This week, with our top 5 things to demand from your supplements, we deep dive to help you become a savvy shopper. You already understand the importance of proper supplementation. Now let us help you get more bang for your buck. Did you know…many vitamin producers want you to believe that you are getting a “natural product” because it seems more wholesome to take “natural” vitamins? Unfortunately, vitamins can be labeled as natural if they contain as little as 10% of the natural form of the vitamin. This means that your “natural” vitamin could contain 90% of synthetically produced chemicals! Tune in as Jonathan and TeriAnn share some knowledge on what makes a supplement effective.
In this week's episode...
Top 5 Things to Demand in Your Supplements
“We’re so passionate about this [topic]. As we go further down the rabbit hole and we learn more and more about the supplement industry, as we make our products cleaner and cleaner and we do more and more around bringing our products to the highest quality possible, we realize that this is not something a lot of people in the industry are doing.” ~TeriAnn Trevenen, CEO of Organixx
#5 Whole Food Supplements
- 95 percent of all vitamin supplements that are out there are synthetics.
- Synthetics are usually derived as an oil byproduct.
- Your body doesn’t know what to do with synthetics so you don’t get any nutritional value.
- The best vitamin supplements are those with labeled potencies derived from naturally-occurring, full-spectrum food extracts.
- Another primary difference between real full-spectrum whole-food vitamins and synthetic vitamins is that real vitamins contain the essential trace minerals necessary for the vitamins’ synergistic operation.
- Ingesting real vitamins does not require the body to deplete its own reserves of nutrients to replace any nutrients missing from the false vitamins.)
- Watch out for unnecessary and toxic fillers.
- Look for clues on your vitamin’s label that offer insight into the origin of the vitamin. These are examples of synthetic versions:
- Vitamin A: Retinyl Palmitate
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavi
- Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
- Vitamin B12: Cyanocobalamin
- PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
- Folic Acid: as Pteroylglutamic Acid
- Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
- Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
- Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate
- NOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.
#4 Make Sure Your Supplements Are Bioavailable
- Bioavailability plays a critical role in the therapeutic efficacy of supplements and medications, but conventional formulations often fail to optimize bioavailability and are unable to provide targeted treatment
- Unfortunately, the most popular delivery vehicles in the industry—mineral salts—may actually impede bioavailability. As such, an extraordinary number of medications and supplements are unable to provide patients with the best possible results.
- For a medication or supplement to be biologically active, it needs to be soluble in the fluids of the body to the point where the molecules of the active ingredient are dissociated from the inactive components, absorbed into the bloodstream after digestion, and metabolized by the liver. “If a product isn’t soluble, it gets broken down into its native components, which then sit around in the digestive tract until they’re excreted. In the absorption of things, it’s all about solubility.”
- Generating a high bioavailability product often requires advanced delivery systems that go beyond traditional formulations.
- Predigests the nutrient for better absorption in the body.
- Example: Organixx’s collagen. It is fermented, or predigested, so the amino acids have already been broken up. If you take undigested collagen your digestive system has a hard time breaking that down. If you predigest it, all the marvelous ingredients in collagen are unlocked so your body picks up the nutrients seamlessly.
- Makes certain ingredients more available for a wider audience.
- Example: Turmeric. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a flavonoid. The molecule is very large and sticky. It wouldn’t get through the gut wall. When fermented the microbes break it down into smaller molecules. This allows the nutrient to be quickly absorbed.
- Once you sprout a seed, it actually unlocks more nutrients from that seed that weren’t available prior to being sprouted.
#3 Watch out for labeling!
- Putting the word “natural” on the vitamin label is, in most cases today, deceptive. The word is constantly abused and, as such, its meaning has been diluted to a point where it holds little value.
- Many misleading labels on supplement products take advantage of the ambiguity of the word “natural” to project a wholesome marketing image, even when the product does not merit it.
- Whereas the term “naturally occurring” on a label usually means that a vitamin or nutrient is completely derived of compounds from naturally-occurring sources – the plants themselves – rather than merely containing a naturally-occurring ingredient mixed with synthetic ingredients.
- Look for organic certifications on the label.
#2 Ask for 3rd Party Test Results?
- Ask for test results from your source of supplementation.
- Challenge claims – are they using the specific form/type of ingredient they are touting in a claim?
#1 Organic Non-GMO Supplements
- USDA certified organic
- Always go organic!
Deeper Dive Resources
Natural Products Expo West
Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association – ingredient chart to help consumers identify natural vs. synthetic vitamins
Resource for Unnecessary/TOXIC fillers
Foundational Medicine Review
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Jonathan: 00:01 Welcome everyone to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m Jonathan Hunsaker, and I’m joined by my co-host, TeriAnn Trevenen.
TeriAnn: 00:08 Hey everyone.
Jonathan: 00:09 Today we’re going to do a quick podcast. We’re just going to cover the top five things that you should demand from your supplement company. Really it’s just the top five things that you should be looking for when you’re going to choose a supplement.
