The Difference in Supplement Companies
The average American purchases many of their supplements from Wal-Mart or the local pharmacy. Most people then wonder why the supplement that they purchased made no difference in their health. Sadly, when it comes to the average person’s health, most people will always go for the least expensive option. When it comes to buying the newest television, people will always spend the extra money for the best one. There is a huge difference in supplement companies and the quality of the supplements that they produce.
There is even a difference between generic medicine and patented medicine that is sold in this country, even though the FDA monitors both. The generic formula for Wellbutrin XL has been known to have increased side effect profile and was found to have decreased efficiency in the people who used it. It took FIVE years for the FDA to admit that there was a difference between the two medications and that the generic will finally be brought up to the patented standard. 1 2
You should always check the country of origin that your medicine /supplement are produced. You want it to be produced in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, EU, Israel, or Canada. If a product is listed as being produced anywhere else, you might want to pay more for the non-generic medicine or a different supplement made in one of these listed countries. Most of the countries listed have strict laws that regulate the production of medication and supplements, which may lead to a higher quality that you can trust.
A decent indication of an honest supplement company is if they follow at the very least GMP practices. Good manufacturing practices are a specific set of protocols that the FDA determined that were needed for the safety of producing supplements. GMP ensures that supplements you purchase are not contaminated and are of both the right dosage and potency. It is also always good to purchase a supplement that is pharmaceutical grade if possible along with it having a GMP seal. If a supplement is made from pharmaceutical grade materials, it means that the supplement could have been used in common medications or that the materials are of very high quality. 3
Niche Companies That I Trust
These supplement companies tend to specialize in a small market or only make one type of supplement. These are the companies I highly recommend.
- Sun Warrior
- Enzymedica: Make the best digestive enzymes.
- Nordic Naturals: Make the some of the best fish oils!
- Upgraded Self
- Georges Aloe Vera
- North American Herb and Spice
- Clean Chlorella
- Gaia Herbs: Great NC Based Herb Company. I live in NC and have been to their farms. Top Notch!
- GHC Supplements
- American Health
Supplement Company Tier System (Non-Niche Companies)
- Pure Encapsulations
- Thorne Research
- Seeking Health
- Designs for Health
- Health Naturally
- Xymogen / NuMedica
- Jarrow Formulas
- Douglas Labs
- Klaire Labs
- Healthforce Nutritionals
- Reserveage Organics
- Life Extension
- Doctor’s Best
- Renew Life
- Enzymatic Therapy
- Source Naturals
- Nature’s Plus
- Garden of Life
- New Chapter
Low – Mid Tier:
- Country Life
- Vitamin Shoppe Brand
- Pure Formula’s Brand
- Nature’s Way
- GNC Brand
- Vitamin World Brand
- Big Box Store and Pharmacy Brands
My Top Six Supplement Companies
The following recommendations are a mixture of supplement companies from the listed above tiers. Even though most supplements that are produced by Designs for Health are better than those produced by NOW, they did not make the list because I also factored in the cost of supplements. Now might not be the best supplement company, but, if you do not have a lot of money you can trust them for most of your supplements instead of buying the local vitamin or big box store supplements.
Number 6 Company: NOW
NOW produces high-quality supplements, they rarely use fillers, and their supplements reasonably priced. NOW is based out of Illinois and is a great American company! Their supplement production facility follows GMP practices in the manufacturing of their supplements and also offers body care products and sports supplements. NOW has a free online university through their website that helps consumers learn more about the supplements they are taking.
Number 5 Company: Life Extension
Life Extension is one of the oldest US-based supplement companies and manufactures their products in Florida. They are a great supplement company offering a lot of niche supplements, as well as great proprietary supplements. Life Extension does a lot of research when it comes to their supplements–more than any other supplement company in the United States does! They occasionally put fillers in their products, but they maintain a high standard of excellence. I recommend that everyone sign up for the Life Extension free magazine. It is full of great information and studies. Their production facility also follows GMP practices.
Number 4 Company: Jarrow Formulas
Even though Jarrow Formulas is more prone to put fillers in their products like magnesium stearate, they are still one of the best supplement companies. Jarrow Formulas is located in California and falls under the GMP for their facilities and supplements. They also tend to use pharmaceutical grade resources, which are the highest-grade materials you can get. For Jarrow, I highly recommend their probiotics, amino acids, and ubiquinol.
Number 3 Company: Seeking Health
Founded by the brilliant Dr. Ben Lynch, this newer supplement supplier is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Dr. Lynch holds a bachelor of science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington and a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University, the nation’s leading naturopathic medical school. Seeking Health is an American based company. Most of their supplements use very little fillers and are of the highest quality. My son uses their chewable children’s multivitamin. Great company founded by a pioneer in the health field!
Number 2 Company: Thorne Research
I trust Thorne Research almost as much as the number one company, but they occasionally add fillers to their products. The fillers they add to their products are usually beneficial to the body (magnesium citrate, magnesium laurate.) Nevertheless, they are a great American based company out of Idaho. They also practice GMPs as well as in-house laboratory testing publicizing the results afterward. Thorne Research also makes one of the only multivitamins that I can recommend, and I take their B vitamin complex daily.
Number 1 Company: Pure Encapsulations
Pure Encapsulations will always be my favorite company, but usually their supplements the most expensive. They are located in Massachusetts, and they are a reputable American company. Their capsules are made from hypoallergenic cellulose. The best thing about them is that most of their products have no fillers in them as opposed to their cheaper competitors. These fillers can be very bad for you to ingest and include polypropylene glycol (antifreeze,) magnesium stearate (rancid fat source,) soy lecithin (GMO,) etc. Their products are also GMP certified, and they have an “open plant” policy, which means anyone can come visit their plant. If you go to their website, they list all ingredients in their supplements and even their country of origin. Pure encapsulations are truly the best supplement company!