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USP vs. NSF Certification

In order to keep ourselves healthy, many of us choose to add dietary supplements to our daily routine. In fact, one resource showed that over half of Americans take some kind of vitamin or supplement. While this is good in terms of lasting health, few people realize that the quality of dietary supplements can vary greatly. That’s why organizations like US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and NSF International exist.

Both organizations offer certifications to dietary supplements after passing a list of rigorous tests for quality and purity. Here are the similarities and differences between the NSF and USP.

USP

As an international, not-for-profit company, the USP helps manufacturers ensure the quality of their produced supplements by auditing and testing each one to verify quality through the USP verification program. This annual evaluation reviews 3 different facets of dietary supplement production: facility audits, product testing, and product quality control and manufacturing processes. When a product is certified by the USP, this means it:

  • Contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the declared potency and amount
  • Does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants
  • Will break down and release into the body within specified amount of time
  • Has been made using safe, sanitary, and well-controlled manufacturing practices according to FDA and USP guidelines

Beyond testing products after they hit the shelves, the USP works with the manufacturers to help them create quality processes that create quality products. From facilities to where ingredients are sourced to the methods used to test both the ingredients and the final products, the USP tries to maintain a level of quality through the supplement creation process.

NSF International

Per the name, the NSF is also an international, not-for-profit organization that makes sure that products meet the strict standards for public health protection. Like the USP, the NSF requires supplements to endure stringent testing for quality, purity, and efficacy. The NSF uses extensive product testing, material analyses, and unexpected facility inspections to ensure that every step in product development is thoroughly vetted. When a product meets the strict requirements to earn an NSF certification, you know that it:

  • Contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the declared potency and amount
  • Does not contain harmful levels of specified contaminants
  • Has been made using safe, sanitary, and well-controlled manufacturing practices according to FDA and USP guidelines

Once a product is certified by the NSF, the work and level of quality doesn’t stop. Every batch of product is continuously tested with regular, on-site inspections and re-testing to meet the same high standards to maintain the certification. If, for any reason, a product fails to meet the NSF’s requirements, the organization will take action like product recall, public notification, or even de-certification.

NSF Certified for Sport

Different than USP, there are 2 different NSF certifications that a supplement could have: NSF Contents Tested and Certified and NSF Certified for Sport. The requirements for Contents Tested and Certified are like those of the USP certification. However, Certified for Sport goes a bit further.

Because many athletic organizations follow the NCAA’s restrictions of banned substances, the list of possible “contaminants” becomes even longer for those products getting Certified for Sport. This level of certification authenticates the product and ensures any athlete that’s going to take it can do so without risking accidental ingestion of a banned substance.

Why Do These Certifications Matter?

As mentioned before, not all the vitamins on the shelves or sold online are the same quality. Some don’t want to go through the burden of maintaining quality at every level of production, and others just want a cheap product to make a profit on. Third-party testing done by organizations like USP and NSF help people determine that what they’re ingesting is actually what they think they’re taking. No fillers, no missing ingredients, no contaminants. Additionally, companies with USP or NSF certifications have actually paid to have these organizations review their products to ensure that you get the very best.

Ultimately, starting a dietary supplement should be based on what you need, but getting a product that’s been certified to be safe and effective is imperative for success. EyePromise certifies all its eye vitamins through the NSF Contents Tested and Certified program. Additionally, there are a few products that have earned the Certified for Sport accreditation. With products that meet a wide variety of needs, EyePromise has something for everyone.

Find out which product is right for your eye health needs.

One thought on “USP vs. NSF Certification

  1. Thanks for this information on USP and NSF. It is very helpful with the onslaught of products out there.

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