TeriAnn: 00:22 Yeah. Well, and we’ve covered this before. But we are always improving our supplements as a company, and so we’ve learned a lot along the way. The industry is always changing, and the trends are always changing. I feel like we’re constantly learning new things. We just wanted to touch on some things that have been big conversations.
TeriAnn: 00:44 We just got back from Expo West. Natural Products Expo West in California. They hold than in Anaheim every year. 100,000 people come out for that. There was a lot that we learned while we were out there as well. Again, the industry is always changing. We’ve touched on this before. But we wanted to touch on some things again. Some new things that we’re learning, and some old things that we want to bring to people’s attention again as well.
TeriAnn: 01:08 The first thing we want to talk about today, when it comes to looking at a supplement, is whole food supplements. You want to touch on that?
Jonathan: 01:18 Yeah. I mean, and here’s the reality. We carry good supplements at Organixx. But we don’t carry everything that you need. In fact we’re even tightening our lineup, and probably going to make it a little bit smaller so we can really focus on the ones that we want to focus on, and not try to carry a full spectrum.
Jonathan: 01:35 I just want to cover that these are, just encouraging you to be a good investigator as you’re figuring out what you want to take, and what supplements to take. That’s really what we’re trying to cover here. The fifth one, number five being whole food supplements and not synthetic. It’s really interesting. 95 percent of all vitamin supplements that are out there are synthetics. Your one-a-days that you see advertisements for, and they’re at your local Walmart or CVS or Walgreens pharmacy. Things like that. Those one-a-day supplements are almost entirely synthetic. They’re derived as an oil byproduct.
Jonathan: 02:17 It’s just, they’ve extracted these vitamins and minerals from oil, and then put it into a capsule and sell it to you saying, “Look. Here’s … You’re going to get 100 percent of your vitamin C, and 100 percent of this, and 100 percent of that”. But your body can’t even use it. Right? Your body, it just sees it as a foreign substance and passes it right through your body. Maybe you’re absorbing a very very small fraction, but not much.
Jonathan: 02:46 The big thing to really look for is that it is a whole food supplement.
TeriAnn: 02:51 Yeah. Well, and the other thing too is, you talk about not getting synthetics. But there’s no nutritional value there. People think they’re taking … They’re spending all this money. But they’re not getting anything out of it. Whole food is a really big deal. I want to read a little bit of some of the information that we’ve pulled together on whole food, not synthetic supplements.
TeriAnn: 03:17 The best vitamin supplements are those with labeled potencies derived from naturally occurring full spectrum food extracts. Naturally occurring vitamins are obtained by taking a nutrient rich plant, removing the water and the fiber in a chemical free vacuum process, and packaging it for stability. The entire vitamin complex is captured intact, retaining its functional and nutritional integrity and a full spectrum of nutritional values.
TeriAnn: 03:43 Another primary difference between real full spectrum whole food vitamins and synthetic vitamins is that real vitamins contain the essential trace minerals necessary for the vitamin’s synergistic operations. Synthetic vitamins contain no trace minerals, and must utilize the body’s own mineral reserves. Ingesting real vitamins does not require the body to deplete its own reserve of nutrients to replace any nutrient missing from the false vitamins. Not only are you not getting any nutritional value from the synthetic products, but it’s actually –
Jonathan: 04:15 You’re left worse off.
TeriAnn: 04:15 … making you more deficient. Yeah. Which, the whole purpose of supplementing is to replace what you might be missing or not getting enough of.
Jonathan: 04:24 See, and this is what’s challenging sometimes when you go look at the label. Because I think of our Multi Vita-Max. I don’t have it right in front of me to name the exact values. But you could take a synthetic product, and hold it next to ours and look at the daily percentages. Theirs may be higher across the board for every vitamin. But it’s from a synthetic.
TeriAnn: 04:47 Right.
Jonathan: 04:48 That you’re not even able to use. I know we’re going to get to it a little further down the list about bioavailability. But it’s what makes a supplement more bioavailable, is that it’s a whole food supplement. That your body recognizes it as a food. It’s not just, what’s your daily percentage? Is it 10,000 percent of what you should be getting? But look at the ingredient list. What are the actual ingredients that are going into that supplement?
Jonathan: 05:16 If it doesn’t list ingredients, then where is it getting these vitamins from? Right? If it’s not listing the actual foods, then you know it’s not a whole food supplement.
TeriAnn: 05:27 Right. We have some interesting stats around this. More than 95 percent of all the vitamin supplements sold today fall into the synthetic category. We have some resources behind that, so we’ll post them in show notes so you can see them. We also have, the Organic Consumers Association published an ingredient chart to help consumers identify natural versus synthetic. We’re not going to cover all of that on the podcast today, but we’ll put it in show notes so that you can go and check out that chart.
TeriAnn: 05:55 I was looking at that last night, and I think it’s going to be really helpful for people. I even learned some things looking at it. We’ll post that in show notes as well.
