Black Raspberry Supplements Put to the Test

Black Raspberry Supplements Put to the Test
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Less than half of herbal supplements tested from a dozen companies were found to be authentic.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The regulation of dietary supplements in the United States has been described as “Too Little, Too Late.” “Dietary supplements may be adulterated with dangerous compounds, be contaminated, fail to contain [what they say they contain],…contain unknown doses of the ingredients stated on the label, be sold at toxic dosages, or produce harmful effects” in other ways. This not only messes up any research done on them, but can put the general public “at risk.”

A third-party company that has tested thousands of supplements “identifies approximately 1 in 4 with a quality problem”—either not containing what they say, or contaminated in some way. One in four.

For example, I’ve done a few videos on the remarkable properties of black raspberries. Can’t always find them fresh or frozen; so, how about black raspberry supplements? You go to the store, or look online. How about this one? Fresh, raw, pure—that sounds good. Let’s look at the back. Says it just contains seedless black raspberry powder and absolutely nothing else, exclamation point. It’s nice to see that there’s no fillers or artificial ingredients. So, you plunk down your $23.77.

But, it turns out you’ve been had. The first clue was that the picture on the front was actually blackberries photoshopped to look like black raspberries—they couldn’t even be bothered to put a real image on their fake supplement. The researchers’ second clue was that it sure didn’t look like pure black raspberry powder. And so, they put it to the test—and, indeed, there was no black raspberry at all. Instead of “absolutely nothing else,” they should have just stopped with this bottle contains “absolutely nothing.” Or, at least you hope it contains nothing; who knows what’s actually in those capsules?

They tested every black raspberry product they could find, and even ones with the right picture on the front, and powder that actually looked real, yet more than a third appeared to have no black raspberry fruit at all. “At the moment, a consumer who assumes the US dietary supplement marketplace is free from risk [or even honest] is unfortunately naive.”

How widespread is this deception? Researchers used DNA fingerprinting techniques to test the authenticity of 44 herbal supplements from a dozen different companies. Less than half of the supplements were authentic—containing what they said they did. Most contained plants not listed on the label, substitutions with cheaper plants, contaminants, unlisted fillers—or, apparently, all filler.

And, this isn’t just fraud; some of this deception can really hurt people. For example, one St. John’s wort supplement had no St. John’s wort at all, but actually contained senna instead, which is an herbal laxative that can cause adverse effects—such as chronic diarrhea, liver damage, skin breakdown, and blistering.

This graph shows how twelve companies did. The researchers found that tested products from only two of the twelve companies were entirely authentic.  Herbs only work if they’re actually present. The supplement “industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers…” And by “some,” they mean 80% of the manufacturers in this study.

Until dietary supplements in the U.S. “are better regulated and quality control standards…[are] defined and endorsed, the safer source [of phytonutrients] as a consumer is from [actual] food…”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image Credit: AKuptsova via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The regulation of dietary supplements in the United States has been described as “Too Little, Too Late.” “Dietary supplements may be adulterated with dangerous compounds, be contaminated, fail to contain [what they say they contain],…contain unknown doses of the ingredients stated on the label, be sold at toxic dosages, or produce harmful effects” in other ways. This not only messes up any research done on them, but can put the general public “at risk.”

A third-party company that has tested thousands of supplements “identifies approximately 1 in 4 with a quality problem”—either not containing what they say, or contaminated in some way. One in four.

For example, I’ve done a few videos on the remarkable properties of black raspberries. Can’t always find them fresh or frozen; so, how about black raspberry supplements? You go to the store, or look online. How about this one? Fresh, raw, pure—that sounds good. Let’s look at the back. Says it just contains seedless black raspberry powder and absolutely nothing else, exclamation point. It’s nice to see that there’s no fillers or artificial ingredients. So, you plunk down your $23.77.

But, it turns out you’ve been had. The first clue was that the picture on the front was actually blackberries photoshopped to look like black raspberries—they couldn’t even be bothered to put a real image on their fake supplement. The researchers’ second clue was that it sure didn’t look like pure black raspberry powder. And so, they put it to the test—and, indeed, there was no black raspberry at all. Instead of “absolutely nothing else,” they should have just stopped with this bottle contains “absolutely nothing.” Or, at least you hope it contains nothing; who knows what’s actually in those capsules?

They tested every black raspberry product they could find, and even ones with the right picture on the front, and powder that actually looked real, yet more than a third appeared to have no black raspberry fruit at all. “At the moment, a consumer who assumes the US dietary supplement marketplace is free from risk [or even honest] is unfortunately naive.”

How widespread is this deception? Researchers used DNA fingerprinting techniques to test the authenticity of 44 herbal supplements from a dozen different companies. Less than half of the supplements were authentic—containing what they said they did. Most contained plants not listed on the label, substitutions with cheaper plants, contaminants, unlisted fillers—or, apparently, all filler.

And, this isn’t just fraud; some of this deception can really hurt people. For example, one St. John’s wort supplement had no St. John’s wort at all, but actually contained senna instead, which is an herbal laxative that can cause adverse effects—such as chronic diarrhea, liver damage, skin breakdown, and blistering.

This graph shows how twelve companies did. The researchers found that tested products from only two of the twelve companies were entirely authentic.  Herbs only work if they’re actually present. The supplement “industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers…” And by “some,” they mean 80% of the manufacturers in this study.

Until dietary supplements in the U.S. “are better regulated and quality control standards…[are] defined and endorsed, the safer source [of phytonutrients] as a consumer is from [actual] food…”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image Credit: AKuptsova via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

92 responses to “Black Raspberry Supplements Put to the Test

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    1. The paper doesn’t disclose this.

