the science of nutrition

How to Read Our Labels

Aletta Mayorga MS, RD


At Needed, we want to empower you with the information to make the right choices about nutrition for yourself and your family. We also realize that while some people might have a really robust background in nutrition, many are learning about optimal ways to support themselves nutritionally for the first time. Especially when it comes to navigating the unique needs of the perinatal period. 

Something that often comes up is how to understand exactly what is included in a supplement, and why we have included the amount of each ingredient. 

This is why we have asked Registered Dietitian and our VP of Research and Development, Aletta Mayoroga, to explain exactly what all phrases, numbers, and acronyms on our labels mean, and why we work so hard to ensure the quality of our products aligns with them.

Meets or Exceeds cGMP Quality Standards

Explanation: cGMP stands for Current Good Manufacturing Practices, a set of regulations enforced by the FDA to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of pharmaceuticals, food, and dietary supplements. When we say our products meet or exceed cGMP quality standards, it means they are manufactured in facilities that adhere to strict guidelines and undergo rigorous testing and quality control processes to guarantee purity and potency.

Optimal Forms and Dosages

Explanation: Optimal forms and dosages refer to the careful selection of bioavailable nutrients in amounts that maximize effectiveness and absorption by the body. We prioritize the use of premium-quality ingredients in forms that are most readily utilized by the body, ensuring that you receive the full benefits of each nutrient.

Third-Party Tested

Explanation: Transparency and accountability are paramount to us. When we say our products are third-party tested, it means they undergo independent testing by accredited laboratories to verify their purity, potency, and overall quality. This additional layer of scrutiny provides peace of mind, knowing that our products meet the highest standards of safety and efficacy.

Formulated by Experts

Explanation: Our products are developed by a team of experienced professionals, our network of over 4000 practitioners includes nutritionists, scientists, and healthcare providers, who leverage cutting-edge research and first person expertise to help us create formulas that address specific health needs and deliver optimal results.

Free of Unwanted Fillers

Explanation: We believe in providing pure, potent formulations that prioritize quality and efficacy above all else. Our formulas may contain additional inactive ingredients to help with the flowability of our ingredients and make it possible to to encapsulate them, but we are care-filled and meticulous about selecting these additional ingredients and add only what is necessary.

For All Perinatal Stages

Explanation: Our commitment to inclusivity extends to all stages of life, including fertility for both men and women, the perinatal period encompassing pregnancy and the postpartum period and beyond. Our products are optimally formulated to support the unique nutritional needs of mothers, ensuring optimal health for both mother and baby.

%DV and Exceeding it

Explanation: %DV, or percent daily value, represents the recommended daily intake of a nutrient based on a 2,000-calorie diet. While this amount is a useful guideline, we have opted to dose some nutrients at amounts greater than the DV based on  clinical insight and recent scientific literature around nutrient adequacy to support the perinatal lifestage. In many cases, the DV amount may not optimally support a woman in this life stage and the research that Dietary Reference Intakes (and this DVs) are based on don’t adequately reflect the needs of perinatal women.

Units of Measurement: mcg, mg, IU

Explanation: These units denote different measures of quantity. mcg stands for micrograms, mg for milligrams, and IU for international units. Each unit is used to quantify specific nutrients or compounds in our products, 

Dual Forms of Nutrients

Explanation: Formulations containing dual forms of nutrients, such as Vitamin A (as 50% beta-carotene, 50% retinyl palmitate), offer a balanced approach to supplementation. By incorporating multiple forms of a nutrient, we ensure comprehensive coverage and optimal absorption, catering to diverse individual needs and metabolic pathways.

Folate vs. Folic Acid

Explanation: Research supports the effectiveness of L-methylfolate in preventing neural tube defects, with no evidence suggesting it's less effective than Folic Acid. Additionally, L-methylfolate carries a low risk of toxicity, unlike Folic Acid, even with higher intake. Despite potential delays in official guidance, we recommend L-methylfolate over Folic Acid based on current research findings.

Mixed Tocopherols

Explanation: Mixed tocopherols refer to a group of vitamin E compounds with antioxidant properties. Unlike isolated forms of vitamin E, mixed tocopherols contain a blend of alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherols, providing broader antioxidant support and synergistic benefits.

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

Explanation: MCTs are a type of fat that are easily digested and rapidly absorbed by the body, providing a quick source of energy. Derived from sources like coconut oil, MCTs are prized for their ability to support cognitive function, weight management, and overall energy levels.

Climate Neutral

Explanation: Being climate neutral means that we have taken steps to measure, reduce, and offset our carbon footprint, thus minimizing our impact on the environment. This commitment to sustainability reflects our dedication to preserving the planet for future generations.


Explanation: B Corp certification signifies that we meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. As a certified B Corp, we are committed to using business as a force for good, prioritizing ethical practices and social responsibility.

One Percent for the Planet

Explanation: We are proud to be a member of One Percent for the Planet, a global movement of businesses committed to donating at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes. By allocating a portion of our proceeds to environmental initiatives, we contribute to the preservation and restoration of our planet's natural resources.

In summary, at Needed, we are dedicated to providing products that prioritize efficacy, transparency, and sustainability. Through adherence to rigorous quality standards, meticulous ingredient selection, and a commitment to environmental stewardship, we strive to empower you in our mission for radically better nutrition for all.

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Aletta Mayorga MS, RD, Head of R&D

Aletta Mayorga MS, RD is Needed's Head of R&D.