TeriAnn: 06:04 But the other thing to just be mindful of is, you were talking about labels. Be really careful what you’re comparing on your labels. That’s where this chart will come in handy. Because you might be looking at labels and be like, “What’s the difference? How do I know? How do I tell which is a whole food and what’s not?”. That chart will help you to know. Don’t just think you can compare labels and look at percentages. You’ve got to really look at what goes into the product. How they’re manufacturing their product. We’re going to talk about other things to be looking at as well.
TeriAnn: 06:33 One other thing that I want to touch on when it comes to a whole food supplement, not only are they not synthetic, or should you not be taking synthetic supplements. But you should not be taking supplements with unnecessary toxic fillers. Just some examples, and we also have a list of fillers that we’ll post in show notes as well. But just a few. Magnesium stearate, monosodium glutamate, carnauba wax. It’s used in car wax and shoe polish. They use that for fillers in some supplements. Titanium dioxide. There’s a lot of things, get used over and over and over again in the supplement industry.
TeriAnn: 07:16 We’ll post that list for you in show notes. Will be really helpful for people. But you really want to be looking for a very clean label, with minimal ingredients. Not a long list of ingredients.
TeriAnn: 07:29 The rule of thumb. Whether it’s supplements or food, if you’re ingesting something you should be able to read what’s on the label. It shouldn’t be super hard to pronounce in most cases. Then also, what is that? You know? I think you’ve got to be very careful there. I think you should be able to pronounce what’s on your label. You should understand what it is. That’s a good rule of thumb when you’re looking at food and supplements.
Jonathan: 07:52 Agreed. I agree 100 percent. All right, number five was making sure it’s a whole food supplement. Let’s move to number four, and let’s talk about bioavailable and bioavailability. Really, bioavailability is just, can your body use it? Can your body process it? Can it extract the nutrients from it and actually deliver it to your cells? That helps you determine how bioavailable a supplement is.
Jonathan: 08:22 We’ve talked about synthetics not being very bioavailable, and it just passing right through your body. Bioavailability is essential. Because otherwise you’re just wasting the money. Your body can’t use it. It’s not getting any of the nutrients.
TeriAnn: 08:37 Right. Two things I want to talk about with bioavailability that we specifically do with our supplements is fermentation and sprouting. Fermentation and sprouting takes the nutrients in that ingredient, and it changes them so they’re easier to absorb, basically. It breaks them down. Two specific examples I want to give when it comes to fermentation, which is pre-digesting the nutrient for better absorption into the body, are collagens. It’s fermented or pre-digested, so the amino acids have already been broken down.
TeriAnn: 09:14 If you take un-digested collagen, your digestive system has a hard time breaking that down. If you pre-digest it, all the ingredients and collagen are unlocked, so your body picks up the nutrients seamlessly.
TeriAnn: 09:25 Another one is turmeric. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, which we’ve talked about in other podcasts before, is a flavonoid. The molecule is very large and sticky. It wouldn’t get through the gut wall. When fermented, the microbes break it down into smaller molecules, which again allows it to be absorbed more easily into the body.
TeriAnn: 09:46 A lot of people in the supplement industry are not doing this. This is not something that you commonly see.
Jonathan: 09:53 This is what we learned throughout the years. I mean, there’s been trial and error since we’ve started the supplement company. At one point we moved manufacturers. One of the biggest challenges was finding a manufacturer that knew how to work with fermented ingredients. I can’t tell you how many times manufacturers came back to us and said, “Well listen. If you don’t ferment it we can do it, and we can do it for a third of the price that you’re paying right now”. Everybody kept coming back like, “We can make your Turmeric 3D for $3 a container, $4 a container”. But it was just generic turmeric that was in there. It wasn’t fermented. It wasn’t organic.
Jonathan: 10:35 Not a lot of people are fermenting. Fermentation matters, because it starts the breakdown process of the food. Which makes it much easier for your body to break down. It’s already released the enzymes that are in that food naturally. That’s what causes foods to rot and things like that, is the enzymes that are in it. When you ferment it, it’s starting to break that down already, and it’s not requiring the use of your own body’s enzymes to break it down as much. Your body just recognizes it and uses it more.
Jonathan: 11:07 You made a comment earlier too about sprouting. Any of our products that have seeds, just in the seed form, your body can’t use the nutrients as well. Not only that. Once you sprout a seed, it actually unlocks a whole lot more nutrients from that seed that weren’t there prior to being sprouted. There’s a lot of things that we do differently, because it makes it more bioavailable.
Jonathan: 11:38 Now some of the challenges too, you were talking about turmeric and talking about curcumin. One way to make curcumin more bioavailable is to have black pepper with it, or a piperine in that supplement. The problem with using that to make it more bioavailable is, it causes inflammation in your gut, which allows the curcumin to seep through the gut wall and into your bloodstream and into your system easier. But it’s done through inflammation. If you’re just trying to take turmeric or curcumin for a week, that might be fine. But long term use of it for chronic inflammation, things like that, is just going to end up even worse.
Jonathan: 12:18 These are things that we learn, so we’re hoping to just kind of educate you so that you can understand, right? What is in your supplement that makes it more bioavailable, and allows your body to use it?
