Health supplements have always held significant space in the health & wellness world, gaining further popularity in recent years with expanding research and innovative brands on the rise.
With the wide range of options available on the market, it has become more and more challenging to know which supplements are safe, clean, effective, and even necessary for your individual needs.
Most of the supplements we find on the shelves, more likely than not, contain one additive or another. Whilst not all additives are incredibly harmful, a wide selection of them are, and knowing what to look out for is essential. It’s important to note that not all supplements contain these additives, but we mention them for added awareness when choosing your supplements. Some supplements may only contain the active ingredients and may be free from additives, such as various brands we stock.
Why Additives Are Used
In short, the purpose of additives are to improve the appearance, texture and taste of various supplements. Additives also extend the shelf life and prevent spoiling, allowing the supplement to last longer.
The use of additives in supplements is more often than not regulated by a governing body in the health industry, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) locally.
This ensures that manufacturers adhere to specific regulations and guidelines when using additives in their supplements.
As a general rule, consumers should always opt to read the label before buying a given supplement. Furthermore, consulting with a healthcare professional is key before taking any supplements to ensure they are both safe and effective for their individual needs.
Greenwashing The Truth
With individuals striving to maintain optimal health and balanced wellness, there is mass appeal to nourish our bodies from every angle. However, many consumers can fall victim to the greenwashing of supplements that can end up doing more harm than good.
Greenwashing is a play on the term ‘whitewashing’, which is the deliberate concealing of certain unwanted or unpleasant facts surrounding something. With greenwashing, a company or manufacturer aims to come across as cleaner, more eco-friendly, vegan or organic by using selective terms that hold positive connotations to conceal the truth. By making these claims, companies can successfully deceive consumers as the words seem believable. The truth could be anything but this, with the company not being environmentally friendly at all nor having clean, vegan or organic products that meet the stated claims.
Food For Thought
It’s important that as a consumer you feel empowered to know what your supplements truly contain. With an expanded understanding of supplements and what goes into them, you can better fuel your body. We’re here to help you with just that, knowing what to look out for on the ingredient lists.
Supplements can contain various additives, which are used for different reasons, such as enhancing the product’s taste, texture, stability, and appearance. Additives are substances added to a product that are not the primary active ingredients.
It must be noted that we are listing the natural additives that can be found, and not all additives in general. There are various other additives that supplements can contain that have not been listed. The most common types of additives found in supplements can include:
Typically used to improve the taste of supplements, the rethought behind adding this is to make supplements easier to consume. Widely used in chewable tablets and liquid supplements, consumers may choose between various flavours on the shelf. Flavouring agents that are commonly found can include natural and artificial flavours, such as vanilla, peppermint, and fruit flavours.
Emulsifiers and Stabilizers
Emulsifiers and stabilizers are typically added to supplements as a way to help maintain their stability and consistency. Commonly used in powder and liquid supplements, they include lecithin, glycerol, and xanthan gum.
Binders and Fillers
These are added as a way to provide the necessary bulking and structure of a supplement. Most commonly used in capsule and tablet forms of supplements, the binders hold the ingredients together and the fillers add extra volume to create the size. Common examples include cellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, and silica.
Being used to give supplements a specific colour that enhances their appearance, these agents are used in chewable tablets and gummies. The standard colouring agents include titanium dioxide, iron oxide, and FD&C dyes.
Lubricants are added to supplements to prevent them from sticking to each other and the machinery during manufacturing. Lubricants that are commonly used include magnesium stearate and stearic acid.
Preservatives are typically added to supplements to extend their shelf life, and they act as a preventative measure against oxidation and microbial growth. Being more commonly used in liquid supplements, some common preservatives include vitamin E, ascorbic acid, and potassium sorbate.
Choosing to switch over to clean supplements can make significant changes to your overall health daily. With more natural, vegan or organic supplement options becoming readily available, making a better choice has never been easier. These cleaner alternatives to regular supplements are considered better for a few reasons:
Firstly, when looking at the overall health benefits these cleaner supplements offer, it is clear why they are a better option. Plant-based, organic and more natural supplements contain less or no harmful chemicals, compounds and additives we don’t want, while they hold all the positive compounds our bodies benefit from. Containing more antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibre than animal-based supplements, they have been proven to also reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.
When manufactured and produced in more environmentally conscious ways, environmental sustainability is front and centre as a major difference. The production of animal-derived supplements sees significant negative environmental impacts in various forms. It is not uncommon that deforestation, water pollution and excess greenhouse gas emissions can be accounted for. By opting for more natural, clean supplements, we can reduce our collective environmental footprint and truly make a difference.
No Animal Products
For brands that are 100% plant-based, they contain no animal products. These certified vegan supplements are made without any animal-derived ingredients or animal byproducts that can be harmful to our health. Being suitable for both people following a vegan or vegetarian diet, or for people just looking for healthier supplement options, they also offer the added precaution of eliminating the risk of possible contamination with animal-borne diseases.
It’s important to note that not all vegan supplements are created equal, and it’s still important to choose high-quality products that meet your individual needs. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
Our Brands Of Choice
Using superfood compounds instead of synthetic fillers, Terranova is a leading brand in innovation in the supplement world. By aiding bodily function through nourishment, these supplements take health to new heights, providing added benefits all in one.
With 100% plant-based supplements, Earthier is a trusted brand that manufactures a range of purely vegan supplements. Adding to your overall health, these supplements take away any worry about animal products and their effects, even in trace amounts in supplement form.
Manufacturing organic supplements, Viridian is a popular choice and with good reason. For those looking at clean supplements free from pesticides, chemicals and other nasty additives, this is the choice to opt for.
Offering a range of supplements and health products, Natures Plus focuses on nutritional well-being and trusted transparency. Their Source of Life Garden range is an excellent option for those looking for concentrated plant-based, organic supplements to aid their day-to-day functioning.
The Honest Choice
Whether you are looking to support your gut and digestion, boost your immune system, or enhance your daily performance, supplementing is vital in leading a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. By having the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions, you can build a supplement regimen that works for you. Remember, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional prior to starting any supplement to ensure that it is safe, compatible and right for you.
Organic Choice is a trusted supplier of quality supplements and organic products across the board. To learn more about what we’re all about, explore our website today. Otherwise, if you have any questions, you can get in touch with us, and we will gladly assist.