7 tips on how to choose high quality supplements
The world of vitamins and supplements has grown significantly in the last decade, with new brands popping up on social media and in store almost every week - particularly in the plant-based health category – which can make it an overwhelming and confusing exercise to decipher which brand to buy and trust. Vitamins and supplements are a decent investment from your wallet, so you want to make sure that what you’re ingesting and putting in your body is premium in quality, purity and effectiveness. So, how do you assess whether a supplement brand is premium or not, here’s a quick guide on what to look out for.
1. What are the capsules made of?
All our encapsulated products are made using vegetable capsules*. Our vegetarian capsules are made using vegetable cellulose (a fibrous substance derived from plants), so they contain absolutely no animal products. Vege capsules can also be digested quicker, allowing the ingredients to be released swiftly for your body to utilise. They also have a higher tolerance to heat and humidity, and are more stable when stored for longer periods. Our capsules are clear because we don’t use any colouring agents like titanium dioxide (which is used to make capsules white), and you can see the contents of the capsule.
*With the exception of Astazan Antioxidant. Due to the ingredients this formula demands a gelatin capsule to remain stable and intact. We are on the hunt for a solution and hope to change to a vege cap soon.
2. Excipients + fillers – look at what’s NOT in it
Excipients are extra substances added to supplements, such as fillers, stabiliser, flow agents, acidulants and more. They are often referred to as inactive ingredients and have no therapeutic effect.
Some excipients are required in minute amounts to prevent the ingredients from sticking to machinery when they’re being manufactured. Others are used to protect the stability and quality of the ingredient for the duration of its life.
Some excipients are also used as fillers to bulk up ingredients. This means a brand can put in less of the active ingredient, thereby reducing the cost of a supplement at the same time making their capsules look full, giving a false impression, that you’re getting what you paid for, when in fact you’re not.
Here at Lifestream we only use excipients where absolutely necessary for manufacturing and we do not use any fillers to bulk up any of our products. That’s why you might notice certain Lifestream capsules appear to be very slightly under filled when you turn the capsule. This is not a mistake, they have in them all the active ingredients we say they do, without any fillers.
3. Look at how much of the active ingredients are in it
If you’re after a specific ingredient, perhaps if you’ve been researching it or have been recommended it by a health professional, look at the label and see how much of that particular active ingredient is in the supplement per serve, and how many capsules or tablets you’ll need to take to reap the optimal benefits. When we create our formulas we always make sure that our recommended dose will not only give you a therapeutic benefit, but they are also present in safe amounts.
4. Check for quality ingredients + where they source it from
Low-quality nutrients are poorly absorbed. Do your research and look at where the manufacturer source their ingredients from. Look for high quality ingredients that are minimally processed and scientifically researched. It also pays to check for ingredients that have high bioavailability (how well the ingredients get absorbed and utilised by your body) and that the ingredients will work with the body as they intended to.
Lifestream are particular about the quality of the materials used in our products. Our chosen ingredients and raw materials come only from highly reputable certified growers and suppliers, are fully tested, and are certified organic wherever possible. We do not compromise on quality – this is our trademark and our products are a testament to this commitment.
5. Ensure its non-GMO
GMOs are genetically modified organisms. We recommend you always avoid anything that has been genetically modified, including your supplements. Not only are there concerns for your health, GMO’s aren’t great for the environment either. If it doesn’t say ‘non-GMO’ on the label, it’s not non-GMO. All Lifestream products are non-GMO.
6. Say no to additives, artificial flavours and colours
We recommend you look for products with no added sugars, or artificial colours, and flavours. Also keep an eye out for allergens too like gluten, wheat, dairy and soy as these can often be used in supplements. Lifestream products contain no artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners. At Lifestream, we’re careful to make sure we let you know the allergens that are not included, which is shown on the back of all our labels. We also try to avoid them all wherever possible.
7. Are they a reputable company and how long have they been in business?
Check customer reviews and consult your health care professional or Naturopath for recommendations, especially if you are thinking about trying something new. Do some research on the brands you are reviewing and look for things like how long has the company been in business for? Do they have an educated professional, such a Naturopathic practitioner on their team? What is the background of the founder? Are they someone you could take reputable health advice from?
Lifestream has been operating since 1980. We were the first company to bring Spirulina and Aloe Vera juice to the Australasian (NZ + Australia) market and both continue to be our top sellers today, over 40 years later. With this history comes a great deal of expertise and knowledge and a trusted reputation for quality. Lifestream remains a completely New Zealand-owned company specialising in bioavailable, ethically grown and sourced, plant-based health food products. We are proud to be known and respected as a company with the highest integrity, that consistently uses only the finest quality ingredients to produce the most premium products on the market today. We are committed to the most natural and effective nutrition for the human body.