TeriAnn: 12:33 Well another term is delivery system, so like fermentation and sprouting. Then there’s also ingredients. Natural ingredients that can help to deliver some of these supplements. The ingredients in the supplements into your bloodstream, directly into your cells. This is also something, you’ll hear the word delivery systems when it comes to supplements like ours and others in the industry like ours. That’s pretty much what we’re talking about.
TeriAnn: 12:59 The other thing too is the word phytochemical. When you’re talking about fermentation and breaking an ingredient down, we’ve also talked about this previously in podcasts in more depth. We’re not going into it in depth today. But phytochemicals are basically nutrients at an optimal level. You’re breaking down and releasing more in the ingredients than you would without the fermentation.
TeriAnn: 13:20 Phytochemicals are a big part of bioavailability, and what you’re getting out of your supplement. Just important terms to look into and understand when it comes to whole food supplements.
Jonathan: 13:33 You know, and there’s … It’s a weird test. But we all have seen it, right? When we take a multivitamin. When we probably all started our health journeys, we didn’t just start right away in whole food supplements. But you were taking a synthetic, and what happened to your urine is, it came out a glowing yellow. Right? That was because it wasn’t very bioavailable. Your body wasn’t able to use it. It passed right through.
Jonathan: 13:59 One way that you can check and see, how bioavailable is your supplement, is by looking at your urine as well. Now that’s not a telltale sign for all of it. But it’s just one way to see, is your body actually using the nutrients that you’re taking in? Or is it just passing right through and being eliminated?
TeriAnn: 14:14 Well, and I … Let’s go a little deeper on that. We’re going to talk more about this in the next few that we’re covering. But you’re talking about synthetics, right? But when you talk about whole food, if you have a product that’s actually going to be absorbed by your system, there’s other things that are really important to look at. Which is a great segue into … Basically if you have a supplement that’s going to absorb more easily into your body, there’s a few things you really want to be careful of. Which is what we’re going to talk about now, moving into the next topics around whole food supplements that we wanted to cover anyway.
TeriAnn: 14:53 Let’s talk about number three. Which is looking at supplements that have the word, “Natural”, or even, “Organic”, just slapped on the label. When we talk about whole food supplements, I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole of organic right now, because that’s something we’re going to talk about a little bit later. But you’ve got to be careful when you’re looking at your labels, what your supplement claims to be. Because a lot of people are throwing around buzzwords, but they don’t have anything to back up being able to use those terms on their label. You have to be really careful of that.
TeriAnn: 15:28 But putting the word, “Natural”, on the vitamin label is in most cases today deceptive. The word is constantly abused, and as such its meaning has been diluted to a point where it holds little value. Many misleading labels on supplement products take advantage of the ambiguity of the word, “Natural”, to project a wholesome marketing image, even when the product does not merit it. They’re using, “Natural”, and, “Organic”, when they’re doing that.
TeriAnn: 15:53 Whereas the term, “Naturally occurring”, on a label usually means that a vitamin or nutrient is completely derived of compounds from naturally occurring sources. The plants themselves. Rather than merely containing a naturally occurring ingredient mixed with synthetic ingredients.
TeriAnn: 16:09 I mean, we’ve learned a lot when it comes to this in manufacturing supplements. There’s a lot of certifications people can get. There’s a lot of things that they can do to put things on their label that actually backs up the claims that they have a natural or organic product. But let’s talk about what some of those are.
TeriAnn: 16:26 I mean, we’ve just changed our labels to show that we have all organic ingredients in our products. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Jonathan: 16:36 Yeah. I’m not sure if we want to jump down to the number one on our list, which is organic. Let’s slow down for just a second and talk a little bit more about natural just for a minute. Because this happens with our food too. It’s not just in supplements, right?
TeriAnn: 16:51 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jonathan: 16:53 It’s unfortunate, and I’m not necessarily saying, “We need more regulation”, or anything like that. It’s just understanding what’s happening. People are sticking the word, “Natural”, on things, and it’s not, it just doesn’t mean anything.
TeriAnn: 17:05 Yeah. It’s not just in supplements either. I mean you’re seeing natural –
Jonathan: 17:08 It’s on the food. Or you see –
TeriAnn: 17:09 Cosmetics. Lotions. Diapers. Clothes. It’s on every … Household cleaners. I mean, people are using it everywhere.
Jonathan: 17:17 Right, and it doesn’t mean anything.
TeriAnn: 17:19 Yeah.
Jonathan: 17:22 Just be careful as you’re looking at that. Again, I encourage you to take a look at the ingredients on the supplement. Look at the ingredients in the food or whatever it is to actually see, is it listing that ingredient as organic? Which we’re going to get to. Or what is the actual ingredient? Is it a food? Is it something that you can pronounce? Is it real?
Jonathan: 17:46 Just be careful. People use nature. People use natural. They just use little buzzwords that, they just don’t mean anything.
