Does it really matter where you buy your supplements from?

Does it really matter where you buy your supplements from?

Is there really a difference between what I use for testing versus what is on the high street other than price? What do we mean when we talk about good quality supplements? What are food state/ whole food supplements?

These are questions that come up a lot in my sessions, so let’s break it all down. Firstly, in an ideal world, we would all eat in a healthy, balanced way, take care of our body and mind, with no stress and minerals in our soils so that supplements weren’t needed, but alas it is not so.

Secondly, every body is different. Sounds obvious, yet people still wonder why something works for their friend and not for them. One size does not fit all. Your body is very specific about what it does and does not want. For example, I could place several different brands of the same vitamin or mineral, like zinc or vitamin C, and your body will only want one specific brand, even though the ingredients all look identical. Your body decides, only your body knows why.

So what is the difference between buying from a supermarket or a high street chain to some of the brands I use?
I actually looked into this in detail and here is an example. A high strength omega 3 muscle tested as a priority for a client and it would have a significant impact on their mood and overall inflammation. The brand was not cheap, so they asked if they could just get one from a high street chain for less money. So I compared the two, both called High Strength Omega 3 capsules and this is what I found.

Supplement A was the one that the client’s body wanted, you can take between one to three a day. Three capsules a day were needed until the pot was finished. It is a pot of fifty capsules, so thats about two and half weeks worth for £33.50 -10% discount plus £3.50 postage is a total of £33.65.

Supplement B is the high street alternative available in multiple pot sizes, and states to take one a day. We will use the closest of sixty capsules as a comparison and they are £15.99. Bargain!

So let us compare the nutritional information, because this is the whole point of taking them.

The first thing you may notice is that A has 800mg in a capsule and B has 1500mg in a capsule, so more for your money perhaps? But let’s look further. If we look at the breakdown, the most important nutrient needed for improved mood and reducing inflammation is Eicosapentaenoic acid, better known as EPA. 

Supplement A has 550mg of EPA per capsule where as supplement B only has 225mg of EPA per capsule. The client tested as needing three capsules a day, a total of 1650mg EPA per day for approx two and a half weeks. To match that using the high street alternative, supplement B, they would need to take between seven and eight capsules a day! Not possible as the instructions state only one a day is to be taken.

So let’s look at just taking one capsule a day of B, how long would it take to ingest the equivalent EPA needed? You would need to take one a day for about 130 days, that’s a pot of 60 and a pot of 120 costing a total of £40.98. Wouldn’t it be easier to buy one pot of supplement A and start to feel better in just over two weeks?

What does it mean when I say I use food state or whole food supplements? Food state and whole food is when nutrients are presented in the same form as those in food. They are bio-active nutrient complexes containing all the associated food factors in which they occur in nature.

Food State nutrients are combined in a variety of appropriate food bases to ensure they come complete with the phytonutrients and associated food factors for optimal absorption and use in the body. Wholefood products are unique in that they are made from hydroponically grown brassica, part of the broccoli family of vegetables. This plant is an edible species which has a great capacity to bio-accumulate high levels of minerals to enable good levels to be achieved in small doses of supplementation.

Other factors are that are important is that the supplements are pure nutritional supplements using no binders, flowing agents, caking agents or fillers.  The brands I use source the best quality raw materials of the highest purity, with next to nothing added to any of their nutritional supplements.

The encapsulated products contain only the active ingredients and nothing else. When the quantity of the ingredient is too small to create a usable product, they add one filler and one filler only which is “plant cellulose”.

Cellulose is a plant-sourced dietary fibre that the body cannot digest, however, as the active ingredient within the capsule is released and absorbed; the cellulose simply passes harmlessly through the body.

Below is an example of the difference in ingredients from food state/ whole food supplements compared to super markets and high street chains. These are all zinc supplements (the supermarket version has vitamin C added), but you can see the difference in the fillers added.

So going forward, I hope you will take the time to read the labels of what supplements you are taking and are not seduced by cheaper pricing. In the long run, you probably aren’t saving any money and are they actually doing you any good?

*food state/ wholefood descriptions by Cytoplan and Metabolics, two of my favourite brands to use along side others.