Another day, another couple dozen new supplement brands have appeared on the market. And that’s ok. Competition is the catalyst that leads to better products for everyone.
But how do you know if a product you’re considering is really the best choice? With so many products to consider, it's easy to get confused.
In this blog post, we’ll help you cut the fat and determine if the product you’re considering is really worth it.
Made Of Whole Food Ingredients
Whole food ingredients are often considered superior to extracts in supplements primarily due to their higher bioavailability, which is the ease with which our bodies can absorb and utilize the nutrients they provide.
The concept of bioavailability is crucial in nutrition because it's not just about what we consume but what our bodies can actually use that determines the benefits we reap.
Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of nutrients along with fiber, enzymes, and other compounds. This complexity is beneficial because many nutrients work synergistically, enhancing each other's absorption and effectiveness in the body.
For instance, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are better absorbed when consumed with dietary fats. Similarly, the presence of vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron. Whole foods naturally provide these beneficial combinations, allowing the body to maximize nutrient uptake.
In contrast, extracts often isolate specific compounds, devoid of the accompanying elements that make them work better.
While extracts may deliver high concentrations of particular nutrients, the lack of supporting compounds can lead to lower bioavailability. This is especially true for certain vitamins and minerals that require specific co-factors, naturally present in whole foods, to be properly absorbed and utilized.
Furthermore, the body recognizes whole foods and is adapted to digesting them, ensuring optimal nutrient assimilation. With extracts, the processing and isolation techniques can alter the natural structure of nutrients, potentially making them less recognizable or usable to the body.
Lastly, whole food-based supplements are less likely to cause nutrient imbalances or overload. Since extracts are highly concentrated, they can deliver excessive amounts of specific nutrients, potentially disrupting the body's delicate nutrient balance and even leading to toxicity in extreme cases.
Our Field Of Greens powder is an excellent example of a supplement overloading with real food goodness, allowing you to make full use of all that it contains.
When you're choosing a dietary supplement, transparency about the ingredients plays a vital role in determining the product's quality and effectiveness. Supplements that openly disclose their ingredients are typically superior to those that use proprietary blends. Here's why.
Firstly, transparency allows you to know exactly what's in the supplement you're taking. Each ingredient, along with its quantity, is clearly listed. This enables you to make informed decisions about the product based on your specific dietary needs, health conditions, or personal preferences. For instance, if you have a known allergy or intolerance to a particular ingredient, you can easily avoid products that contain it.
Secondly, transparency in ingredient disclosure helps you assess the potential effectiveness of a supplement. If a supplement lists the exact quantities of each ingredient, you can compare these amounts to the dosages that have been scientifically shown to be effective.
With proprietary blends, on the other hand, companies only reveal the total amount of the blend without specifying the quantity of each ingredient. This makes it difficult to know whether the supplement contains enough of a particular ingredient to be truly beneficial.
Moreover, supplements that use proprietary blends can sometimes employ a practice known as 'label dressing'. This involves including a long list of impressive-sounding ingredients but in amounts too small to have any real effect. Without transparent disclosure of ingredient amounts, you might be led to believe that you're getting more value than you actually are.
Finally, ingredient transparency is a sign of a company's confidence in its product. If a company is willing to disclose exactly what's in its supplement and in what quantities, it suggests that they stand behind the quality and effectiveness of its product. In contrast, proprietary blends can sometimes be a way for companies to hide inferior-quality ingredients or inadequate dosages.
So, for your health and peace of mind, it's best to opt for supplements with transparently disclosed ingredients like Fortify.
This way, you know exactly what you're putting into your body and can be more confident in the potential benefits of the supplement.
Ingredients Are Scientifically Researched
It's Important that you consider the scientific research backing the ingredients in your chosen product. Supplements that contain ingredients that have been scientifically studied and validated are generally superior to those that use ingredients lacking such evidence.
Scientific research provides assurance about the safety and efficacy of the supplement's ingredients. If an ingredient has been thoroughly tested, you can be more confident that it's safe to consume and capable of delivering the benefits it claims.
Without such research, you're essentially taking a leap of faith regarding the ingredient's safety and potential effects on your health.
Secondly, scientific studies can help you understand the optimal dosages of each ingredient. Researchers typically test various doses of a substance to determine the amount that produces the most significant benefits without causing adverse side effects.
This information is crucial for supplement manufacturers to formulate their products effectively. In the absence of such research, it's challenging to know if the dosages in your supplement are appropriate.
Moreover, scientific research can reveal any potential interactions between the ingredient and medications or other dietary supplements. This is vital information for you, especially if you are on medication or taking other supplements. Without such data, there's a risk that an ingredient might interfere with your medication or cause unexpected side effects when combined with other supplements.
And of course, scientific validation gives credibility to the supplement brand. Companies that choose to use scientifically-backed ingredients demonstrate a commitment to the health and safety of their consumers.
It shows that they prioritize efficacy and safety over marketing hype or trends. Conversely, using untested ingredients might be a red flag that the company is more interested in profits than in providing a reliable, effective product.
Here at Brickhouse Nutrition, we have a medical doctor who leads the research and development team. Your safety is our #1 priority.
Brand Reputation and Presence
When you are deciding on a purchase, are you likely to choose the one with fewer reviews, or more? Of course, this also depends on the overall opinion in these reviews. This is especially important in an industry where regulations can sometimes be lax and the market is flooded with a wide range of products of varying quality.
A well-established brand with a good reputation is more likely to produce high-quality supplements. Such a brand has a reputation to maintain and is motivated to ensure that its products meet high standards.
They are more likely to source quality ingredients, adhere to good manufacturing practices, and have their products third-party tested for quality and purity. As a consumer, this provides you with added assurance about the safety and effectiveness of the supplement.
