Before buying a nutritional supplement, we should find out a little bit more about the producer’s background, where and how is the product manufactured, has it gone through proper manufacturing practice, certification or verification that what the label claims is true. First, search for the product name on the NPRA database if it is sold in Malaysia. Here you will be able to see the location of the facility that makes the particular product. There are also other standards and agencies in other countries that perform the required safety and quality check such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), NSF, TGA Australia.
Consumers seek dietary or nutritional supplements such as multivitamins if they don’t eat a well-balanced diet, vitamin C for protection against flu and allergies, turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties to ease joint pain and infections, etc.
Our body receives enough of almost all vitamins from a balanced and varied diet. The majority of people do not require vitamin supplements. Smokers’ chance of developing lung cancer can be increased by beta carotene, a vitamin A precursor. While taking overly high quantities of vitamin C for an extended period of time can result in kidney and bladder stones, taking too much vitamin D can result in headaches, nausea, and kidney calcification. (Source)
1. Blackmores (Australia)
Founded by naturopath Maurice Blackmore in 1932, Blackmores is one of Australia’s leading natural health company, developing and selling an extensive range of vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements. Their products are made meeting the requirements under the international Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/s) standards of good manufacturing practice (GMP) in accordance with Australian requirements.
Blackmores Buffered Vitamin C 500 supports immune system, general health and wellbeing. It contains no added artificial flavours or sweeteners. Mineral ascorbates serve as a buffer in the low acid formulation, making it easy on the stomach and less likely to produce kidney stones. Gradually supplies vitamin C over the course of eight hours. Contains bioflavonoids to improve the body’s absorption of vitamin C.
Website: blackmores.com.my | GMP Certified
Check the manufacturer of Blackmores Vitamin C on Registration on NPRA Malaysia – Catalent Australia PTY LTD
Licensed Australian Manufacturer – Catalent Australia PTY LTD on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) database, Australia
2. Seven Seas (UK)
There are two important long-chain omega-3 fatty acids which are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA & DHA support our heart function, reducing the risk of heart disease while DHA promotes brain and heart health and improves vision. The main sources of omega-3 are found in oily fish such as cod, mackerel, herring, trout. Seven Seas supplies vitamins, minerals, and supplements specialising in fish oil. It ensures that all their fish oils are responsibly sourced from the ocean.
Website: seven-seas.com | GMP Certified
3. LACTO-5 (Malaysia)
Probiotics that are locally derived, live longer and adapt better in the gut, however there was no locally derived probiotics supplement found in Malaysian pharmacies. Hence this company started a project to develop specialized local probiotics specially for Malaysian guts. The probiotics were extracted from local fruits and vegetables, cow’s milk, soil, breastfeeding mothers, etc. The variety of bacteria were cultured and enhanced, then the strains were picked based on a scientific study that showed survivability. These were the cultured into viable probiotics and LACTO-5 is produced. This product is manufactured by a licensed manufacturer in Malaysia.
4. THORNE (USA)
THORNE’s supplement products are manufactured in a facility that is certified by NSF International, an independent organisation that oversees many health standards and certification programs internationally. In addition to NSF and compliance with the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), Thorne also has an extensive line of NSF Certified for Sport products. It is particularly important for supplements made from roots such as turmeric (curcumin), beetroot, ginger, stinging nettle root, to be tested for toxic heavy metal and NSF has got it covered.
Photo: Thorne Curcumin Phytosome – Free shipping if you buy RM170 and above from iHERB
5. BIO-LIFE (Mega Lifesciences Thailand)
BiO-LiFE is a healthcare company with a team of Nutritionists and biochemists that provides wellness products to consumers for 30 years in Malaysia. Since its acquisition in Nov 2016, BiO-LiFE became a part of Mega Lifesciences, a pharmaceutical and nutraceutical company headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. Its manufacturing facilities have been verified and approved by FDA Thailand, TGA Australia & GMP Germany.
