{rethinking} supplements because of poor claims

by michelle on October 11, 2011

hello friends,

thanks for all the sweet and encouraging comments and emails about our skin issues. just as we said our face was getting better we got a few more pimples. looks like our journey is going to be a long one. Lori is just starting to worry because she does not want to have these skin issues for her wedding in the spring! so we are determined to figure it all out!

moving onto today’s topic. one that hit home for Lori and I.

we sometimes watch the Dr. Oz show. and last week he did a show about health scams! and it only confirmed what Lori and I fear about supplements.

we are not huge supplement takers. for one main reason – are they working? again which Dr. Oz confirmed on his show, that not all pills contain what they claim!

pretty scary eh?

the only real supplements we take are a liquid Vitamin D3, probiotiocs, digestive enzyme, Vitamin B12, and recently Omega oil blend. after seeing the Dr. Oz show we are rethinking our supplements.

are they really containing what they say? what companies to really trust?

we plan to do some more research on the companies we are currently using for our supplements to see if we can figure out if they are a GOOD brand. in terms that their products really do contain what they claim on the bottle.

that is one reason why Lori and I started up our company, Twin Cakes. because we have sensitive stomachs and did not like nor trust many products on the market. being in the food industry we can now see how companies can get away with lying about their products. how they can fill their products with bad, harmful ingredients!  it is scary how many companies out there do this.

our raw brownie bites

at Twin Cakes you will never found fillers. you will only find us getting the best ingredients we can and using them in our products. we would never sell something we would not eat ourselves! as business owners, especially in the food industry we find it sad that so many companies still put unnecessary ingredients in their products. we are not sure how those owners sleep at night? or how people can still buy those products?

it is just scary that food these days are not what they were a few years ago. and how now we have to rely on supplements to help, but then our supplements are not what they are anymore? yikes now what to do

here are the links to the few segments of the Dr. Oz show that we watched and could not believe what we heard.

first was the scam of probiotiocs and coconut water. how so many companies claims are wrong on the bottles!

second was the scam of Omega-3′s. how again the claims on bottles were wrong.

your turn.

what do you think about supplements and the false claims on bottles? do you trust the brand you are taking? do you ever question what is exactly in the pills, supplements, or food products you are eating?

we know from our personal experience that we have taken a pill, we think it is working, but over time we notice no improvements. so just maybe that pill we thought was helping us was not!

till next time,







{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole @ Making Good Choices October 11, 2011 at 6:11 am

I agree. I only take vitamins that are from real food and are plant based. My favorite multi is the Raw One brand. Synthetic vitamins are scary and I won’t take them anymore!
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Felicia (Natural + Balanced) October 11, 2011 at 7:06 am

It is soo difficult trying to find a company that is real and honest when it comes to supplements. There is no way we can fully get all the proper vitamins in our diet, even with as many vegetables we try to eat.
I have anxiety issues and found some good supplements on amazonherb.com- all organic, alkaline herbs. I started taking calmazon (for relaxation) lunazon (to help with my period issues) and aquazon (for the benefits from sea algae). Just some suggestions because I too am so careful with supplements. The other supplement I trust is Norwegian Cod LIver Oil made by Carlson Laboratories- the liquid lemon- for Omega 3′s. I also recommend CoQ10 to patients with heart issues and a few other supplements, but again you have to be so careful. You ladies eat so well, and I hope you can soon figure out your skin issues because I know how frustrating it can be, I’ve been there :(
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Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

thank you Felicia!!! We will check out the supplements you mentioned :) HUGS

barb October 11, 2011 at 9:17 am

Yes, its scary out there. My naturopath nad her colleagues did a lot of testing on different brands, and found that Natural Factors was one of the best. I don’t know if its available outside of Canada though. They also found that Quest was one of the worst. You ctually overdose on the bad stuff they put into the supplement before you can get enough of the good stuff! Scary indeed!

bitt October 11, 2011 at 9:43 am

I try to only use the brands that my ND recommended but sometimes they are so expensive. I had a hunch that the coconut water was a scam because it tastes so unlike the young coconut water that is fresh. Good to know at least one brand is OK.

Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! October 11, 2011 at 10:24 am

I totally – and I have resisted ever taking ANY supplements for this reason. I guess they kind of scare me? And I feel like it would be so hard to guage whether or not the supplement is actually doing anything. If I wanted to start taking any, I would probably want to get some blood work done to see if I was seriously deficient in any micronutrients or something. And even so, I would try to choose raw, whole food based ones.
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katie @KatieDid October 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

This is a tough topic because, really… most of the supplement I take or would take are for long term health benefits or prevention, and how can one tell if something is working if its fighting off things that haven’t (or may never) happened yet. It’s confusing, and you have to put your trust in these companies… but research is key. Be your own self advocate.. dig deep, do the research, to find out what exactly it is your putting in your body. Sometimes that’s the best we can do (and always eat a balanced varied diet to actually know your doing good to your body).

jessie ann james October 11, 2011 at 11:22 am

filers are so frustrating and sometimes I get upset when companies aren’t completely honest! thanks for looking into this, as well as creating your goodies without and fillers!
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Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 11:32 am

Thanks for sharing Barb, it is so scary.

Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 11:34 am

Yes bitt sad about coconut water, something we have cut way back on. wish we had more access for fresh ones.

Melissa @ Hot Chokolate Girl October 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

It’s scary and sad the kind of things some companies do. It even extends to restaurants too, unfortunately, so I rarely enjoy going out to dinner anymore. Of course, it would be different if we had vegan restaurants here. Anyway, the only supplements I take are Vitamineral Green and Pure Vegan B12 spray. I am pretty confident with Vitamineral Green and the B12 seems ok, but you can never be 100% sure.

Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Melissa yes the vitamineral green is good, we use that too sometimes. never heard about b12 spray so not sure, but im sure it would be okay.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I gave up buying most all supplments other than probiotics b/c I dont think most do what they claim to, they’re very expensive as a rule, and I would rather just eat whole, real, plants and trust them more than I trust the supp’s. Just my own personal realization and full-circle truths Ive come to for myself.
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Lisa October 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Supplements are a deep subject! I teach a course on Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements…and we discuss quality issues in depth.
I take very few things, but have researched them all pretty thoroughly—and also, have a had a couple experiences (specifically with chlorella) where I thought I could switch to a cheaper brand, but then noticed all the benefits went away.
The supplement industry is interesting because the manufacturers can put something on the shelf without FDA approval. It is the FDA’s responsibility to take “bad” products off the shelves, but often they’re there for a long long time without anyone questioning them. There are some rules about health claims, etc., but companies have gotten really creative with their misleading tactics!
Great topic!
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Ela October 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for sharing about this: it’s such an important issue and is a real concern.

I think you can take heart from the fact of your own ethics: there are other people out there who really care about the quality of food and health and their supplements are going to be a higher integrity product. I think Garden of Life is probably like that, and a few other brands.

Another thing to look out for is what supplements are compounded with. I remember a few months back I showed my ND my 5htp supp (which I’d been buying online). It was formulated with added taurine, which is an adrenal stimulant and the opposite of what I should have had! He has NeuroScience Inc. supps, so I guess they’re pretty good…

Looking forward to hearing what you decide.
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Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

very true Averie!

Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Ela oh gosh, yes very true about what else could be in there.

Laury @thefitnessdish October 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I was never a huge fan of certain supplements…but take the same onesy you both do. When I was pregnant I had to swallow those horse pills….but tried to get a lot of nutrients from food too!

I just heard about that this morning, and haven’t gotten a chance to read it!
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hannahmarie October 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I totally agree about how scary and untrustworthy supplements can be. It feels like there’s not a lot of protection for consumers and I don’t want to take a supplement that won’t live up to its marketing. Those pills are expensive and I think they should definitely be more closely regulated.

I have a couple of tricks for how to feel safe and comfortable with supplements I buy. The first is to look for supplements that are USP verified. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is a non-profit organization that does independent testing on supplements for things like whether it contains the stated amount of vitamin, etc. and if it will dissolve properly in the body. They also check for contaminants like mercury and lead. The only problem with USP is that they only publish supplements that “passed” and they only test products that companies voluntarily submit for testing.

So I’ve gone to the next level in supplement nerd-ery. I bought a membership to the website consumerlab.com, which is similar to USP, but they publish all results and don’t wait for a company to give them the go-ahead for testing. Their website is chock-full of scientifically-backed information about the value of different supplements and recommendations. Unfortunately, it costs about $30 per year :(

I hope this information is helpful!
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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I don’t take many supplements, but now I think I need to really look into them! Thank you for sharing this!
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Lori and Michelle October 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thanks Hannah this was helpful!

Liz @ iheartvegetables October 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Oh my gosh I’m watching those Dr. Oz clips and thats so crazy! I take B12, Omega 3s, a mutivitamin, and Iron. I also occasionally take probiotics. Its not just knowing what I’m taking in, but also such a waste of money to pay for things that aren’t what they seem!
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Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) October 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I saw that Dr. Oz episode and had similar concerns about my supplements! I use mostly Shaklee products because they have pretty stringent quality control guidelines, and they test both the raw ingredients and final products. I’m sure they’re not perfect, but the company’s been around for over 50 years and their reputation for quality is pretty solid.
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Z.Grimm October 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Ouch! I was hoping to add some supplements to my diet (Omega-3 stands out), now I’m questioning the wisdom of it. I guess more research is in order…
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Kristin @ STUFT Mama October 12, 2011 at 2:26 am

Oh man, supplements scare me. I used to try different supplements and drinks, etc. but I try to stay far away from them. I not only worry about the false claims, but I worry about what my body will do after I’m done taking them. Touchy topic.
PS- I’m so glad I found your blog. I love all the recieps and I have toddler twin boys so that makes your blog THAT much more fun. :)
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sn October 12, 2011 at 4:20 am

I just relistened to the interview with Mike Adams from wishsummit.com and he said that pimples on the face and neck represent what is going on in the large intestine, that it’s a reflection of it, that there are pimples/bumps inside of the intestine so it shows up on the face and neck. I recommend listening to that interview and researching that for the pimples. A naturopath I know said it is estrogen/hormone related and if out of balance it causes acne.

Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance October 12, 2011 at 6:28 am

This is such an interesting post, girls! I’m not a huge supplement taker myself, other than my daily fish oil pill and multi-vitamin. It’s scary to me to think that even these little pills could be full of things that would hurt me or have no effect instead of help me like I think they are.

P.S. Love Dr. Oz :P
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Lori and Michelle October 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

Laura yes Shaklee is a good brand.

Lori and Michelle October 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

Kristin – yay for twins!!! glad you found us too

Shannon October 12, 2011 at 6:30 am

I saw the same show, and I’ve often wondered the same thing. I do take a few different vitamins and supplements and now I’m terrified. Am I doing more harm than good? It’s so confusing!

Lori and Michelle October 12, 2011 at 6:30 am

SN thanks! yes we are aware issues can be in the intestine, and hormone related. We have had our hormones tested and nothing out of the norm. So still trying to understand the cause. But thanks for sharing!

Jan Allan October 12, 2011 at 8:28 am

A very interesting topic. I take a few vitamins and Vegegreens. I’m unable to view the postings of Dr. Oz’s show on probiotics and coconut water. Are you able to sum up what he is saying? I am to understand that the coconut water (say brand Vitococo) is all simulated? that would be awful. don’t you feel we are such pawns in this whole business of nutrition?! very frustrating. Thanks for your help in keeping everyone informed.

carrie October 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I have tried a lot of supplements – especially in trying to figure out my hormone imbalances. for the most part i dont see any results and stop. and the better i eat, the more i prefer to rely on food. but i do still take a probiotic and vit D, and occasional B12. But i read labels like crazy and try (hope?) im getting quality products. i do feel like i waste a lot of money searching for miracles and am no longer doing that so much. hoping fresh organic veges and fruits are all the “medicine” i need…

Lori and Michelle October 13, 2011 at 5:25 am

Carrie we are the same!! we are looking to food more and less supplements, can be hard if you think you are missing something, you know?

Jan Allan October 13, 2011 at 7:50 am

What was the one brand of coconut water that was ok?

Lori and Michelle October 13, 2011 at 8:19 am

I think it was Zico, but there are many more coconut waters on the market that we feel are better, they did not test all the brands of coconut water. just the few big dog companies.

amy October 16, 2011 at 2:23 am

I have gone through many stages with my supplementation through my healing journey. Early on I was searching for the silver bullet and would fall for the marketing of products and the low price. I have found that you definately get what you pay for when it comes to supplements. I would say the majority are poor. I currently take quite a few supplements. The companies I trust and currently take are Thorne, Quantum Nutrition labs, healthforce nutritionals, green pastures, concentrace minerals and andrew arthur medical oh and global healing centre. Thanks for raising awareness of this. Worth only putting the best quality into your body. Thanks, Amy
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Lori and Michelle October 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

Thanks Amy! And thank you for sharing what you brands you like. Those sound like good ones.

Anastasia@healthymamainfo October 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for talking about tis important issue! I take probiotic, spirulina, flax oil capsules and greens plus, which is a mixture of natural extracts of plant foods and seaweeds.I have tried not taking my supplements and did notice occasionally feeling weaker and more fatigued without them, so I suspect they are full of real thing, but we can never know…
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Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City October 18, 2011 at 10:02 am

thanks for sharing this! i take a vitamin b supplement, vitamin c and a liver supplement. its scary what is out there though!!
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AnnesAeonLane October 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

I agree, for me, supplements are one of the most frustrating products on the market. Rather than focusing on claims the product labels make, I always focus one 1. The Ingredients and 2. Does the Supplement have any valid certifications?
With vitamins I always opt for vegan because 1) my stomach doesn’t tolerate any artificial coating on pills- they make me sick and 2) most of the time, a vegan supplement or pill ensures that the product is plant based and doesn’t contain toxins or added chemicals.

Secondly, I encourage you to look into supplements that are NSF certified. They are a 3rd party certification system that monitors abnormal levels of toxicity in supplements or other ingredients that companies sneak in or aren’t accountable for. http://www.mycusthelp.biz/nsfinternational/_cs/supporthome.aspx?sSessionID=173172039YIIKHMFAZXJOFDEBGENSCYSQYKYVBTL,

Great site ladies! I admire all you do.


Nadya October 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Hey girls, try Harmless Harvest. It is the best coconut water I tried besides breaking into a real young coconut:)

dreaminitvegan November 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I believe we should get our nutrition from food but having a supplement to cover the bases is good. It’s also very important to research the vitamin brands before taking them. I take Dr. Fuhrmans Gentle Care-I like how he explains why he doesn’t include certain ingredients due to the most recent research. I also take b12(important for vegans), probiotics(not every day),
Vit D(during those months I don’t get out much in the sun), DHA algae oil. I think people need to focus on eating a more whole foods diet then supplement accordingly instead of the other way around. I get plenty of Vit. A through my diet I don’t need it in pill form.
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