The tale of 2 supplements

May 19, 2019

I am often asked what the benefit is of getting practitioner-only supplements and not the Costco/Walgreens/Walmart type.

Quality control and ingredients are two areas where practitioner-only supplements shine. The companies are held to stricter standards, or they hold higher standards anyway, even without it being mandated by the controlling authorities.

Many studies have been made with vitamins and other supplements, finding large amounts of fillers and not much in the way of actual ingredients. Just Google them, they will show up.

Today, I wanted to examine probiotics.

To break it down, here is the side by side of 2 very similarly marketed probiotic supplements.

The first one is widely available anywhere, and the breakdown below is of the added ingredients.

The second one is of a good practitioner-only company, again looking only at the added ingredients.

The goal when taking probiotics is to repair the gut.

One has to wonder what all the ingredients in the first product will do to an already inflamed organ system. :/

Read on and see for yourself.

Product 1: Align Probiotic

Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is a term for refined wood pulp and is used as a texturizer, an anti-caking agent, a fat substitute, an emulsifier, an extender, and a bulking agent in food production. The most common form is used in vitamin supplements or tablets.

is loosely described as vegetable-derived cellulose. ... In other words, it's a synthetic version of gelatin derived from cellulose made from plant fibers such as wood from tree trunks that's been extracted and then treated with various chemicals throughout the production process to make a polymer.

Sucrose: cane or beet sugar (usually genetically modified)

Magnesium stearate is most commonly used in supplement manufacturing as a ‘flow agent,’ which helps ensure that the equipment runs smoothly and the ingredients stay blended together in the correct proportions. (Not really a concern but it would be nice not to have it added at all.)

Sodium caseinate is the biochemical name for casein, which is a type of protein found in the milk from all mammals. Casein is also used as a food additive and for industrial purposes. Some people are allergic to sodium caseinate, and it has been linked to some human diseases, mainly autism and gastrointestinal problems.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a naturally occurring mineral used as a bright white pigment for paint, in the food industry as a coloring, in sunscreens and cosmetics, and in other industrial uses. So your probiotic looks really white…. :(

Trisodium citrate dihydrate is widely used in foods, beverages and various technical applications mainly as buffering, sequestering or emulsifying agent.

Propyl gallate is used as a preservative in products that contain edible fats. It is classified as GRAS even though a National Toxicology Program study reported an association with tumors in male rats and rare brain tumors in two female rats (NTP 1982). These findings do not establish a causal link between propyl gallate and cancer, but they raise important questions about whether this chemical should be considered safe. A 2014 opinion by the European Food Safety Authority concluded that the available reproductive studies on propyl gallate are outdated and poorly described. In addition, there is incomplete data on whether propyl gallate is an endocrine disruptor; some evidence suggests it may have estrogenic activity (EFSA 2014; Amadasi 2009; ter Veld 2006).

Gellan gum is similar to xanthan gum in that it is produced by bacterial fermentation. A rat study showed that it caused gut issues. If you have a sensitive gut, then you should avoid it just to be on the safe side. ... Avoid both tara and gellan gums, because the studies done on these are inconclusive.

Product 2: Flora 12+

Rice starch is a natural polymeric carbohydrate and the main component of rice. In its native form it is an insoluble white powder consisting of both amylose and amylopectin.

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose is a chemically modified cellulose polymer that is off-white in color and considered safe for human consumption. It is most commonly used as an alternative to gelatin and gluten in vegan-friendly products.

Advice: Open capsule, take contents and discard shell. Easy to avoid.
Ascorbic acid: vitamin C...
I rest my case…. Which will you pick??

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