For those on the pursuit of Optimal Health - supplements are often a daily must and help us to optimise our nutrition. But aside from what’s on the front of the bottle, do you know exactly what your supplements contain? Truth is many poor-quality supplements market key health benefits and fail to mention the hidden nasties added to drive down cost and bulk out the recipe. Read on to find out more and stay supplement savvy!
Not All Supplements are Created Equal
Whether you have a daily multivitamin or have taken a more mindful approach and researched which individual nutrients you could benefit from, there will always be dozens if not hundreds of different versions on the shelves and online – so how do you choose which is best?
Throw in the fact that all claim to provide 100% of your daily nutrient requirement for this, that and the other and it becomes even more confusing! And if you’ve paid attention to the different price ranges for seemingly the same nutrient then you’ll probably have guessed that not all supplements are created equal!
One of the key quality indicators for supplements, whichever nutrients they contain, is whether they are natural or artificial – let’s take a look.
Synthetic vs. Natural Supplements: What’s the Difference?
Supplements can be derived from natural, whole food sources or – more commonly – made in a lab using a cocktail of chemicals to create a synthetic version of the nutrient. Which method is used drastically impacts on the quality of the supplement and its potential to help or even harm your health. Here are the facts:
- Synthetic Nutrients – Mimic the biochemical makeup of real nutrients in the hope that the body will absorb them as though they were ‘real.’ But our bodies are clever machines and despite the disguise, they are recognised as not quite the real deal and as a result, are less bioavailable and so more difficult to absorb, meaning you may not get all of your recommended intake after all. In fact, it could be that most of the synthetic nutrients you take are excreted as waste – money quite literally down the drain!
- Natural Nutrients – Derived from whole food sources and extracted from fruit, veg and animals before being concentrated and dried. This keeps the compounds they contain in their natural form and, you guessed it, improves bioavailability and absorption of nutrients. In fact, studies have shown that naturally derived nutrients are absorbed up to twice as efficiently as their synthetic counterparts – giving you double the benefit!
You will have guessed by now that natural is always a winner over synthetic in terms of potential health benefits of a supplement. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for – so be prepared to pay a little more for a lot more nutrition. After all, what better thing to invest in than your health?
Here’s some good things to look out for when choosing a naturally derived supplement:
- 100% Natural
- Whole Food Source
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No fillers or bulkers
- 100% Plant or Animal-Based – not chemical-based
Hidden Nasties: Are You Putting Them in Your Body Every Day?!
Scratch beneath the surface claims of your supplements and you’ll soon begin to realise just how different one brand can be compared with another. Flip over from the front-facing marketing claims and you’ll find a comprehensive list of ingredients that leave nowhere for sub-standard supplements to hide!
Ingredients that should ring alarm bells when shopping for supplements:
😟 Bulking and Anti-Caking Agents – The former is used to literally bulk up the mixture with the sole aim of driving down cost, these have no nutritive value WHATSOEVER! The latter is added to stop the ingredients from clogging up manufacturing machines – neither have a worthy place in any supplement nor ANY benefit for human health. In fact, they could make for a supplement that does you more harm than good! Here’s some common offenders:
- Magnesium stearate
- Silicon dioxide
- Titanium dioxide
- Microcrystalline cellulose
- Stearic acid, simethicone
- Vegetable gum
- Propylene glycol
😟 Binding Agents – Hold the ingredients together but are often made up of allergens or compounds many of us are intolerant to and wouldn’t expect to find in a supplement – lookout for lactose and sucrose
😟 Sucrose, Glucose, Cane and Corn Syrups – added to speed up the production process and sometimes to improve the taste or appearance of capsules, who wants a hidden dose of sugar in their nutritional supplement? Not us! Hint: these are often found in gummy style supplements.
😟 EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) – used in supplements and some mayonnaise as a preservative. You will also see EDTA administered via IV to remove heavy metals in your blood - great for lead poisoning but we would rather hang on to our healthy iron and zinc stores thank you very much!
Hopefully, choosing a supplement that is naturally derived, 100% animal or plant-based and extracted from whole foods should rule out most – if not all – of these hidden nasties! Common sense dictates that the fewer the ingredients the better, and if the ingredients list is as long as your arm you should probably use that very arm to place it back on the shelf!
Hunter & Gather Organ Support Daily Capsules
We are incredibly proud of our new Organ Support Supplement Capsules made from 100% Grass-Fed Wild Roaming Icelandic Lamb - with absolutely NOTHING added.
Our formulation has been years in the making and we were NEVER going to compromise on any of our core principles. The good news is that the fruits of our labour have created an amazing range of Organ Support Capsules which are premium quality, extremely bioavailable and entirely natural.
We use freeze-dried organ meats extracted from real food, which means there is no need to resort to harmful bulkers and thickeners. This also allows us to bring you a whole spectrum of nutrients which work synergistically for maximum effect – equivocally much more beneficial than taking single, isolated nutrients.
Here’s just a few reasons why we think our supplements tick every box when it comes to optimising nutrition and helping you to thrive – not just survive!
- Innovatively raw and freeze-dried to preserve nutrient density
- Never defatted – for optimal absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
- Absolutely No GMO Feeds, Antibiotics or Hormones
- No fillers or flow agents such as Magnesium Stearate or Titanium Dioxide
- Grass-Fed AND Finished – animals are grass-fed FOR LIFE for maximum nutrient density
- Whole Food Ingredients – in line with our Real Food philosophy
- Free from Sugars, Grains and Inflammatory Oils
We could talk about our new supplements all day long as we are just so passionate about their amazing potential to put back in what the modern diet is missing – amazing bioavailable nutrients straight from nature.
You can learn more about the new range here and check out each of the supplements by following the links…
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.