Episode 121

Quality Assurance: What’s really in your supplements?

If you’re a Smart Drug Smarts listener, odds are good that you’ve spent a significant amount of time researching what should be in your nutritional supplement tool-belt.  What’s worth it?  What’s not?  What would you rather get from your diet?  All those first-string questions.  Quality Assurance is a topic often saved for later.

It’s pretty frustrating, then, that not all supplements actually contain what they claim to on their labeling.  Normally this means less of the biologically active ingredients than the manufacturer claims.  Sometimes it might even mean undesirable additives.

Either way, as consumers, we want the truth.

LabDoor: A customer-funded Naughty-and-Nice List

Neil Thanedar, our guest in Episode #121, is the founder and CEO of a company called LabDoor, an innovative web business that guides consumer decisions based on its in-house chemical analysis of off-the-shelf supplements.

Thanedar is a second-generation chemist and a champion of the idea that accuracy-in-labeling shouldn’t be just an ideal that gets paid lip-service, but something that is easy for the public to verify and enforce.  And not “enforce” by law, but through the direct economic vote of buying or not buying.

LabDoor’s goal is to eventually give full-spectrum quality assurance testing to the majority of consumer supplements on the US market.  This will take some time, as that’s upwards of 10,000 different products, in Neil’s estimation.  Nevertheless, one has got to start somewhere, and part of LabDoor’s approach is to have users vote on which category of supplements to add to their next battery of tests.

Listen in to learn about Neil’s multi-generational history in chemical testing, what drives him as both a scientist and entrepreneur, and LabDoor’s plans to become something akin to an online version GNC Nutrition — but better.

Also, check out this episode’s This Week In Neuroscience for an important warning about some common over-the-counter medications that have been linked to significant increases in the likelihood of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Episode Highlights

0:23The verification of supplements
1:32This Week in Neuroscience: Strong Link Between Dementia And Common Anticholinergic Drugs
5:42The audience interaction section
6:05Cognitive benefits of intermittent fasting (Episode 120)
7:28Brain Breakfast
8:03Nexus and Mitogen from Axon Labs
9:09Introduction to Neil Thanedar, founder and CEO of LabDoor
10:06Neil’s background in chemical testing and how LabDoor came to be
11:57LabDoor versus government bodies
13:12What sorts of variants are seen between drugs that make similar claims
14:35How often are products re-tested and how many supplements are tested?
17:09What is the best way to use LabDoor?
18:50Nootropics in the pipeline for testing on LabDoor
19:52Natural versus synthetic compound testing and the possibility of clinical trials
22:50LabDoor’s business model
26:09LabDoor’s involvement in class action lawsuits
27:43Regulatory bodies in other English-speaking countries
29:37Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Baby Born Pregnant with Her Own Twins
Written by Jesse Lawler
Jesse Lawler is a technologist, health nut, entrepreneur, and "one whose power switch defaults to On."  He created Smart Drug Smarts to learn how to make his brain do even more, and is greatly pleased to now see his little baby Frankenstein toddling around and helping others.  Jesse tweets about personal optimization, tech, and other stuff he finds interesting at @Lawlerpalooza.
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