TeriAnn: 17:53 Yeah. Well and there’s a lot of resources out there too. There’s so much information out there today. Whether it’s supplements or any other products you use, you can go online and you can look up, “What I should be looking for on labels. What really are naturally occurring ingredients in this product?”. Whether it’s cosmetics or lotions or shampoos, conditioners, supplements, food. It doesn’t matter. There’s just a lot of information out there, so get educated so you can read labels and truly understand what you’re getting.
Jonathan: 18:21 Agreed. Let’s move to number two, and that is testing. It’s very important as you are finding supplements or supplement companies that you want to trust, is what are their test results? What are they being tested for? Now anybody who’s making a supplement, they have to, they’re getting tests done by the manufacturer. But are you getting third party testing? Are you seeing those third party tests? It’s something that we do rigorously, which is third party testing on all of our supplements.
Jonathan: 18:55 What we’re really working to do right now is publish all of those results online. Because I feel like that’s a game changer moving forward. I think that, personally if I take any supplement that we don’t create, I want to see your test results. I want to see third party independent test results. What are the heavy metal levels in your supplement? Does it contain glyphosate? Does it have these other things in there that we know are harmful for our body?
TeriAnn: 19:22 Yeah, and I’ve got to pause for a second and go back to number three. I just thought of this as you were talking, and I don’t want to forget this. I want to talk about the word, “Natural”, for a second too. This goes back to fillers, synthetics, natural. Things on your labels. A lot of people in the industry are using the word, “Natural flavoring”, and also dyes. I don’t want to miss out on that on this episode, because it’s really really important.
TeriAnn: 19:49 Not only are they slapping, “Natural”, on labels. Like, “Oh. This is a natural product”. But also, people who are selling what they claim to be organic natural products are using, “Natural flavoring”. Which you have to be really careful when you’re reading that on a label. They’re trying to spruce up their products. Like, “This tastes really good, and you should take it. It’s natural and it tastes good”.
TeriAnn: 20:10 But you have to be really leery of that, and dyes. Dyes and the word, “Natural flavoring”, are big warning signs that that may not be the cleanest product for you to take. Sorry to go on a tangent, but I thought of that while you were talking and I didn’t want to miss out on covering that when it comes to the word, “Natural”, in product.
Jonathan: 20:26 While the reality is, and this is something that we saw as well. Because we sell a couple products that have a flavor. Our bone broth protein, we have a chocolate and a vanilla. Well, we could have flavored it with natural flavors, right? But then you don’t even know what you’re getting inside that. Rather than, “Let’s just flavor it with coco, or cacao”, right? For the chocolate.
TeriAnn: 20:46 Yeah.
Jonathan: 20:46 Or for true vanilla extract for the vanilla. There’s other companies out there that create bone broths, and create other collagens. They all have this flavor, and raspberry, and blueberry, and peanut butter. All of these other things. 99 percent of the time the flavoring is natural flavoring. Which is not, it’s not healthy. It’s not a clean way to flavor. If you’re going to flavor it with blue … If you want it to taste like blueberries, then put blueberries in it, right?
TeriAnn: 21:13 Yeah.
Jonathan: 21:13 Use a whole food. Use something for that flavoring, as opposed to natural flavor.
TeriAnn: 21:19 Why not, too? It’s like, why not put blueberries in your smoothie and get the added benefit of actually having organic blueberries in there with your bone broth smoothie? Anyway. I didn’t want to miss out on touching on that one. But going back to testing, yeah. It’s interesting. As we were out at Expo West, Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, we have a company called NFS testing our products. They test a lot of products in the industry.
TeriAnn: 21:48 They actually came by our booth and said that our products are some of the cleanest, if not the cleanest, they’re testing in the industry. That takes a lot of work and effort. Then it takes a lot of time, like you said, to test. It’s a lot of time and it’s a lot of money. But it’s something that we’re really passionate about. Not a lot of people in the industry are doing this and publishing their test results, and it’s something we’re actively pursuing right now. To publish our test results. We’ve gotten permission on our collagens, and we’re moving forward with other products.
TeriAnn: 22:18 Our collagens actually came back completely clean. I don’t know that you’re going to find cleaner collagens on the market right now. We’re very proud of that, but there’s work that goes into it. Whether you’re taking our supplements or another supplement line, we’ve talked about this in the past, it doesn’t really matter at this point. We’re just giving the information of, you need to push your supplement companies for test results.
TeriAnn: 22:44 They can get them, and they can give them to you. If they say, “We can’t produce those”, it’s actually not true. That’s something we’re –
Jonathan: 22:51 Well there’s a reason why they can’t produce those, right?
TeriAnn: 22:54 Yeah. For sure. For sure. I think that’s something you need to look at. When it comes to testing for us, I do want to talk a little bit about our process and what we do as a company. We have an amazing supply chain team. We get our test results, and we have a few different industry standards that we compare against. Because we have to to be competitive in our market, but we also want to be very clean.
