Over the past few months since we launched our spermidine supplement , I have had a number of customers reach out and ask me more about our sourcing and manufacturing process. It is really heartening to see so many people doing their due diligence when looking for safe, high quality and effective supplements to support their health and take back control of their wellbeing.
For me, peace of mind is everything. I know that what I put into my body has an impact on my overall health. Being over 55 and an autoimmune survivor, I can’t afford to make myself a guinea pig - and I didn’t want to make you one either.
So today I thought I would take you on a deep dive into our Japanese and American supply chain so you can rest assured that you are getting the very best.
How are we different?
We source our raw material, a highly concentrated wheat germ extract, from Japan, which has one of the strictest food and supplement regulatory regimes in the world. As a matter of fact, when the White House under George W. Bush was looking for a model of how to improve the American food system from cheap and oftentimes adulterated food and supplement products from China, it chose the Japanese food import system as its blueprint.
Because Japan imports 60% of its food supply, it conducts rigorous checks on imports - in fact, it does random checks on a full 10% of all imported food. By contrast, the US only imports 10% of its food and does checks on only 1% of what is brought in from overseas. In addition, Japan conducts rigorous food safety inspections of its domestic food supply chain as well.
You may be aware of how strict the Japanese food safety standards are because of how they treat coffee. Imports to Japan that do not meet what might be called ‘draconian’ rules on purity, mold toxicity and mycotoxin levels are turned around at the port, where owners of these shipments will then send that same coffee shipment to the US and other countries where the food safety regulations are more relaxed.
It was against this backdrop that I began to search the world for a high quality polyamine with high spermidine content. As an autoimmune survivor living in Oxford, I had become acquainted with some Oxford University immunologists who had been conducting research into spermidine and its mechanisms of action and benefits. At the same time, I was having weekly conversations with another Oxford physiologist conducting research into the scientific validity of some 1,000-year-old longevity scrolls belonging to the Japanese emperor - and spermidine came up there too. Modern research was validating spermidine’s longevity promoting effects which the Japanese physicians had observed as early as the 10th century.
Given Japanese scientific authority on autophagy and cellular renewal, combined with their historic love of a variety of spermidine-rich foods such as natto and shiitake mushrooms, Japan was an obvious place to look.
In addition, I wanted a manufacturer of spermidine that was not just certified to be clean, pure and free of toxins, pesticides and heavy metals by the Japanese government-sponsored Japanese Institute for Health Food Standards; I wanted one that was specifically managed according to ISO22000 food safety standards.
What is ‘ISO22000’ and why is it the best when it comes to food safety?
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization. They have certain guiding principles around measuring, managing and organizing risks and manufacturing procedures. You may be familiar with the ISO9001 designation, which is a valuable, but generic certification that a company is manufacturing products in a standardized and consistent way that meets customer expectations. Its principles apply to a wide array of industries, from paper pulp to supplements.
ISO22000, however, is a food safety specific certification based on the guidelines of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint venture between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
ISO22000 certification guarantees the safety of food ingredients from farm to fork. Rigorous safety and purity testing is part of this certification, as is environmental risk. For instance, is the farm or manufacturing facility next to an environmental polluter that might cross-contaminate? Raw materials are also tracked and traced from individual farms to actively identify any quality control issues in a timely manner and keep them from entering the supply chain.
I am happy to say that our supplier of highly concentrated wheat germ extract with spermidine and spermine is both ISO22000 certified and Good Manufacturing Practices certified (cGMP) by the Japan Institute for Health Food Standards (JIHFS), a branch of the Japanese government. Only 150 companies in all of Japan have this certification.
They also adhere to HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) standards, which the FDA endorses as very good food safety risk management and hazard prevention.
Finally, our Japanese manufacturing facility is registered with the US Food & Drug Administration and has been inspected and approved by the US FDA. Interestingly, as a country, Japan has the highest number of food manufacturing facilities registered with the American FDA, after the United States itself and ahead of France.
For me, our approach to health applies to our Supply Chain as well: prevention and sustainability must start as close to the source as possible, and we take this into account at every step of the way to make sure that you get the highest quality available.
This includes the arrival of our ultra high quality raw materials in the US, when they undergo further purity testing and are then sent to an FDA-registered, certified Good Manufacturing Practice facility, encapsulated in vegan capsules, bottled and safety sealed.
As a founder, interacting with our consumers is my favorite part of the role - please feel free to reach out any time with questions or comments. I’m always one message away.