LabDoor, found at LabDoor.com, is a research lab that promises to help you research, find, and buy the best supplements. Here’s how LabDoor works.
What is LabDoor?
LabDoor.com is the online home of a research laboratory that individually tests products in its lab to see what’s really inside.
The site aims to fight back against scammy nutritional supplement retailers and other unscrupulous manufacturers who refuse to list their full range of ingredients – or worse, mislabel their supplements.
By manually testing each and every supplement, LabDoor promises to give you the information you need to research, find, and buy the best supplements.
The site supports itself by earning a 10% commission on supplements sold through the site (typically, the site uses affiliate links to push buyers towards Amazon and other online retailers).
LabDoor has recently been featured in major media publications like The New York Times, Forbes, and Wired.
How Does LabDoor Test Products?
LabDoor uses a three step process to test various supplements. That three step process includes:
— Step 1) The company secretly buys product samples from standard retail stores and outlets.
— Step 2) Each product is tested at an FDA-registered lab.
— Step 3) The site uses data analysis to generate rankings (it doesn’t use user reviews).
The idea is that higher-quality supplements float to the top of the rankings list while lower-quality supplements sink to the bottom.
LabDoor never accepts free products from manufacturers and it does not have any partnerships in place with manufacturers: the company has tried to remove itself from any possible bias.
LabDoor Sells Products to Support Itself
LabDoor’s website currently doesn’t feature any advertisements. So how does the site support itself?
Well, one of the unique features of LabDoor is that it sells products to support itself. LabDoor takes a 10% cut of these proceeds and then funnels the money into further lab research.
Some of the features of LabDoor’s product sales include:
— Labdoor Never Sells A Product That It Has Not Tested
— Labdoor Never Endorses A Specific Product
— LabDoor bases its sales on a “Verified Commerce” system that allows consumers to vote with their dollars. The idea is that LabDoor wants to be the most-trusted source of supplement information online, which means that consumers visit the site before they visit any other site. Then, LabDoor also wants to be the easiest way to purchase those supplements. If LabDoor has achieved both those goals, then it should be able to generate enough sales to support itself.
The company also doesn’t take money from companies or government institutions. It’s all funded by consumers. There are no subscriptions available, no advertisements, and no paywall.
The site is still young – so we’ll have to wait and see if this innovative system will work.
How Does LabDoor Test Supplements?
Those “FDA-registered labs” are found across America. Here’s what the company has to say about its affiliated labs:
“All chemical testing is performed at FDA-registered analytical laboratories that have been qualified and selected by LabDoor based on their expertise in food, supplement, OTC, and pharmaceutical analyses. These facilities also carry various federal (USDA, DEA, EPA) and state licenses and accreditations.”
LabDoor promises to test any supplements that have been backed by legitimate clinical testing. In its FAQ section, LabDoor is asked if there are any supplements that the site will not test or sell. Here’s what they answered:
“Yes. We do not plan to test or sell supplements that are unsupported by scientific evidence. One example of this is raspberry ketone supplements. To date, LabDoor has found zero significant clinical trials that support the health benefits of this supplement category. Thus, we will not be testing or selling products in this category until further notice.”
Other supplements that have no clinical evidence will also not be sold or featured on LabDoor.
Companies can voluntarily submit supplements to LabDoor for testing. Additionally, companies who disagree with their LabDoor rating are encouraged to submit objective evidence backing up their product’s claims in an effort to convince LabDoor to change their rating.
All products featured on LabDoor are re-audited every twelve months.
LabDoor is a relatively new website. However, the site has already performed hundreds of analyses on dozens of different supplement categories.
You can “follow” different supplement rankings at LabDoor’s rankings page here.
Some of the popular categories on the site include: BCAAs, calcium, creatine, energy, fish oil, garcinia cambogia, multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, probiotics, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin D supplements.
Clicking on any one of these categories will reveal a list of the top 10 supplements in that category as well as full ranking information for all tested supplements.
In the creatine category, for example, we can see that LabDoor has tested a total of 25 products. 16 of these products received A ratings, which means that their ingredients largely matched up with their claims and that the supplement contains the amount of creatine it advertises.
All supplements are assigned letter grades based on their label accuracy, product purity, and nutritional value.
Each LabDoor supplement page also contains general statements about supplements in that category – including information that was revealed through repeated scientific testing. The creatine supplements category, for example, features information like:
“Actual creatine content was measured at -2.5% to +16% vs. the 25 products' stated label claims.”
“Competition for the top creatine supplement was incredibly close, with just 1.78% separating the scores of the #1- and #10-ranked products.”
The company also publishes infographics and blog posts through its online magazine, which we’ll get to below.
The LabDoor Magazine
The “Magazine” section on LabDoor.com simply refers to the company’s blog.
That blog is regularly updated with high-quality articles detailing recent advancements or changes in the nutritional supplement community.
That infographic used high-quality citations and scientific evidence to explain that garcinia cambogia research “shows few benefits”. In spite of that fact, garcinia cambogia is hyped by people like Dr. Oz, who call it “miraculous”. LabDoor aims to show the disconnect between scientific evidence and supplement popularity in order to help consumers stay better informed.
That garcinia cambogia supplement infographic also revealed some surprising facts about the industry: like the fact that 21 of the 29 bestselling garcinia cambogia supplements in the industry failed LabDoor’s label accuracy testing, for example. 4 of those products contained toxic compounds linked to neurological problems and cancer. 15 products had a greater than 15% discrepancy between their advertised HCA content and the actual HCA content.
This is just one example of how LabDoor is using unbiased scientific testing to debunk fraudulent claims made by nutritional supplement manufacturers.
How to Purchase Supplements from LabDoor
Each LabDoor supplement page features a detailed description of the item in question, including its LabDoor grade, its value ranking, and its quality ranking in comparison to other supplements in that category.
There are also links to purchase the product from online retailers like Amazon. Click “Buy It Now”, then choose whether you want to purchase the product from Amazon USA or Amazon UK, for example.
Some supplements are also available through other retailers – like Vitamin Shoppe.
The Amazon links contain affiliate IDs, so LabDoor earns a commission from all purchases made through Amazon and most other websites (fortunately, the company is upfront about how and why it earns commission through product sales).
Overall, LabDoor acts as a middle man for supplement sales. You purchase supplements as you normally would from sites you were probably going to purchase from anyway – the only difference is that you click the links at LabDoor.com to give a portion of your sale towards the company and support future lab research.
LabDoor is a San Francisco-based company located at the following address:LabDoor
449 Forbes Blvd.
South San Francisco, CA 94080-2017
The company can be reached by phone at (415) 549-7339 or by email at [email protected].
Currently, the company has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau with no customer complaints or reviews.
The company was incorporated in February 2013 and currently employs 10 people (according to the BBB). The company is founded and managed by Neil Thanedar.
According to his official website, NeilThanedar.com, Neil Thanedar is a “3x startup founder” who loves “science and startups”.