NOW: Product Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know that NOW® products are safe?

NOW® Foods has Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification. GMP certification means that every aspect of our manufacturing process has been examined, including our laboratory methods and testing for stability and potency and product formulation, and found to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices. NOW received an "A" compliance rating, the highest award possible, from NPA. NOW is also a member of NPA's TruLabel Program, the industry's most expansive and successful self-regulatory program.

After I open a product, how long will it retain its labeled potency?

NOW products have an expiration date printed on the product. This date assures that, provided the product has been kept at or below room temperature (72 degrees F) and in a dry environment, the product will retain its labeled potency at least to the expiration date.

Products with the instruction "keep refrigerated" on the label should be kept refrigerated, especially after opening. For some products, several days without refrigeration may not affect them much, but longer periods will. For other products, refrigeration ensures that the product is kept in a low humidity, rather than a low temperature, environment. Refrigeration is advised to extend the shelf life of many products, especially fish oils, nutritional oils, almond oil, and probiotics.

If there is a freshness packet in the bottle, please leave it in while there is still product in the bottle to protect the contents. Discard the packet and lid before recycling the bottle.

Why are there color variations in some of your products?

Color variation occurs with most natural products, and is caused by the product's country of origin, the condition of the soil where the product is grown, enzyme activity, moisture content, heat, and oxidation. Products containing a mixture of more than one component may have the greatest color variation.

What are the Agelessâ, desiccant, and charcoal packets in dietary supplement bottles?

These packets are used to absorb excess moisture, oxygen or odor within the bottle, and extend the shelf life of the product. NOW Foods is one of the very few companies that uses Agelessâ packets to extend shelf life and protect the product from degradation.

Why are trademark names displayed on NOW product labels for some ingredients?

NOW Foods strives to use only the highest quality ingredients in its products. Trademarked ingredients indicate that proprietary methods are used in their formulation. These methods generally increase the product's quality and value to consumers. Trademarked ingredients also tend to have a higher degree of scientific backing than non-trademarked ingredients, since the trademark owners often perform additional standardization and frequently submit their material for use in scientific studies. Consumers may contact the trademarked ingredient manufacturers for more information.

Where do you obtain the gelatin used in your hard gelatin caps?

It is obtained by the processing of collagen derived from the skin, white connective tissues and bones of beef and pork. Softgel capsules are typically derived from beef gelatin, and NOW also offers some products in Vcaps made from plant cellulose or polysaccharides.

Some of your products contain Sodium Benzoate. I recently heard something about this being a problem in soft drinks. Is there any danger with this in your products?

Benzoic acid, Benzoates, and related compounds have been extensively studied and have a long history of safe use, but also occur naturally in foods such as fruits and berries, as these form naturally during normal plant metabolic processes.

Since the 1990's the FDA has apparently been aware that benzene, a carcinogen, could form at the ppb (parts per billion) level in some soft drink beverages that contained benzoate preservatives and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The vast majority of beverages that were looked at which included these ingredients contained either no detectable benzene or levels below the 5 ppb limit for drinking water and that the level in these products did not and do not constitute an imminent health hazard.

Our Quality Assurance Dept is aware of the reports. We have tested all of our products containing Benzoates and Vitamin C and determined them to contain no benzene (none detected). We will continue to monitor for any new developments.

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