Herbalife has made its products available to millions of people around the world since 1980. The remarkable popularity and longevity of Herbalife Nutrition rests in part on its commitment to quality ingredients. Herbalife implements an industry-leading quality control program for choosing and using ingredients that begins with raw materials.
The all-natural ingredients in Herbalife products are botanicals. That’s just another way of saying that Herbalife Nutrition utilizes the power of plants to make nutritional supplements.
Plants grow in natural settings alongside other plants and the birds and the bees and every other living thing. When plants are harvested on the organic farms on which they are grown, there is always a possibility that some other plant — which isn’t necessarily harmful, but that isn’t the ingredient Herbalife is looking for — will get into the mix. The first step in making sure Herbalife has a quality product is making sure that the source materials have not been adulterated.
Part of authenticating botanical ingredients is visual inspection. Knowledgeable harvesters know which part of the plant is harvested when, and what it should like.
Next there are very clear standards from herbal pharmacopoeias that tell inspectors what to look for to authenticate plant materials by looking at samples under a microscope.
Herbalife, however, takes the additional step of DNA testing of plant materials to make sure that the botanical is exactly the type of ingredient listed that goes into its products.
Herbalife works with farmers all over the world to source its ingredients. Even with skilled cultivation, differences in growing temperature and sunlight and drying time and dozens of other factors affect just how much of each active plant compound is found in each lot of plant ingredients. With chemical testing, Herbalife makes sure that the right amounts of active ingredients wind up in Herbalife shakes and other products. With DNA testing, Herbalife makes sure that farmers are raising exactly the right species of the right herbs to give the same level of quality year after year.
Why should consumers care about DNA testing of Herbalife ingredients?
- The supply chain in the supplements industry is complicated and ingredients go through many hands. Sometimes, the same botanical could appear physically and chemically similar, but it is actually a different species. DNA testing verifies that the ingredient on the product’s label is exactly what customers are paying for.
- Consumers are entitled to have confidence that the products they take will do what their manufacturers say they will do. DNA testing ensures that the ingredients that go into these products come from the exact plants that have the desired effects.
- In the real world, there can be temptations for producers to substitute look-alike plants to cut costs. And there can be honest mistakes in harvesting, storage, and collection. DNA testing gives Herbalife a second level of authentication that verifies that it is using botanicals Herbalife customers can trust.
DNA testing isn’t something that Herbalife is required to do. Herbalife leads the industry in its support of global standards that keep their products and even the products made by other companies sustainably sourced and authentic. Herbalife Nutrition works with the NHP Research Alliance, based out of the University of Guelph, to bring the highest level of professionalism and scientific accuracy to this work.
DNA authentication is not as exotic and expensive as it used to be. That’s because companies like Herbalife Nutrition have kept their commitments to using cutting-edge technology like DNA authentication every day to keep their products safe and effective.
Science is always changing and there will always be a better way to bring even more efficacy and reliability to botanical products. Herbalife is committed to keeping up with science to give their distributors and their customers their best.