A key part of our ethos is that we strive endlessly to ensure our supplements are regularly tested and competition safe. We achieve this by registering each product under the rigorous independent quality assurance programme, Informed-Sport and by sending every production batch we manufacture to LGC Sport and Specialised Analytical Services. It is at this point that any impurities within our products that may have inadvertently occurred during manufacturing are identified, ensuring that issues are intercepted or dealt with before the product reaches the end consumer.
Just one example of this was when we recently tested Iron Complex, a very popular product that supports red blood cell formation and contains copper and Vitamin C to help absorption. In the course of testing a small trace of contamination was identified. This finding has prevented us from releasing the product for sale, and investigations into the cause of the positive result have meant an extended out of stock situation. Despite the inconvenience caused, this clearly demonstrates the importance and robustness of an ongoing testing procedure as no adverse tests findings have ever appeared previously in the production of Iron Complex. Whilst the level of impurity involved is minute (<1.5 ng per tablet) and neither affects performance nor contravenes WADA regulations, it falls outside the Informed-Sport tolerable acceptance levels. Healthspan Elite policy dictates that any product that does not comply with these levels will be deemed unfit for consumption by athletes and will not be released for sale.
Following the investigatory work carried out in conjunction with our manufacturers we have been able to pinpoint the adverse finding to a single raw material which makes up a small part of the Iron Complex formulation. These findings have qualified us to remove the ingredient from future production runs and replace it with an alternative ingredient. We are also working closely with our manufacturers (who must be approved in accordance with our Registered Product Dossier) to determine and eliminate the source of contamination.
Whilst this means that Iron Complex has been, and will continue to be unavailable for several weeks, it has shown two things – firstly that the rigorous testing Healthspan Elite has put in place works. Secondly, it demonstrates the importance for elite, serious athletes to choose supplements from companies on the Informed-Sport programme. Failing to do so can pose a real risk of receiving a positive Anti-Doping test result and the subsequent damage that can do to a hard-won career.
For athletes still looking for an iron supplement, our Gold A-Z Multivitamin provides 14mg (100% RDA) and is fully accredited under the Informed-Sport programme.
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn't possible, supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.