How to Buy the Best Supplements
Education, Food Truth, Nutrient Basics, Nutrition Tips, Supplements, Toxins, Vitamins and Minerals

How to Buy the Best Supplements

Note: This article is going to be one of the most important articles you will EVER read about supplements. You absolutely must read this if you are currently taking supplements or are looking into purchasing them. This article is here to empower you to know what you are taking, and how not to be trapped by marketing ploys. Supplements are a business, a very lucrative one, and are unfortunately not all run by health experts.

Now that I have successfully scared you, I am letting you know that I happen to know all the industry’s dirty little secrets and I am hear to share them with you. If you are not particularly interested in knowing what they are and want to just buy the best supplements in the industry, I have those recommendations listed as well (all instant-gratification shoppers scroll down to the bottom now).


Not All Supplements are Created Equal

While I know you would love to just go to your local health food store, compare prices, see what’s on sale, and purchase the cheapest supplement, but the truth is, you would be wasting your money. Just like the food business, not all supplements are the same. You need to know what you are buying because unfortunately there is more junk on the shelves than quality. Research shows you have only a 2.5% chance of selecting a nutritional product in the market place that is both nontoxic and effective. In other words, you have a 97.5% chance of selecting a nutritional product that is either toxic or does not work.

Image by Agricultural Marketing Service

The nutritional supplement industry has boomed and what that means is that more people want a piece of the action. Companies know that there is profit to be made, so they do market research, find that Vitamin D, Multi-vitamins, Reserveratrol and Omega 3 Fatty Acids are hot items, find a chemist, and create a supplement line. As long as they have good business skills; i.e. know how to make a eye-catching label, a clean and smooth website, good customer service and have the right connections to get into the right places, they will be making a killing.

So where am I going with this exactly? The truth is that a lot supplement companies know diddly- squat about health. And do you know how I know this? Because I have worked for a nutritional supplement company and have built relationships with the top supplement companies in the industry today. Not to mention that I have even been approached a few times to “counsel” business’ (that do not have anything to do with the health and wellness industry) on how to create supplements that can sell. And the scary part is that we are trusting these companies to make a product that drastically effects our health! Absolutely absurd.

Therefore, I am going to review the main components that you NEED to know before you purchase supplements. Don’t worry, I will tell you my favorite companies as well so that you don’t need to spend all your time being a supplement investigator. I did the dirty work already and I most definitely am here to share that with you.


Are your Supplements Tablets, Gelatin Capsules or Vegetable Capsules?

Okay go to your vitamin cabinet, open your vitamins, and take one out. Is it relatively clear, soft and squishy? If yes, you have a capsule. If it is hard and compact (look like something that you might have seen come out the other end), you have a tablet. If you have a capsule, look on the ingredients to see if you have a vegetable capsule or a gelatin capsule. Okay good, now we can move on.



Let us begin with my favorite: the tablet.

First, let me ask you one question. Do you see how hard that thing is? I mean resilient… you could throw it on the ground and it would not break. I mean they actually have created a pill cutter just for this reason alone. It is so hard they had to create an actual device to break it! Now, why is that important? Imagine that tablet going into your body, remember you did not chew it, and your body using JUICES, ENZYMES and Peristalsis, has to break this thing down. Having second thoughts here huh? You should. That is because most people do NOT break these down. Therefore, you receive very little nutrition from these and they are a waste of your swallowing talents and money.

Now some people might argue that you have acid to break them down. Well that is true in some sense, but most people do not have adequate acid and these tablets are built like TANKS!

In the past, tablets were approved only for short-term use and were never designed to be taken for long-term use because of all the additives needed to create it. Most tablets are made by using high pressure (20,000 pounds per square inch) to compress the ingredients. Then they are heated in dryers. Therefore, you are left with a large degradation of nutrients. Sorry everyone, waste of money again. If you are a raw foodist… this aint raw kids.

Now that we have heated and pressurized the thing, how do we keep it together? With glues and flowing agents. And here I thought we were creating something actually GOOD for your health. I don’t care how you spin it, I was always told NOT to eat glue… but really, we need no glue and no flowing agents in our supplements.


Billy Madison


Next Up: Gelatin Capsules

Gelatin capsules are made from animal body parts, such as hooves, that carry the risk of prion (infectious agent) exposure. Yumm Yum! While they are absorbed twice as well as a tablet and do not require pressure or heat, they do contain toxic preservatives. Okay, Next!

Gelatin Capsule


Saving Grace: Vegetable Capsules

Vegetable capsules are twice as well absorbed as a gelatin capsules and they have no risk of prion exposure or toxic flowing agents and preservatives. The only thing to look out for here is that some companies use Talc as a flowing agent which is a known carcinogen.


Vegetable Capsule


Others: Gummie Bears, Candies, etc. 

If you want to eat candy, then eat candy. Supplements that are in the form of any animal, are soft, chewy and taste like sugar are not worth your time. These are made with synthetic (NOT LIVE) nutrients, and can actually be harmful to the body. They also have added sugars and preservatives that are just plain bad for you. If you are buying them for your kid, you are doing them no favor. Instead open REAL supplements and mix them in their food or make them a smoothie.

I know, I loved Flintstone vitamins too!



Winner: Vegetable Capsule!

Okay… I am sure that this was already quite a bit of information, and you need go get a tissue to wipe your tears as you throw your supplements away, so I am going to save the next bit of this fun filled episode for later in PART II.

For all of you that cheated and scrolled down to find which companies are the best… Click here to go to the Awards Page to find out.


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  • Reply Candace June 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Would love to see the awards page. The link won’t work for me 🙁

    • lauren
      Reply lauren June 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Oh thanks for looking out! Here is the supplements Awards page.

  • Reply Have You Had Your Daily Dose of Cancer Today? | Ginesthoi: Make It Happen March 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    […] post from my favorite website, like, ever, The Holy Kale.  Her series on supplements called Dirty Little Supplements is the best resource for anyone who has ever questioned which brand to buy.  Her message is […]

  • Reply Chase April 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

    The link is still not working. Thanks

    • Lauren The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren The Holy Kale April 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Fixed, thank you!

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