Readers who like to stay in the know for vitamins and supplements may have noticed the name of one retailer that normally doesn’t get mentioned in the health industry: Amazon.
While Amazon may be the most recognized, go-to place for buying vitamins and supplements, especially when it comes to affordable prices and comparing the products and prices of various vitamin companies on the same platform, they aren’t exactly known as a vitamin and supplement retailer.
All that may be changing soon as just this year, Amazon launched a new line of products for their Elements brand. In addition to offering a selection of vitamins and supplements, Amazon provides a backstory, business transparency, and consumer-accessible certificates of analyses for each of their Elements products.
From the looks of it, the big e-commerce leader is looking to change the rules of the health industry, one vitamin at a time.
What is Amazon Elements?
Amazon launched their Elements brand back in 2014 with the stated intent to provide consumers with “premium, everyday essentials with transparent origins.” The first products that they offered were baby diapers and wipes. For one reason or another, most likely to do with a lack of intensive advertising, these products were not all that successful, and Amazon ended up taking the diapers off the market in 2015. The baby wipes are still available under Amazon Elements.
In early 2017, Amazon Elements launched a new series of products: vitamins and supplements.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, that isn’t all that surprising since the retailer has not done much in the way of advertising. A quick look at the Amazon homepage doesn’t mention the Elements brand at all, and their Health, Household and Baby Care homepage doesn’t immediately showcase the brand in the featured products. Part of the under-the-radar approach might have to do with the fact that for now, Amazon Elements is only available to Prime members.
Hopefully, Amazon will take a lesson or two from their last attempt to branch out into the world of private retailing, because in truth, what they are doing for the vitamins and supplements industry is truly remarkable.
With transparency in mind and what seems like an honest desire to give consumers all the information they need about product sourcing, Amazon Elements could change not just the health industry but e-commerce in general.
What Vitamins Does Amazon Elements carry?
Talking about what vitamins Amazon Elements carries sort of requires a two-part answer. You’ll notice that all of the Amazon Elements—vitamins and supplements—are marked with the label “Dietary Supplement.” This is because when one gets down to the details in the terminology, all pill and capsule forms of any vitamin is actually a supplement. A vitamin, by definition, is a nutrient that is vital to the health of a living organism. Anything taken to make up for a vitamin deficiency is technically going to be a supplement.
There are only thirteen vitamins that have been identified as essential for human health: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, and K. The other essential nutrients that are not in this list of vitamins are typically minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.
Currently, Amazon Elements offers two supplements off the list of essential vitamins:
- Vitamin D2, 2000 IU, 65 capsules
- Vitamin K2, 100 mcg, 65 capsules
What Supplements Does Amazon Elements carry?
In addition to their dietary supplements for Vitamins D and K, Amazon Elements offers three other supplements that are either essential for human health or highly effective in mitigating the effects of various diseases:
- Calcium Complex, 195 capsules
- Magnesium, 400 mg, 65 capsules
- Turmeric Root Extract, 500 mg, 65 capsules
What are the benefits of Amazon Elements Supplements?
While Amazon Elements currently offers only five supplements, the limitations in variety might have to do with the high standards that they require for any vitamins or supplements sold under the Amazon Elements brand.
The supplements that they do offer—all of which are proudly manufactured in the USA by supplement maker Arizona Nutritional Supplements—are a solid start for a new line of vitamins and supplements.
If you want to try any of the Amazon Elements supplements, but you aren’t sure which one to buy, read on to find out the benefits of each one below!
This supplement has it all when it comes to getting you your required daily calcium intake. Each Calcium Complex capsule contains 750 mg of calcium, 600 IU of Vitamin D, and 50 mg of Magnesium. While the capsule might not have the whole daily dose of calcium—the average adult requires about 1000 mg—there’s a good chance that the rest of the daily dose will be consumed through food.
The Vitamin D in the Calcium Complex helps the body absorb calcium, and the Magnesium is both an essential nutrient and makes it easier for the calcium and Vitamin D to be made into a capsule.
These capsules come with exactly the right amount for the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D. Your body naturally produces Vitamin D, but it requires the sun to do so.