TeriAnn: 23:18 One of those is Prop 65, which we’ve done a podcast on before. We’re not going to go down that rabbit hole today. You can go check that podcast out, and I actually highly recommend it. It’s very informational and educational. But we have extremely clean test results coming out. But even still, if we see a spike at all in any of these heavy metals or toxins that you can find in your supplements, we go back to our manufacturer and we say, “Find a new supplier”. Or, “What can we do to get these levels down?”.
TeriAnn: 23:48 This is an active process that happens on a weekly basis, I feel like we’re having these conversations and going through our products. Making them better, and finding out through our test results how we can improve as a company. Even though we’re one of the cleanest out there, we feel like we can do even better.
Jonathan: 24:05 Yeah, and to talk about the cleanliness and why that matters, there’s trends in the industry, right? Collagens was a big buzzword and trending about a year ago. We were six to eight months quote unquote late on that trend. It wasn’t because we were late. It was because it took a while to source clean enough ingredients that we were willing to put our name on, right?
Jonathan: 24:31 It’s the same thing, even with the bone broth. Bone broth hit its trend. We could get regular bone broth protein out of China for like $4 a pound, right? But it’s not clean. It won’t test clean. A lot of our competitors, that’s what they’re doing. They can make their product a lot cheaper, and we hear that too. “Why isn’t your product cheaper?”. Well, it just costs more money to source clean ingredients. Our bone broth protein costs us $23 a container, which is crazy. We sell it for I think $50 a container. But it’s USDA certified organic.
Jonathan: 25:05 The testing results are clean as a whistle across the board on that, and that matters. Same thing with our collagens. It took us a while on that trend. Here’s another trend that’s coming out. We were at Expo West, and there’s CBD products everywhere.
TeriAnn: 25:20 Yeah, huge trend right now. Everybody’s on that bandwagon.
Jonathan: 25:23 Everybody wants us to do a CBD. The problem is, there’s very few clean sources of CBD right now. It’s being produced … People are getting their ingredients all over the world. They’re not organic. They’re not clean. It hasn’t been … You know. There’s just not high enough quality around there enough for us to want to jump on that bandwagon. I’m sorry, jump on the … Create our own CBD product right now.
Jonathan: 25:51 We’re going to wait. We’re going to source it. We’re going to find the right stuff. We’re going to test it. We’ll eventually have a CBD product. But I’m not just going to jump on a bandwagon and throw it out there to make money.
Jonathan: 26:01 I say all that to say, look at the test results from your company. Whatever supplement you’re taking, ask for the test results. Again, we’re working to publish every single one of our products’ tests results online, which takes special permission. It’s not cheap to do. But it’s something that we’re really proud of, and that I don’t feel happens very much in the industry right now.
TeriAnn: 26:24 Yeah. Another thing I want to touch on with the testing is, we’re doing some really cool things as far as ingredients go. As we’ve been getting our test results back and working with our manufacturer very closely, we’re finding some really interesting things in the industry.
TeriAnn: 26:39 For example, in our turmeric product we just sourced an ashwagandha ingredient called KSM 66. The cool thing about this specific ingredient is, it has a ton of testing behind it. Not just for cleanliness and things like that, but placebo double blind studies and research behind it, to show that it’s one of the best ashwagandha ingredients out there on the market today.
TeriAnn: 27:03 A lot of our products right now, just to take it one step further, outside of even being the cleanest product, but also the product that actually is the most impactful when it comes to taking the product, and how it impacts your body and your health. We’re finding ingredients that are extremely clean and extremely powerful. They’re really making a difference when you take the product.
TeriAnn: 27:26 We have all of this research behind how it’s impacted people and their health, just from that one ingredient. In our products, with heavy hitting ingredients in those products, we’re finding the best ingredients. The cleanest ingredients. Not only that, but those with the most efficacy behind them in the industry. Which has been a really fascinating process for us and journey to go through when it comes to manufacturing our supplements.
Jonathan: 27:51 Yeah, absolutely. Why does that matter, right? Because there’s studies that are done on specific ashwagandhas. Right? What happens is, if you’re taking an ashwagandha supplement, the company might make claims. Like, “Well look at this study, and look at that study”. Well is that the actual ashwagandha that you’re using in your product, that is from that study?
TeriAnn: 28:14 Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.
Jonathan: 28:14 Or are you just referring to, “Well, ashwagandha in general …”? It makes a difference. Right? The KSM 66 is a specific strand that’s had all kinds of tests. All kinds of studies to back up their claims, and it’s organic, and it’s clean. That’s another thing that excites me, is when we can find ingredients like that. Again, it’s not cheap. But if these are supplements I’m going to take, supplements I’m going to give to my daughters, I’m going to give to my family, all of that, then why not create the best supplement out there?
Jonathan: 28:49 Let’s make sure that when we’re making claims that it’s going to do something, we can back it up. Because we use the actual ingredient from those studies.
TeriAnn: 28:57 Yeah. Yeah. It’s a good conversation. The rabbit hole goes deep, as you can tell. There’s so much that goes into manufacturing supplements. I just really challenge people to be educated. Because think about it. Before we go to number one, you’re putting these products into your body. You’re ingesting them. Are they either helping or hindering your health?