This overview suggests that Silymarin (SM), an extract from the milk thistle acts as an antioxidant to scavenge free radicals and decreases inflammatory responses in the gut and other tissues by inhibiting NF-kB pathways, which is a mechanism of SM protective effect in liver toxicity and diseases.
Registered on NPRA Malaysia and TGA Australia
6. 21st Century (USA)
Where to Buy: 21st Century Products Sdn Bhd
21st Century’s facilities located in Tempe, Arizona are Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) compliant and adhere to the strict FDA standards for dietary and nutritional supplement manufacturing. The company is also registered with the NPRA Malaysia. Their products are very reasonably priced compared to other popular nutritional supplements sold in our pharmacies.
Spirulina has a number of active components, most notably phycocyanin and beta-carotene, which have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (Source)
- Nature’s Way | Australia | naturesway.com.au | NPRA and TGA registered | Manufactured by Vitex Pharmaceuticals in NSW, Australia – Australian, family-owned company that offers a wide range of specifically formulated products designed to support specific health needs for kids, women, men and those with special requirements. Their range of sugar-free adult and children supplement gummies are especially popular as they taste good and easy to take. Safety advisory from TGA Australia: Consumers and health professionals are advised that Nature’s Way Kids Smart Vita Gummies Omega 3 DHA Fish Oil (AUST L 313445) contain milk products. The current label for this product does not declare the presence of milk products, but does list the presence of other allergens.
- Caltrate | Owned by Haleon (England) | caltrate.com – The calcium & Vitamin D formula is used to treat people with low blood calcium levels. Those who are not able to get enough calcium from their diets may develop conditions such as bone loss (osteoporosis) or weak bones. Where to buy. Caltrate sold in Malaysia is manufactured by WYETH PHARMACEUTICAL CO. LTD in Suzhou, China.
- Kordel’s | kordels.com | The company was founded by renowned nutritionist, Dr. Lelord Kordel in 1949. The company advocates wellness through healthy lifestyle and balanced nutrition. Kordel’s products are made according to GMP guidelines, have been affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), manufactured in facilities in New Zealand, Canada, Germany, United States, Malaysia. Kordel’s Hi-Omega Fish Oil provides 50% more EPA/DHA than other fish oil supplements because it is derived from tiny fish like anchovy, sardine, and mackerel. Toxins like dioxins, PCBs, mercury, and other heavy metals are removed from the fish oil extractions using a process called molecular distillation which ensures its purity.
- Champs | duopharmabiotech.com | CHAMPS is manufactured in a Duopharma Biotech facility in Bangi that is GMP certified, and it is also HALAL approved by JAKIM, Malaysia. It provides a comprehensive selection of vitamin C and multivitamin supplements for children in tablet form with different flavours. There are also sugar-free options.
Champs Multivitamin Plus Folic Acid & Lysine (Orange Flavour) Chewable Tablet – Ingredients: Lycine Hcl 50mg, Vitamin A 1500iu, Vitamin D 150iu, Vitamin E 10iu, Vitamin C 50mg, Vitamin B12 2mcg, Vitamin B1 0.5mg, Vitamin B2 0.6mg, Vitamin B6 0.5mg, Nicotinamide 6.5mg, Folic Acid 0.25mg
Other Licensed or GMP Certified Companies List
- Carry out analytical, pharmaceutical, microbiological and pharmacological tests on drugs and cosmetics to determine quality, efficacy and safety of such products.
- Ensure that therapeutic substances approved for the local market are safe, effective and of quality.
Search Pharmaceutical, Complimentary & Alternative Products that registered with National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency, NPRA
NSF/ANSI Standard 173
Verify the supplement facts panel reflects the product’s contents and detect the presence of contaminants that impact health, including the toxic elements lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and chromium (VI), harmful microorganisms, pathogens and pesticides.
Eudra Good manufacturing practice (GMP) describes the minimum standard that a manufacturer must meet in their production processes, inspected by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). GMP requires that medicines are of consistent high quality, appropriate for their intended use and meet the requirements of the marketing or clinical trial authorisation.