The truth might surprise you.
It might surprise you to know what is really in most supplements in the wellness industry. Even those that claim to be “natural” aren’t as natural as they may seem. In fact, the word "natural" isn’t even a regulated word! It was this discovery that led Well Told Health founder and CEO Monica Ruffo to create completely clean and highly efficacious supplements crafted from organic plants and nothing else.
So, what exactly is in your supplements? We have prepared a run-down of four common ingredients that are used in most supplements – but don’t need to be:
1. Fillers and Excipients
Have you noticed the inconspicuous “other ingredients” section at the bottom of supplement labels? The ingredients in these sections are typically fillers and excipients. Fillers are added to supplements to make them appear fuller in the capsule – think of starch, for example. Common excipients include binding agents, preservatives, colours, and sweeteners. These kinds of ingredients have several functions for the product, such as extending shelf life, but have no functional benefit on the health of your body.
Some synthetic ingredients are easy to spot on labels, while others go by the same name as ingredients found in natural supplements and can therefore be harder to detect. The bottom line is that natural nutrients come directly from whole foods, while synthetic nutrients are artificially produced in a lab. Natural vitamin D, like the kind in our Plant-Based Vitamin D, is known as “ergocalciferol” and often lists the source: “ergocalciferol, from Organic mushroom, Agaricus bisporus”. In contrast, synthetic Vitamin D may be listed on the label as “Irradiated Ergosteral” or “Calciferol”.
Isolates are, as the name suggests, nutrients that have been isolated from their source. While this may sound efficient, it can actually be counterproductive for your body. Whole food supplements contain tens of thousands of nutrients that work synergistically to nourish and invigorate. When the nutrient remains in its whole food ecosystem, your body can recognize it as food and digest and use it as such. Isolated nutrients cannot do this work on their own. In fact, some isolates can harm the body. For example, while beta-carotene is highly beneficial when consumed in its natural whole veggie source (e.g., sweet potatoes), the high-dose isolated nutrient has been shown to increase cancer risk1.
4. Animal Products
Many supplements contain animal-based ingredients for no good reason. The most common example is capsule shells, which often are made from gelatin. Even supplements that are otherwise vegan are often encapsulated in a gelatin-based shell. Additionally, many functional ingredients, including those claiming to be “natural”, are in fact animal-based. For example, it may come as a surprise that most “natural” melatonin is harvested from the bovine pineal gland – aka cow brains!
You know exactly what is in our supplements
Our supplements – or wellness boosters as we like to think of them – are made from organic plants and nothing else. Seriously, that’s it. All our ingredients are listed on the front of our bottles, down to the vegan capsule shell. Containing nothing but leaves, seeds, roots, berries and flowers, our formulations are powerhouses in terms of efficacy. We use only whole plants that have been dehydrated and milled, harnessing the full combined effect of the tens of thousands of nutrients. Because they are made from nothing but plants, in addition to their specific functional benefits, all of our products do double duty as they are all very high in antioxidants for extra everyday protection. And, of course, they contain no fillers or excipients, no synthetics, no isolates, and no animal products. We are always Well Told so you know exactly what you are putting in your body.
1. De Luca LM, Ross SA. Beta-carotene increases lung cancer incidence in cigarette smokers. Nutr Rev. 1996;54(6):178-180. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.1996.tb03926.x