on third parties. Our strict and comprehensive testing for POTENCY, PURITY AND SAFETY allows you to be 100% confident that Nature’s Sunshine TCM formulas are the very best.



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