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We all try our best to eat the best food for our diet and wellbeing but more than often we fall short of what is required to actually keep us healthy and at our optimal level of health. This is why the supplement industry is booming. The problem, however, lies in the industry itself. It’s a highly unregulated industry with many garbage products on the market, so if you’re going to take a supplement, you should be taking the best right?
Well, my general rule of thumb is, if you’re putting it in your body, it will be absorbed and utilised by the body and because my body is my temple, I only want the best. Now most of us will be faced with the issue of budget, I will address this in a second.
Recently I had lunch with two industry insiders, we were talking about the industry and the quality side of things came up. I won’t be mentioning any names during this article, but just think the big names in Australia. Now having a chat with insiders, it completely confirmed my biggest fear about chemist shelf supplements and even prescription supplements. The truth is horrific. If you supplement at the moment, brace yourself.
Here are the main recurring themes in our conversation:
- The supplement industry is unregulated, so storage of raw ingredients is extremely poor, and raw ingredient sourcing is at the manufacturers’ discretion. Here’s what generally happens in a supplement manufacturing plant, mind you there are only 3 manufacturers in Australia so you see those hundreds of brands on the chemist shelf? If they’re made in Australia, there is a high chance that they’re from the same place with the same raw ingredients. Okay back to the raw ingredients, these manufacturing plants have extremely poor storage of raw ingredients, from one source, the ingredients were left in their storage sacks on the floor or shelves and exposed to the elements daily, usually the warehouse is unrefrigerated so temperatures are unregulated leading to oxidation and degradation of quality as well as contamination risk. Australia is a fairly hot country during the summer, with temperatures often pushing 45+ degrees celcius, combine that with a warehouse with a tin roof and zero temperature control, it is safe to say that internal warehouse temperatures can reach as high as 60-70 degrees celcius. What do you think would happen to the raw ingredients in this situation? As horrific as this sounds, one source has seen dead insects, including cockroaches in the raw ingredients. This still gets pressed into that tablet you are eating… Now I don’t know about you but this already put me off chemist shelf supplements for life. If you are going to supplement make sure you choose a quality supplement which is made at pharmaceutical standards. What is pharmaceutical standards? It means, contaminant free, temperature and quality controlled facilities (read more: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/guidances/ucm064971.htm). If you want to take a supplement, take one that will do what it says it will.
- The quality control of the supplements kept popping up in our talk as well. From reading many articles previously about the supplement industry, I already knew that the supplement industry was very bad with the content control of their products, in an article published a few years back, an independent study conducted by an American Attorney General found that 4/5 big name shelf supplements didn’t contain anywhere near what the bottle was actually labelled. This again was confirmed, by the time you get the tablet it could be months old and it could be old stock as it sits in the chemist sometimes for months at a time. Now, this is not good for you because the ingredients oxidise and not all bottles are properly sealed so you lose potency off the bat. So those 200+ tablet fish oils you get for $8 might actually be doing you more harm than good. Here’s just an example of what could potentially happen, as the majority of shelf supplements are made to food grade standard, there is a large percentage of error which can be made, however when you look at pharmaceutical grade supplements, the percentage of error in the ingredients is extremely low and is pretty much smack bang on what the ingredients label says. When taking pharmaceutical grade products, you really do get what you pay for. So once again take a quality supplement if you want something to work. Now another tip that I will throw in here is to take a supplement which is bottled to monthly amounts, any more and you’re risking oxidation and reduced potency from just sitting on the shelf. Finish the product in the designated time and you will have the full potency.
- Now, most supplements will come with just one vitamin/mineral/antioxidant, let me just put this out there, out of the hundreds of supplements on the market especially flagship multi-vitamins, I would say less than 2% of supplements will have a complete formulation/profile of all three micronutrients. Think of it this way, you need all three in a balanced ratio for it to work effectively. So when it comes to budget, find one with a complete profile, yes it might be more expensive but yes there is also a reason for that. If you’re taking optimisers (supplements that increase a specific aspect of your health) look for one that includes its complimenting micronutrient, for example look for a calcium supplement which includes potassium, vitamin D3 and magnesium otherwise if you just supplement one, the others become a limiting factor and thus you lose absorption rate and potency. So, if you only stick to shelf supplements and budget supplements then there’s a reason you aren’t getting the effect you desire. If you can afford to fork out the extra couple of dollars, I definitely recommend you to do that.
When choosing a supplement, pick one that is NSF, FDA and Consumer Lab approved. This will guarantee you the quality of the supplement and the potency of the product.
I’ll leave you with a final tip for you; always research the supplement company before you commit to it as this is a product which will be playing a huge role in your wellbeing and future health. Importantly research the founder of the company, the science behind the company and the professionals that work in it (the more in-house scientists and labs they have, the higher the quality, more technologically advanced and more trustworthy they are).
Remember your health is in your hands and supplements are not medicine, they are a method of prevention and work extremely well when paired hand in hand with moderate exercise and a balanced diet. They aren’t intended to cure disease and they don’t work with the speed of medicine but I guarantee you that if you do stick to a proper supplement regime with a high-quality company, you will get results you have never seen before. I have coached many people to success with their health and have seen amazing results when lifestyle changes are introduced. If you would like a free consultation with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “free consultation please” and your name and best contact details.
In terms of where to purchase high-quality supplements, there is only one company that I trust for my health, I have been with them for 15 years as a consumer and there was no better choice to make. Click HERE to check them out.