Unfortunately, many people have indoor office jobs where they don’t get to bask in the sunlight, so a supplement is a good way to ensure that you get as much Vitamin D as you need.
Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and because of that, it promotes healthier teeth and bones.
You can’t be okay without Vitamin K, or so one might say.
While Vitamin D often gets the spotlight for calcium absorption, it’s Vitamin K that does the hard work of making sure that calcium gets transported to the right areas throughout your body.
In addition, Vitamin K is absolutely necessary for making sure your blood can clot when you need it to.
The recommended daily dose for Vitamin K in adults is typically between 90 mcg (for adult women over 19 years of age) and 120 mcg (for adult men). The Amazon Elements supplement comes with a solid compromise at 100 mcg.
This mineral does it all—or rather, it helps you do it all.
There are numerous benefits to magnesium, which activates enzymes throughout the body in order to facilitate biochemical reactions that are necessary for daily functioning.
Among the many processes that magnesium helps to support are blood coagulation, bone formation, blood pressure regulation, cell formation, digestion, energy production, metabolism, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and regulated heart rhythm.
The average adult requires some amount of magnesium between 320 and 420 mg per day.
A derivative of the turmeric plant, this is typically a spice that is commonly found in many south and south-east Asian foods. Although it is not an essential vitamin or mineral, turmeric has been found to have numerous benefits and applications, particularly because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
People take turmeric to help with a number of ailments, including arthritis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal issues, high cholesterol, liver problems, joint pain, stomach pain, headaches, bronchitis, menstrual problems, itchy or inflamed skin, and kidney problems, just to name a few.
The chemical in turmeric that allows for these numerous applications is curcumin.
The daily dose of turmeric depends on the ailments for which it is being used. For those with osteoarthritis, the recommended daily dosage is 500 mg.
Why Use Amazon Elements vs Other brands?
There are a number of reasons that Amazon Elements is set to blow their competition out of the water, but probably the biggest reason is their promise of transparency. Their new motto—“Premium Products, Transparent Origins, Exclusive to Prime”—is a banner that they wave proudly over their products, and the way the retailer is implementing their brand integrity is evident right on the page, for any consumer to see.
Amazon Elements is Transparent.
This is probably the biggest selling point…
From naming the plants that the vitamins and minerals were derived from, the identifying where in the world those plants were sourced from, where the derivatives were made into a supplement, who tested the products, and what the scores were on those tests, Amazon Elements really strives to show consumers exactly what they are putting into their bodies, where it came from, and how.
The countries and sources from which Amazon Elements sourced the ingredients for their supplements are listed right on the product page, and are as follows:
- Calcium Complex, 195 capsules: Iceland, from calcified red marine algae
- Magnesium, 400 mg, 65 capsules: Seto Inland Sea, Japan, seawater put through dry granulation process
- Turmeric Root Extract, 500 mg, 65 capsules: Bangalore India, turmeric root rhizome
- Vitamin D2, 2000 IU, 65 capsules: Raplamaa, Estonia, live yeast and natural plant carbohydrate
- Vitamin K2, 100 mcg, 65 capsules: India, fermented chickpeas
It’s completely Non-GMO Verified
In recent years, there has been a lot of public pushback against the use of GMOs, and in some countries in Europe, GMOs have been outlawed.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the United States, where manufacturers are able to continue producing foods that contain GMOs without having to mark the presence of GMOs on food labels.
The good news is that the US has very strict regulations when it comes to allowing a company to label its food non-GMO, and Amazon Elements have passed all those standards.
Currently, all the vitamins and supplements offered by Amazon Elements are non-GMO verified.
Amazon Elements has been tested for Pesticides, Herbicides, and Rodenticides
In an unusual move that certainly garners respect, Amazon Elements also publishes information about whether their products contain any amount above the standard of pesticides, herbicides, or rodenticides, which are measured in parts per million.
It would be impossible to guarantee the complete absence of these chemicals in any food, especially if one takes into account the high risk of exposure of any food item to these chemicals due to high winds or during the transportation of goods.
However, despite these difficulties, Amazon Elements puts their products through rigorous testing to ensure that unsafe levels of the chemicals are not present in any of their vitamins or supplements.