Secondly, a strong brand presence often means better customer service. Brands that are readily present and accessible value their customers and want to ensure a positive experience. They are more likely to provide clear and detailed information about their products and to answer any questions you might have. This openness fosters trust and is another sign of a quality product.
In contrast, brands that shy away from having a presence or making it easy for customers to contact them may have something to hide. If a company is not willing to answer questions about its products or fails to provide adequate information, it's reasonable to question the quality of its supplements. Such companies might be selling low-quality products, using inferior or potentially harmful ingredients, or making unsubstantiated claims about their supplements' benefits. A typical cash-and-grab in the process.
Additionally, established brands with a significant presence are often more accountable. If issues arise with their products, they are more likely to take responsibility and address the problem. This is not always the case with lesser-known or elusive brands.
Check our reviews to see what customers think of us before you buy!
Did you know that the country of origin can play a significant role in determining the product's quality? In the United States, for instance, the supplement industry is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). As a consumer, understanding these regulations can empower you to make safer and more effective choices.
The FDA imposes strict standards on dietary supplements manufactured in the United States. These include Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), which ensure that supplements are produced in a quality manner, do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled.
GMPs cover all aspects of production, from acquiring the initial raw materials to the final product. They also require rigorous testing for identity, purity, strength, and composition. This means that when you choose a supplement produced in the US, you can be more confident in its safety, quality, and efficacy.
Moreover, manufacturers in the United States must register with the FDA and provide evidence supporting any health claims they make about their products. This accountability and oversight further protect consumers from misleading or false claims.
In contrast, supplements produced in countries with lax regulatory agencies may not meet these high standards. Without stringent regulations and enforcement, there is a greater risk of poor manufacturing practices, contamination, inaccurate labeling, and unsupported health claims. This could result in a product that is not just ineffective, but also unsafe.
While it's important to note that high-quality supplements can be produced anywhere in the world, and not all foreign-made products are of lesser quality, the robust regulatory environment in the United States provides a generally reliable assurance of quality.
When you choose supplements produced in the US, you're benefiting from a system designed to protect you and ensure that what's on the label is indeed what's in the bottle.
All Brickhouse Nutrition supplements are proudly manufactured in the US to ensure you get the best that can be offered to you.
Listen, GMOs have potential. Maybe years into the future, they will become the standard. But for now, there are just too many unknowns where they are concerned.
Choosing supplements that use non-GMO ingredients is highly preferred for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, non-GMO means that the ingredients have not been genetically modified. Genetic modification involves manipulating an organism's natural genetic structure in ways that wouldn't occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
Some people prefer non-GMO products because they believe they're more natural or closer to what nature intended. This aligns with dietary preferences that prioritize natural, minimally processed foods.
Moreover, the long-term health effects of consuming GMOs are not fully understood. While GMOs are generally considered safe by many scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, it is understandable why some people remain skeptical due to the relative novelty of this technology and the potential for unforeseen consequences. By choosing non-GMO supplements, you're erring on the side of caution and potentially avoiding any unknown health risks associated with GMOs.
Additionally, non-GMO supplements are suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences. For instance, many people following organic, vegan, or paleo diets prefer non-GMO products. Non-GMO supplements can also be a safer choice for those with allergies, as genetic modification can sometimes introduce new allergens or increase the levels of existing ones.
Many non-GMO supplements are often perceived as being of higher quality. This is because non-GMO status requires rigorous testing and verification, and the standards for non-GMO certification are quite stringent. So, when you choose non-GMO supplements, you're selecting products that have undergone rigorous quality control checks, which can give you more confidence in their safety and effectiveness.
Not The Cheapest Out There
When it comes to dietary supplements, the old saying, "You get what you pay for," often holds true. While it might be tempting to opt for the least expensive option, it's important to understand that quality often comes at a cost, particularly in relation to the ingredients used in these supplements.
High-quality ingredients are typically more expensive to source. If a supplement contains premium, all-natural, and organic ingredients, or if it's derived from a specialized or unique source, it will likely cost more than a supplement using lower-quality or synthetic counterparts. By choosing a more expensive supplement, you're likely investing in superior ingredients that may offer more health benefits and be safer to consume.
In addition, the manufacturing process can significantly impact the cost of the supplement. High-quality supplements often go through rigorous manufacturing standards to ensure their potency, purity, and safety.
These processes can include third-party testing, which offers additional quality assurance but also adds to the cost. On the other hand, cheaper supplements may cut corners in the manufacturing process, potentially leading to a lower quality and less effective product.
Cheaper supplements also often use more fillers and binders to keep costs down. These substances do not contribute any nutritional value and, in some cases, might even interfere with the absorption of the beneficial ingredients. More expensive supplements, in contrast, are less likely to use these unnecessary additives, focusing instead on delivering the maximum amount of beneficial nutrients.
Lastly, the dosage of active ingredients can also influence the cost. More expensive supplements often contain higher concentrations of active ingredients, meaning you get more of the beneficial nutrients per serving. Cheaper supplements, in contrast, may contain lower amounts of active ingredients, requiring you to take larger or more frequent doses to achieve the same effect.
So, while price shouldn't be the only factor in choosing a supplement, it can be a good indicator of the product's quality. By investing a little more, you're likely to get a supplement with higher-quality ingredients, fewer unnecessary fillers, a more reliable manufacturing process, and a more potent dosage.
This doesn't mean the most expensive supplement is always the best, but remember that quality ingredients and manufacturing come at a cost. So, consider your health as an investment, not an expense, and check out our range of offerings at BrickhouseNutrition.com
Now that you are armed with the newfound knowledge and are a bonafide supplement sleuth, we know you’ll make the right decision. Here’s to your health!