With countless options for vitamin and supplement products, distinguishing high-quality products from the rest can be challenging. If deciding between two similar products, it may be intuitive to select the product with a higher dose of active ingredients.
However, more ingredients do not always equate to a higher-quality product. “Overdosing” ingredients is quite common in this industry and can be problematic in a few different ways.
Too much of some ingredients can be dangerous
First and foremost, we can develop health issues if we consume too much of some vitamins. Vitamins A and K, for example, are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning any excess that isn’t immediately put to use by the body gets stored in fat cells. That compares to most other vitamins that are “water-soluble”, in which excess is simply excreted through urine.
Having too much Vitamin A stored in our fat cells can cause a multitude of health problems such as vision impairment, liver damage, nausea and vomiting, and more.
Vitamin K is responsible for the body’s regulation of blood viscosity, or thickness. Too much Vitamin K can make our blood too thick, causing issues like blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.
Too much of one ingredient can affect your body's absorption of other ingredients
It’s also important to properly dose each ingredient in vitamin/supplement products to ensure the ingredients play well together.
The calcium included in daily multivitamins is a great example of this. Multivitamin supplements contain several vitamins and minerals that the body works to absorb, and while calcium is included in most multivitamins (and should be), too much of it can interfere with the other ingredients.
Calcium carbonate is one of the best ways to consume the mineral calcium and is therefore the most prevalent form of the mineral found in vitamin/supplement products. Aside from the benefits of calcium as it relates to bone health and more, calcium carbonate is also very effective at neutralizing stomach acid (it’s the main active ingredient found in "TUMS", which help relieve heartburn and acid reflux).
Some stomach acid is needed for the digestive system to absorb the nutrients we consume, so if a multivitamin contains too much calcium, it can hinder the body’s ability to absorb the other essential vitamins and minerals in that product.
Too much of some ingredients can be a waste of money
Lastly, overdosed ingredients can simply be a waste of money for the consumer. Biotin is one of the most common examples of this. Many people turn to biotin supplements to support hair growth. Biotin supplements can be found in a wide range of dosages, some as high as 10,000 micrograms per capsule.
When comparing biotin supplements, it could be easy to believe the product with the most biotin per capsule is the most effective. The product with a higher dose is likely priced higher as well, and many consumers would be willing to pay that higher price.
However, our bodies are only capable of absorbing about 300-320 micrograms of biotin daily. Furthermore, biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so whatever the body can’t absorb will be excreted through urine. Therefore, the consumers paying more for the 10,000 micrograms are excreting out roughly 9,700 micrograms of biotin, literally flushing that money down the toilet!
Underdosing is also a common issue
The flip side to overdosed ingredients is underdosing, which is also common in the vitamin and supplement industry.
Turmeric is a good example of this, as it’s a popular ingredient among consumers, but a relatively expensive ingredient to the vitamin/supplement manufacturers. Many products contain just a small amount of turmeric – called a “dusting” – which gives the manufacturers the ability to advertise the fact that turmeric is in their supplement. However, the little amount included may not be worth what consumers are paying for the product.
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It can be tough for consumers to know if the products they’re buying are properly dosed, which is one of the main reasons we chose to start formulating our own products. Based on clinical research and a pharmaceutical background, our products include exactly what you need, in just the right doses, and nothing you don’t.