TeriAnn: 29:20 Not only that, but you’re paying all this money. Which, I talk about this all the time. If you’re going to spend all this money, spend it on something that works. Spend it on something that’s actually going to impact your health in a positive way. You’re basically paying for your lifelong health in supplements if you’re taking supplements. I just can’t say it enough. Be educated where you’re spending your money, and what your supplements are doing for your body.
Jonathan: 29:45 The reality is, as in life, you get what you pay for.
TeriAnn: 29:48 Yeah.
Jonathan: 29:48 Right?
TeriAnn: 29:48 True.
Jonathan: 29:49 That’s just the reality. We don’t charge what we charge to try to inflate the price by any means. It just costs us a lot of money to make it.
TeriAnn: 29:57 Yeah.
Jonathan: 29:57 Now yes, you could get a turmeric supplement for $30 on Amazon. But if your body can’t absorb it, then what’s the point, right? If you can spend $60 and get our turmeric that’s been fermented three different ways, to make sure that you’re getting that curcumin. That you’re getting it into your body. Plus it has the vitamin D, and you’re getting a patented ashwagandha, and you’re getting all of that. Yes, it costs twice as much as that other one, but it may be 10 times more bioavailable in your body, and so you’re getting 10 times the benefit as opposed to saving a little bit of money.
Jonathan: 30:32 All right, number one. The number one thing to look for, in my opinion, is an organic supplement. Right?
TeriAnn: 30:39 Organic, non GMO supplement.
Jonathan: 30:41 Yes. I mean, the reality is, these are just, these are plants that have been dehydrated. The water’s been extracted out. The fiber’s been extracted out. Then it’s put into a capsule. Well if it’s not organic, that means that you’re getting all the pesticides that were sprayed on that plant. All the herbicides that were sprayed on that plant. Is it a non GMO crop that you’re getting anyway, that hasn’t been genetically modified, so it’s the way nature intended it to be? Right? It’s not genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate or to any other kind of pesticide.
Jonathan: 31:19 All that’s important. Because again, if it’s not organic, then you’re just taking higher concentrations of these chemicals, and of this junk. Here’s a challenge that we face. In order for something to be USDA certified organic, it needs to be 95 percent or more organic, the ingredients. Our capsule products, the reason we don’t have a USDA certified organic seal on there, is because the capsule itself is not certified organic yet. The capsule itself makes up seven percent of the product. A lot of our products are 93 percent organic, because we can’t get the capsule itself organic yet.
TeriAnn: 32:00 All of the ingredients within the capsule are.
Jonathan: 32:02 Exactly. Our ingredients are, and this is why it’s important to read the label. Because our labels will state when any of the ingredients are organic. Now not 100 percent of our ingredients are organic. There’s some ingredients we just can’t get organic yet, or cannot be certified as organic. But rest assured, we’re 95 percent organic. If we can find it organic, it’s organic.
Jonathan: 32:26 It’s the same thing with our bone broth protein. Like I said earlier, we can get some crap bone broth out of China for $4 a pound. I just refuse to have that kind of quality.
TeriAnn: 32:36 Yeah. Well and chances are, if our product doesn’t have the USDA certified organic seal on it, or we have a seal on it which states that we have all organic ingredients, there are some of our products that don’t have either of those on there. It probably means that everyone else in the industry … It’s not even probably. It means everyone else in the industry can’t certify those organic either. The ingredients just cannot be certified organic.
Jonathan: 32:59 Right.
TeriAnn: 32:59 I just want to give examples so people are clear. Collagens, you can’t find that on the market, with the five sources and everything that’s in there. You can’t find that on the market USDA certified organic right now. The probiotics and enzymes, you can’t get certified organic ingredients when it comes to the strains and things like that. There are a few that you won’t be able to find USDA certified organic. But everything else in our line, ingredients, are organic if we can source them organic.
Jonathan: 33:30 We do have a new emblem that’s coming out on our newer labels that do say, “Made with organic ingredients”.
TeriAnn: 33:36 Right.
Jonathan: 33:36 Because they all quality for that. I just, again, it’s important. It’s tough for us, being in this industry. Because everybody and their brother wants you to make it cheaper, so that you can have high margins, so they can spend a lot of money on advertising, and all of that. It’s just challenging right now, to always fight back and say, “We need organic. We need organic”.
Jonathan: 33:58 The good news is, the more that we’re doing this, the more that we’re finding more farmers that are creating organic ingredients for us to use in our supplements. Which over time is going to drive down the price. But it’s just, to me, as with the food that you eat, anything that you’re putting in your body, put the clean version in there. Eat organic whenever you can. Take organic supplements whenever you can. I just think it’s one of the most important things to look for.
Jonathan: 34:25 Again, read the ingredients. If it doesn’t state that it’s an organic ingredient, it’s not organic. I would consider not taking that supplement.
