Health Spark UK PAGG Stack Review
Looks like there are more companies packaging the PAGG Stack. This latest one is from the UK, from a company called Health Spark.
Let’s have a look…
1. Ingredients and Dosage
It has 23mg of Policosanol , the exact amount specified in the book.
Alpha Lipoic Acid, 100-300mg, or 50-150mg R-ALA
As previously discussed, standard ALA is actually an equal mixture of S-ALA and R-ALA, with R-ALA being the natural, more active and bioavailable form. As S-ALA actually hinders and competes with R-ALA, only half of R-ALA is required to have the same, if not better effect than standard mixed ALA.
Health Spark UK’s PAGG Stack contains 300mg of the cheaper standard ALA. Not as good, but with the right amount nontheless.
Green Tea Extract, 325mg EGCG
Just a note: I noticed that many people mix ‘Green Tea Extract’ with EGCG. EGCG is a component of the extract, and is always represented by a percentage of the entire extract. In this case, 325mg of EGCG is required.
Example: A 500mg Green Tea Extract with 40% EGCG will only give you 200mg of EGCG. So be careful when you just see ‘Green Tea Extract’ with no indicated % of EGCG…these are lower quality ones…and there has never been 100% EGCG extracts.
Looks like Health Spark UK has made the same old mistake of providing 325mg of Green Tea Extract instead of 325mg of the active ingredient, EGCG. The extract they use contains an EGCG yield of 45%, amounting to only 146.25mg of EGCG, less than half of what’s recommended.
Garlic Extract, 200mg Aged Garlic Extract (Allicin Potential, S-Allyl Cysteine)
200mg of garlic extract per pill, though there’s no mention if it’s the aged variety. You need extracts from aged garlic because of S-Allyl Cysteine, which is the pre-cursor to Allicin, the active ingredient in question. I’ve also received reports that the smell/taste of garlic is very strong. Should be a small issue though.
Update: They’ve switched to odourless garlic.
Additional Vitamin B
Health Spark’s PAGG Stack contains 50mcg of Biotin, a form of Vitamin B Complex. This is half the amount provided by competing brands like Pareto Nutrition and Newhealth Solutions, both of which provides 100mcg. Even though there’s no formal recommendation, it’s good to know if you’re getting more for the buck. Even stand alone ALA products that have biotin packaged tend to have at least 100mcg, so Health Spark UK’s solution does seem to be on the stingy side.
1 day tablet per meal, 1 day and night tablet just before sleep. Total of 5 a day.
3. Manufacturing Quality and Relevance
A Brief Description of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
Food Grade GMP
Due to the random nature of food, discrepencies in actual nutritional values allowed (2 oranges, same amount of Vitamin C each?)
Pharmaceutical Grade GMP
Standard used to manufacturing medicine, no deviations allowed. If the label says 5mg, it must be tested to have 5mg, no more, no less.
Manufactured in a UK Based Pharmaceutical GMP facility that’s also inspected by the MHRA.
Pretty relevant, though there have been changes in PAGG as outlined in Tim’s blog post, which is mainly the removal of green tea for the night stack. No updates by Health Spark UK so far to remove EGCG from the night stack and to increase EGCG amounts in the day stack.
4. Cost (UK£)
1 month supply = 30 days worth
1 Month Supply – £59.95
2 Month Supply – £109.90 or £54.95/mth
5 Month Supply – £249.75 or £49.95/mth
10 Month Supply – £479.50 or £47.95/mth
Free delivery for UK and the rest of Europe.
5. Summary and Conclusion
- Safe – Pharmaceutical GMP Certified, MHRA inspected UK manufacturing facility
- Convenient – Great for everyday and travel use
- Normal Ingredient – You get the cheaper, standard ALA instead of the more natural and efficient R-ALA
- Lack of Ingredients – You get less than half the recommended EGCG amount and for Vitamin B, half of what competitors are providing.
- Costly – at one month, it’s about £59.95 for one month and even if you buy the mega 10 month supply bundle, at £47.95/mth, you don’t save much.
The lack of important ingredients like EGCG prevents Health Spark UK’s PAGG Stack from becoming a highly recommended solution. Only 2 good reasons to get it:
1. Faster delivery
2. Savings on import charges.
However, even after applying the taxes (calculations at bottom of post), you’d find that getting competiting solutions from Pareto Nutrition and Newhealth Solutions makes more sense.
Let’s put that into numbers based on available packages:
Health Spark (free delivery)
5 months – £249.75
Cost per month = £49.95
Pareto Nutrition (free delivery)
6 months – £311*
Cost per month = £51.83
Newhealth Solution (based on 4 + 2 months, includes express delivery for 4+ months)
6 months – £323*
Cost per month = £53.77
So, there you have it. As you can see, for roughly the same monthly cost of Healthspark’s PAGG, which has been shown to be lacking, you can get Pareto’s or Newhealth’s PAGG Stack, both of which I’ve reviewed to have the right amount of ingredients with more EGCG, higher quality R-ALA, more Vitamin B.
*Already inclusive of taxes. How it’s calculated – From what I gather, VAT is around 20% while Customs Duty is around 12%, so to make things simple I used 32%. I then added the £15 import tax and £8 handling charge by the UK Royal Mail. So, the final price should be pretty accurate.
Disclaimer: US$ to UK£ are rough estimates based on XE.com’s numbers on 11/7/2011. Please make sure to check for the latest conversion rates.