Supplements and Beyond: Why We Love Thorne Research
Written by Bryce Smith
Most U.S. manufacturers of nutritional supplements add powdered lubricants during manufacturing to help the product’s powdered ingredients flow faster through the manufacturing equipment. The most common powdered lubricant to look for, which is usually listed in the “Other Ingredients” section of the product label, is Magnesium Stearate.
The only purpose for adding Magnesium Stearate is as a processing aid to keep the product’s powdered ingredients from sticking to the manufacturing equipment during mixing and tableting. Using Magnesium Stearate allows more tablets or capsules to be manufactured per hour, which saves money for the manufacturer, although it adds no benefit to the consumer. To the contrary, some studies have shown that Magnesium Stearate, even when added in small amounts, can reduce the absorption rate of the product’s active ingredients.
The presence of added Magnesium Stearate – or its look-alikes, Stearic Acid, Vegetable Stearate, and Calcium Stearate – should be identified in the “Other Ingredients” section of the Supplement Facts box on a nutritional supplement product label. If you want to know if it’s there, then look for it!
Thorne Research: Why it’s Better
Thorne Research – Invictus’ choice in quality supplements – has chosen to entirely avoid the use of any “stearates” in their products. In fact, in the company’s entire 32-year history, they never have. Ever. Although this means it takes longer to manufacture every batch of product, and it costs more to do so, the benefit to the user is that it takes less time for the product’s active ingredients to be absorbed. And that’s why we love Thorne.
Established in 1984, Thorne has grown into a diverse, global healthcare company that provides high-quality nutritional supplements to more than 20 countries. With more than 400 products, Thorne is recognized as a leader in manufacturing and formulating premium, research-based nutritional supplements, providing health diagnostics, and offering practitioner and patient educational resources in functional medicine. We are stoked that Thorne has recently entered the sports performance and sports fitness markets as there’s a real need for high quality nutritional supplements in this area.
Thorne’s Testing Process: Quality Control
The great majority of the manufacturing of the Thorne product line takes place in their facility in Sandpoint, Idaho, where they receive ingredients, quarantine them, then test them in their in-house quality control laboratory to ensure their identity, potency, and purity and then blended pursuant to highly detailed manufacturing specifications.
Their Quality Control Department constantly oversees these processes to make sure they are performed correctly. In fact, one-sixth of their workforce is the Quality Control Department!
Thorne’s Many Meaningful Partnerships
Thorne’s goal is to provide the best health and wellness information possible, while also providing athletes and consumers with a clean and approved choice for nutritional supplements.
Each of Thorne’s strategic partners highlight the biggest need in the nutritional supplement channel; which is to have a trusted and clean source of products that do what they are intended to do. Partnerships include the NGBs (U.S. National Teams) of: Bobsled/Skeleton, Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Modern Pentathlon, Rugby, Rowing, Soccer, Softball, Taekwondo, and Triathlon.
They’ve also partnered with the Mayo Clinic to provide informational literature and to conduct clinical trials, both of which are very important to the medical community and consumers. Check out this video about Magnesium Stearate by Dr. Alan Miller, their Director of Medical Education.
Thorne and Team Invictus
We are currently involved in a pilot program where we are working to use blood data and targeted supplement protocols to improve performance metrics. The objective is to obtain results that will enable the athlete to train harder and recover quicker. Thorne has analyzed the blood biomarkers of our athletes and then will monitor those biomarkers throughout the competitive season. We are excited to see what we learn from this and are looking forward to using the results in 2017!
Product Line(s) for Athletes
Thorne’s sports performance product line is very comprehensive – it’s comprised of 23 products that are NSF Certified for Sport® – including proteins, electrolytes, amino acids, fish oil, vitamin D, enzymes, multi-vitamin/minerals, and probiotics, as well as more specialized products like Meriva®, which is our curcumin product, and NiaCel®, our mitochondrial support product. In addition, they have more than 400 products in the line, so if you need something specific that is recommended by a healthcare professional, then that is available as well. You can check out the entire product line here.
We are honored to have Thorne as a member of Team Invictus. Since the sport of CrossFit has grown so much and because there are strict guidelines for banned substances, we’re gratified to be provided a clean solution by a company who genuinely cares about doing the right thing by it’s customers.
Thorne is certified by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of the Government of Australia and NSF International, both of whom are extremely well-respected third-party certification entities. The TGA is arguably the toughest certification in the world to receive and we currently have their highest possible rating of “A1.” Their sports line is also NSF Certified for Sport®, which is a critical certification in the context of supplements taken by athletes because NSF tests for more than 200 banned substances on the WADA and USADA list. Thorne is also regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and must comply with the FDA’s regulations that govern the manufacturing, labeling, and distribution of nutritional supplements.
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