NOW Foods Valerian Root 500 mg - 100 Capsules
Now Foods Valerian Root has been an herbal favorite in many cultures for centuries. Now Foods Valerian Root Extract is often tested by using a “marker compound”, a substance that is detected in a product sample to prove the identity, but not the potency, of an herbal product. The distinction is that the actual “active ingredient” in an herb may not even be known,1 or there may be more than one active component, in which case detecting one or more marker compounds is the standard way to confirm the identity of the herb without providing any scientific information as to its actual potency or efficacy.
Like other herbal remedies, valerian root has many chemical components, but as ConsumerLab.com states on its website, “it is not clear which of these are most important to its effectiveness…”2 We can see that an assay for valerian marker compounds is not a definitive test of actual potency or quality, as it does not quantify the admittedly-unknown active constituents.
Test results for liquid extracts may commonly contain only about half of the marker compound levels as dried extracts that are used in capsules. This is only common sense, as removing the liquid fraction (typically grain alcohol), which commonly comprises roughly 50% of the volume in a liquid extract, is necessary in order to produce a dried form of an herbal extract. The amount of alcohol in liquid extracts can vary, and sometimes the liquid extract is spray-dried onto a neutral carrier material such as starch, making comparisons with dried extracts less precise because of the natural variation in raw plant material and variations in the use of these processing aids and carriers.
The use of liquid herbal extracts is also significantly different than using a similar dried extract in a capsule. The same principles that allow our brain to identify molecules from smells or tastes, that in turn guide the body’s responses, apply to molecules in liquid extracts that are both inhaled and tasted. People that use liquid extracts do so because they understand that they are faster acting and have stronger effects than capsules, which makes sense due to the extra information that is imparted to the body from a substance signaling the brain via direct contact with sensors in the nose and mouth. This is the same principle as Aromatherapy, and the body routinely sends taste and scent signals from foods to the brain in order to trigger digestion.3-10
These points show that laboratory testing to determine the relative efficacy of different forms of valerian root supplements to be scientifically flawed, though the identity of the herb can be confirmed through the observation of known marker compounds called valerenic acids.
At NOW’s Quality Control lab, skilled analytical chemists tested samples of Nature’s Apothecary brand Valerian Liquid Extract, also sending a sample of the same lot to an independent lab for confirmation of the results. The valerenic acids were confirmed to be within a range of 0.35 to 0.41 mg per milliliter (mL), with the independent lab reporting slightly higher amounts than NOW’s own lab. Since the serving size is 2 mL, the amount of valerenic acid marker compounds found in this product would be in the range of 0.70 mg to 0.82 mg, per serving. By comparison, Consumerlab reports that a dried root powder of valerian should provide about 0.17% valerenic acids; an amount equivalent to 0.68 mg in a 400 mg capsule, which would provide about the same amount of marker compounds found in one serving of Nature’s Apothecary’s liquid extract. This is not to suggest that the two forms are equivalent, as dried valerian root would contain fiber and other in:" ":ays than a capsule, as discussed earlier. An alcohol extract can also concentrate active material that is oil soluble, such as certain alkaloids, that tend to be naturally produced and concentrated in some herbal roots.
While these assays cannot determine the actual potency of any valerian product, they do give strong evidence that Nature’s Apothecary Valerian Liquid Extract has been properly prepared from authentic, high-quality valerian roots, attesting to the overall quality of the finished product.NOW's Mission
The NOW mission is - To provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives. NOW Foods is an award-winning and highly respected manufacturer of vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements and natural foods.
In 1948, with the natural food and supplement industry in its infancy, entrepreneur Paul Richard paid $900 for the purchase of Fearn Soya Foods—a Chicago based manufacturer of grain and legume-based products. This began a six-decade legacy of providing health-seeking consumers with high-quality, affordable nutrition products. History of NOW
In 1968, NOW Foods was founded under the belief that good health was not a luxury available only to the wealthy. For the past forty years, NOW has made it their life's work to offer health food and nutritional supplements of the highest quality, at prices that are fair and affordable to all those who seek them. Today, NOW Foods is one of the top-selling brands in health foods stores, an award-winning manufacturer, a respected advocate of the natural product industry, and a leader in the fields of nutritional science and methods development. And while NOW has grown considerably over the past four decades, one thing has never changed – NOW's commitment to providing products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives.NOW Commitments
- Customer Focused and Information Driven - NOW believes that their products, services, and the decisions they make should be primarily influenced by the desires and needs of NOW customers. The decisions that NOW makes should be based on accurate information and therefore NOW places a high value on knowledge and learning within their organization.
- Quality and Value Oriented - Acting in the best interest of NOW customers, NOW endeavors to produce the highest quality products at competitive prices. NOW's first priority is to maintain quality where it counts the most – in the products. NOW's exceptional cost-conscious team of employees then focuses their energies on driving costs down. Nurturing this competency of value drives NOW's ability to provide high quality products at the very best prices.
- Natural is Better - NOW is convinced that natural products are better than their synthetic counterparts and produce better results in human health. Therefore, wherever possible, NOW strives to provide products that contain natural ingredients because they are better for their customers.
NOW's experienced professional and technical staff formulates their products to be of the highest quality. NOW has a group of biochemists, chemists, nutritionists, and food technologists who review current science and nutritional parameters, and formulate our products to be effective for the intended use. NOW's structure/function claims are based on science for active ingredients, and on nutritional science for nutritional content. Serving sizes are based on doses from clinical studies and other published data. NOW's contemporary formulas are designed to meet the health and wellness needs of today’s consumers. NOW uses ingredients that have bee:" ":studies and other lab studies conducted on their ingredients and their formulas. Best science is used to support best formulations which lead to best quality. NOW products are constantly being tested in clinical trials conducted at top universities and research centers around the country and in various parts of the world. NOW products are being tested to determine such things as effectiveness for joint support, quality of life for cancer patients, cardiovascular support, and athletic endurance. Effective products mean health and wellness benefits, which mean quality.GMP Quality Assured
NOW’s GMP certification covers standard operating procedures, employee training, product specifications, expiration dating, vendor certifications and much more. Standard operating procedures include sampling and testing incoming materials according to NOW Foods specifications, inspecting manufacturing processes, and testing finished products to specifications. Tests include organoleptic evaluation (human senses such as sight, taste, smell), physical testing of tablets and capsules, chemical identity of ingredients, potency and contamination testing by the company’s in-house state-of-the-art analytical testing lab, as well as microbiological testing by NOW Foods’ in-house rapid analysis microbiological lab.