Currently, all Amazon Elements products have passed the quality standard test.
And it’s Made in the USA
Although the source of many of the vitamins and supplements are countries around the world, the actual manufacturing of all the Amazon Elements products is done by Arizona Nutritional Supplements (ANS).
The company has been manufacturing vitamins and supplements for well over 20 years.
ANS is a facility that has earned the badge of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which means that the company’s operational procedures meet industry standards when it comes to quality control and testing.
The key thing to remember about the made-in-the-USA label is that it comes with certain guarantees.
True, the source of the vitamins and supplements might be in other countries, where the plants and organisms that produce the source are naturally occurring, whether because of conducive environments or a long tradition of growing these types of source materials. But it’s the ingredient extraction and manufacturing process that is trickiest and where there is the largest margin of error.
Several companies in the vitamin and supplements industry have been flagged for various reasons, such as inconsistent ingredient dosages or contaminated ingredients, and these incidents are the result of flawed and sloppy manufacturing.
By sticking with the GMP-certified Arizona Nutritional Supplements for all their manufacturing needs, Amazon Elements is just eliminating one more risk and bringing their consumers that much more assurance of quality and consistency.
It comes with a Certificate of Analysis
Each of the vitamins and supplements from Amazon Elements comes with a Certificate of Analysis that ensures the product meets all the standards for potency, purity, and integrity.
As mentioned on each product page, all testing services are performed by ANS, which as a GMP facility is already proven to be certified to pass all standards for quality control and testing.
In addition, the testing is performed in ISO-accredited labs, which are labs that meet the International Organization for Standards regulations and standards, including up-to-date equipment for testing and calibration.
The test for potency for each product is shown on a scale that depicts the industry range for that particular vitamin or supplement. Amazon Elements is very forthcoming in showing exactly where each product falls on that potency scale. When it comes to vitamins and supplements, there can be a risk of inconsistent potency.
The potency scale shows consumers just how potent their product is, and more importantly, also shows that Amazon Elements continues to test its products for consistent potency.
The test for purity is another significant feature in the Amazon Elements testing, and one that is definitely reassuring for consumers.
This is also where the non-GMO verification comes in. A few years ago, there was quite the outrage when consumers realized that their strawberries or milk fortified with Omega-3 actually contained a little more than they were hoping for—namely, it contained fish, which is a rich source of Omega-3s.
Suffice it to say, people were really not pleased. The purity tests performed for Amazon Elements products ensures that nothing fishy will end up in your vitamins and supplements.
The integrity test is a vague name for a really important test. What does it test for? Weird and unsavory microbes like salmonella, e-coli, yeast, and mold, in addition to the pesticides, herbicides, and rodenticides.
Basically, the integrity test is performed to make sure that these vitamins and supplements won’t make you sick when you’re taking them to be healthy.
It comes with an App for Transparency
Is there an app for Amazon Elements? You betcha.
Nowadays, there’s an app for everything. It’s like that Kevin Costner movie, but for apps: “If you build it, they will come.” In this case though, if you already have the Amazon app, then you don’t need to download anything else, so your phone’s memory bank will thank you.
To use the Amazon app for Elements, just open up the app, click the camera icon, and point your smartphone camera at the QR code on the back of the bottle.
The app will bring up all the information about ingredients, sourcing, manufacturing, and testing that you might want to know about, so you won’t need to keep going to the Amazon Elements product page for the information you’re seeking.
Ready for health? The Decision is in Your Hands
The vitamins and supplements available from Amazon Elements should be part of any medicine or kitchen cabinet in any household. Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Magnesium, and turmeric are essential for your vitamin and mineral intake and for easing the discomfort and pains of inflammation. But beyond the essentials, Amazon Elements really deserves to be commended for being so open and transparent about all of their business practices. That’s the kind of behavior one would want from all corporations, and Amazon is definitely taking the necessary steps to move the industry forward in that direction. Best of all, their transparency puts the buying power and decisions back in the hands of the consumer. With all that information and power in your hands, there’s no reason to put off your health for another day. Buy now and move forward for a happier, healthier future.