TeriAnn: 34:34 Yeah. Organic is super important. To close this out today, our mission statement within our company is, “Empowering you organically”. We’re passionate about empowering people through content and information around their health, and then through healthy supplementation. But over the last few months I feel like, for myself, I think Jonathan and our entire team, as we’ve been sharing with our team more on company calls. As we’ve been sharing with the world more through podcasts. The standard we’re holding ourselves to. We’re basically putting a call to action out there for the rest of the supplement industry and for consumers of supplements, to hold their companies to higher standards.
TeriAnn: 35:13 Like Jonathan talked about, our manufacturer. I frequently call him a unicorn in the industry. Because it’s hard to find manufacturers who know about fermentation and sprouting, and really stick to the same standards we’re sticking to with organic ingredients. Having those relationships, and calling for that in the industry more. Not only is our mission within our company to empower you organically. It’s the name of our podcast and we’re passionate about people living organic natural healthy lives. But I think we’re on our own personal mission as a company at this point in time to bring people to a place where they are holding themselves to a higher standard.
TeriAnn: 35:52 We’re so passionate about it right now. As we go further down the rabbit hole and we learn more and more about the supplement industry, as we make our products cleaner and cleaner and we do more and more around bringing our products to the highest quality possible, we realize that this is not something a lot of people in the industry are doing.
TeriAnn: 36:12 Yes, we do get a lot of comments, “Why are your prices so high? Why are you charging me so much?”. It’s because we have the cleanest, highest quality products out there. Again, as the consumers use their dollar to make their voices heard, it will be more easily accessible to get organic ingredients and to create supplements that everyone can have and everyone can use. We’ll continue to hold ourselves to this standard and call out our competitors in the industry to hold themselves to the same standards.
Jonathan: 36:46 We do, we vote with our dollars. We vote with what we spend our money on.
TeriAnn: 36:49 Yeah, absolutely.
Jonathan: 36:52 I encourage everybody to buy their fruits and vegetables from their local farmers market. Right? Because when you vote that way, that money goes directly to those farmers. It shows them, “We want organic ingredients. Please grow more of it”. The more farmers that start growing more organic ingredients, the price starts going down. It makes it cheaper and it makes it easier for everybody to afford organic food.
Jonathan: 37:16 It’s the same thing with the supplements. Our margins are very minuscule compared to what everybody else in the industry does. I mean, most people out there are making their products for $3 to $5 a bottle, and they’re selling them for $40 or $50. They’re just crap, right? Their margins are high. They’re just about making some money. That’s not what we’re about. Yes, our prices are up. But it’s because it’s all organic. It’s because it’s all clean.
TeriAnn: 37:45 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Jonathan: 37:46 The goal here though is that we encourage other supplement companies to use organic ingredients as well. I have a very abundant mindset. I don’t believe, “It’s us or nothing”. Right? It’s like, there’s enough for everybody to go around. The more supplement companies use organic ingredients, the more farmers will grow those organic ingredients. The cheaper we can get the ingredients, which means the cheaper we can sell the products for to everybody listening.
Jonathan: 38:13 I say all that to say, you vote with your dollar, or whatever you’re spending your money on.
TeriAnn: 38:18 Yeah. Well, and I want to say too, we’re listening to people. We’re doing this podcast out of the need that we felt there was in the industry to educate people on information and content to improve their health. We’re creating the supplements we’re creating because of what people asked us to do, and what they were calling for.
TeriAnn: 38:35 Now we can’t un-know what we know. We get the testimonials coming in of how these supplements are changing people’s lives. We know the standard we’re holding ourselves to. It’s just moving us to take even bigger action, and make this an industry standard across the board by how we’re doing it, and asking others to do it the same. Because we hear what you’re saying. We hear how it’s impacting you. It makes a difference to us. Because of you who are listening, and also consumers of our products, we continue to do what we do because it’s so important to us.
Jonathan: 39:12 Absolutely. Okay, wrapping this up. Again, the five things. Make sure it is a whole food supplement, not a synthetic. Number four, bioavailability. Is it fermented? Is it sprouted? Different things like that that are going to make it more bioavailable.
TeriAnn: 39:30 Delivery systems.
Jonathan: 39:31 The delivery systems. Be cautious of the word, “Natural”, and, “Natural flavors”, especially. Number two, ask for test results. If you’re going to take a supplement, you’re going to put it in your body, ask for some results. See what those heavy metals come back as. See if they have glyphosate in their products. Things like that.
Jonathan: 39:51 Then the number one most important thing, in my opinion, is to have an organic supplement. Whatever supplements you’re out there taking, I encourage you to try to check off all five of those boxes. With that said, I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. Please make sure you subscribe on iTunes. That way you get automatically notified any time you have a new podcast. Like us if you’re watching this on YouTube. Leave us a comment. Let us know what you’re thinking. Share it with your friends and family. We appreciate any love that you’re willing to give us, to show us that you like what we’re doing over here.
Jonathan: 40:26 TeriAnn, thank-you so much. Any last words?
TeriAnn: 40:28 No, I’m good. Have a beautiful day, everyone.
Jonathan: 40:31 Thanks everyone.