Smart Drugs,

#121: Supplement Quality Assurance

March 25, 2016

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.


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Show Notes
  • 00:00:23

    The verification of supplements

  • 00:01:32

    This Week in Neuroscience: Strong Link Between Dementia And Common Anticholinergic Drugs

  • 00:05:42

    The audience interaction section

  • 00:06:05

    Cognitive benefits of intermittent fasting (Episode 120)

  • 00:07:28

    Brain Breakfast

  • 00:08:03

    Nexus and Mitogen from Axon Labs

  • 00:09:09

    Introduction to Neil Thanedar, founder and CEO of LabDoor

  • 00:10:06

    Neil’s background in chemical testing and how LabDoor came to be

  • 00:11:57

    LabDoor versus government bodies

  • 00:13:12

    What sorts of variants are seen between drugs that make similar claims

  • 00:14:35

    How often are products re-tested and how many supplements are tested?

  • 00:17:09

    What is the best way to use LabDoor?

  • 00:18:50

    Nootropics in the pipeline for testing on LabDoor

  • 00:19:52

    Natural versus synthetic compound testing and the possibility of clinical trials

  • 00:22:50

    LabDoor’s business model

  • 00:26:09

    LabDoor’s involvement in class action lawsuits

  • 00:27:43

    Regulatory bodies in other English-speaking countries

  • 00:29:37

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Baby Born Pregnant with Her Own Twins


  1. ben says:

    Would be interesting to compare the business model, and the lab results from LabDoor to other supplement testing companies (ex. ConsumerLab). I recently purchased some blueberry powders, would love to know if they’re legit!

    1. ben says:

      Forgot to add..

      any idea how supplements get tainted? UFC star Jon Jones is thought to have been a taken something that was contaminated with a banned PED.

      And regarding the diphenhydramine / dementia link, many people take a daily low-dose aspirin (antiplatelet) for the anti-inflammatory, blood thinning effects, however since it works differently than anticoagulants it may not have the same effect of blocking acetylcholine. Still, whenever Anticholinergic syndrome is mentioned, aspirin is often included in what to avoid, but why?

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