Not all herbal supplements are created equal. Learn why sourcing is important and what to pay attention to when looking for the best choice.
Not all supplements are the “good” kind. Look out for chemical fillers, dyes, and other toxins that could actually end up harming vs. helping.
Discover why liquid tinctures (like Elix Cycle Balance) are better than most pills and powders.
If you take a dietary supplement, you’re not alone.
According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 79% of U.S. female adults take dietary supplements, with vitamins and minerals being the most commonly consumed category. A 2017 survey showed women largely take supplements to improve their overall health and well being, followed by filling nutrient gaps and helping bone health.
The supplement industry is expected to grow to $230.7 billion by 2027, but are supplements actually benefiting our health?
We know that so many vitamins and minerals essential to our health can be found in nature - from soaking in vitamin D on a sunny day to eating vitamin C through citrus fruits. There are some nutrients, though, that are more difficult to get in our daily diets and/or to receive in quantities that can have a medicinal effect on balancing our hormones and boosting immune health. We can benefit from adding more of these naturally-occurring nutrients to our diets especially with herbal supplements. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 79% of U.S. female adults take dietary supplements, with vitamins and minerals being the most commonly consumed category. A 2017 survey showed women largely take supplements to improve their overall health and well being, followed by filling nutrient gaps and helping bone health.
5 things to look for in supplements
But not all herbal supplements are created equal. Here we’ve broken down 5 things to look for when choosing to add a supplement to your wellness routine.
- Is there a clinically backed approach to formulation? Find out how much research and trial study has been conducted to confirm the listed ingredients are doing what they claim. At Elix, we reviewed 246 clinical trials and studies to ensure we're using ingredients proven safe and effective to lower inflammation, balance your hormones, and support menstrual and immune health.
- Does the supplement brand have sourcing standards that ensure they’re starting off with high-quality raw ingredients? Look for Organic, Non-GMO, tested for purity and potency on product information labels.
- Are they using the whole plant? Shortcuts like using excessive heat or using chemicals and fillers may lead to degradation of potency and/or complete removal of the benefits of any given herb. At Elix, we always start with using the whole plant: see more here.
- How is the supplement manufactured? Make sure it's a clean method of extraction, free of harsh chemicals/solvents, and produced in an FDA-certified facility.
- Double-check that your medicine cabinet is free from chemicals and solvents on the “no no” ingredients list: Say no to hydrogenated oil, artificial colors, magnesium stearate, and sodium benzoate
Why liquid tinctures are better than pills & powders
Form factor and bioavailability are other important considerations when choosing to supplement. The Elix liquid tinctures are more bioavailable than the majority of capsules, gummies, and powders. In liquid form, nutrients disintegrate faster and are more easily digestible so distribute into our systems most efficiently. It’s also easier to control dosage with liquids. When these supplements are put together in pills and powders, we see that not all the ingredients are properly extracted, high temperature boiling can destroy key nutrients, and they often contain fillers that prevent proper absorption.
How supplements are regulated
If supplementation is the right choice for you, it’s important to understand this under-regulated industry.
That’s because, in the world of supplements, the FDA has a very small role. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA,) the FDA isn’t authorized to review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they reach stores.
The FDA has a purely reactionary role. The organization will only discontinue a supplement if a significant number of people report negative side effects from a product. DSHEA even allows language on packaging such as “supports immune health” or “works better than a prescription drug,” which leads to more confusion than clarity.
This makes it more important than ever to be informed shoppers.
In addition to looking for third-party tested supplements, be sure to read the ingredients before making a purchase decision. Consumer Reports shares another excellent list of supplement ingredients to avoid, including Coltsfoot, Germander, Kava, and more that you may see frequently in ingredient lists.
The Elix Quality Difference
Our unique approach to supplements means we take a clinical approach to the wisdom of ancient herbs to get the most out of nature’s offerings. We always use only the freshest, whole herbs, organic, and sourced ethically. Each ingredient is processed individually, and we use low, slow extraction to obtain maximum benefits from each plant. Our medicinal blend of herbs is 5-10x more potent than other low-dose pills, powders, or gummy - and free of synthetic chemicals, sugars, and fillers.
Try Elix Cycle Balance for a holistic supplement solution and feel the difference for yourself. Take the health assessment to get started today.This article was reviewed by Dr. Liem Le.
Dr. Liem Le is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist Integrative Medicine Department at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. He is a part of the teaching staff for the Masters program for the Functional Medicine and Human Nutrition program at University of Western States. Dr. Le is currently working on his fellowship in Integrative Medicine with the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine via a scholarship from the White House to complete the initiative.