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Atomic Absorption Analysis of Three Dietary Supplements

Whether called alternative, traditional, natural, integrative, or complementary medicine, this largely dietary supplement-based multi-billion dollar industry is associated with claims of extreme efficacy based more on anecdote than evidence. Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that long-term vitamin supplementation may actually be harmful. We wondered whether an industry known for exaggerated claims and pseudo-scientific products was similarly sloppy with its measurements and manufacture.

We chose to take three well known multivitamin supplement brands (One Source, Now, and Equate) to task by measuring the amount of iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper in each using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) to confirm or expose each brand’s reported values. Of the tools available, AAS was chosen because of its superior accuracy in metal analyte analysis. Continue reading


Adipic acid to nylon 6-6: a two-step process

Proposal for synthesizing nylon 6-6 through a two-step process: 1) adipic acid is chlorinated by thionyl chloride to make adipoyl dichloride; and 2) adipoyl dichloride and hexane-1,6-diamine undergo a condensation reaction to produce nylon. Products will be purified and identified as appropriate. Continue reading