      Although these numbers shed light on the number of companies with authenticated products we only sampled three or four products per company and therefore differences among companies are likely due to chance.




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      1. And, in case anyone wonders, the authors of that study were from the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada and the Department of Biotechnology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India.




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    1. Human use (USP) cyanocobalamin has a well defined analysis standard, which is not the case with herbal supplements. The wholesale cost of USP cyanocobalamin is about $3-4/g, and typical cyanocobalamin consumer supplements charge $50 and up per g. There’s little financial incentive to adulterate, as more than 90% of the retail price is marketing, packaging, distribution, and profit. I couldn’t find any cases in the scientific literature of counterfeit or adulterated cyanocobalamin, so its doesn’t appear to be a serious problem in developed nations. However I might be wary of local brands in some underdeveloped nations with a higher incidence of drug counterfeiting.




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    2. Sally – some folks have posted additional information after you posted your question. So read above and look at some of the information on which labs independently verify the content of certain supplements and who is reliable.
      Having said that, I, too, wondered which reliable manufacturer of VitB12 might be out there. Per the Frontline article posted above, they listed as USP, ConsumerLab, and Labdoor as reliable independent investigators for vitamin/supplements, etc. NatureMade is able to sport the USP label for manufacturing accuracy of its VitaminB12, Cyanocobalmin, the kind Dr. G recommends. Here the link to their product:
      http://www.naturemade.com/?&gclid=Cj0KEQiA-_HDBRD2lomhoufc1JkBEiQA0TVMmuflYQrtLIuSXqheNVwjA_SjV3YbIftTCSgyagSp5ckaAodx8P8HAQ#OstdaVeqohr3tuc5.97
      I am not speaking for their company or their other products (I have no affiliation with them). I am only saying that Frontline thinks USP is a reliable testing facility and they have tested NatureMade VitaminB12. Note that not all of their products are USP tested so look for that if you’re interested in other choices.
      This video of Dr. G’s made me ask the same question; this is what I have uncovered and thought I’d share with the community here. Hope this is helpful to you.




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        1. Here is a quote from the Frontline article “5 Questions to Ask When Considering A Health Supplement” which is posted on the ConsumerLabs website :
          “A handful of private, independent nonprofits have stepped in to partially fill gaps in regulation, inspecting some dietary supplements and reporting the results. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) runs a voluntary program to inspect and certify the quality of a company’s products and facilities. Those that pass can place the organization’s yellow and black “USP Verified” seal on their product — less than 1 percent of all supplements on the market have this label. ”

          So they inspect and certify the qualify of the product. And less than 1% can display their certification.
          May not be perfect in your eyes, . . but it’s a pretty good start in mine. And much better than nothing.
          If you have a better inspection/certification/testing option that you can share with us and provide some additional helpful and useful information, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to hear it.




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        2. So I dug a little more. I went to Labdoor – which PBS-Frontline documentary recommends along with ConsumerLabs to do actual testing. Labdoor rated NaturMade VitaminB12 as 88. It’s highest rated B12 product is 89 (out of 100 I am guessing). So NatureMade came in 3rd. But, when you switch to the VALUE listing, NatureMade VitaminB12 came out as #1 for Value. So Labdoor does the actual lab testing which, in my mind at least, verifies and/or coroborates the USP listing that NatureMade is permitted to use on its labels. Here is the Labdoor link:
          https://labdoor.com/rankings/vitamin-b12
          I also checked NatureMade’s VitaminD3. It came in 3rd for quality and 2nd for value.
          So, Sally, I hope this is helpful to you.




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          1. Labdoor.com doesn’t necessarily satisfy all concerns, though. For example, they rated Nature’s Way Alive Max Multivitamin as 3rd highest in Quality for Multis, yet if you read the ingredients list on the back, the product contains Spirulina/Blue Green algae, Folic Acid (instead of Folate), and iodine sourced from Pacific kelp. You can search NF.org for some caveats about those items… So a high rating by labdoor might not be the panacea for selection. Dr. Greger has the best idea… eat real plants.




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  1. Instead of creating fear with taking supplements, try to mention the many companies that produce amazing high quality supplements that are indendently 3rd party tested and have impeccable track records. Try dedicating some time to that, instead of criticizing in such a general way.




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    1. Dr Greger reports on studies of nutritional interest published in scientific journals, just as this video did. The type of information you want doesn’t typically appear in scientific journals for obvious reasons, so taking Dr Greger to task for your frustration is odd. How about getting on a search engine and finding out the information for yourself?




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    2. What you are looking for might be found in a publication like Consumer Reports.

      As stated by Gatherer, the studies that this site uses are peer reviewed journal papers and research papers. If some University did a journal piece on the various supplement companies then you would probably end up seeing something here.

      You might find something at the following website. If not, there are probably dozens more that do the same types of things that one of which will have what you want. Note – some are behind a pay wall or at least require a registration to use.

      https://www.consumerlab.com/




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    3. As Gatherer explained below these videos by Dr Greger are based on scientific publications which in turn helps us to empower ourselves so that we can make better choice about diet and health.




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    4. Caveat emptor, not scare tactics! People naively trust that what they are paying good money for is what they receive, and this is often an intentional lie to garner profit. Dr Greger reviews scientific studies for our betterment, he doesn’t promote product$. There are consumer sites for that.




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    5. What’s really going on?

      An example…..

      http://www.anh-usa.org/in-pain-the-feds-dont-care/

      You could do the same kind of analysis of foods, etc….which you are of course doing.

      What is the common denominator? Regulatory agencies that are revolving doors from corporations.

      In other words…just like for food and ag…supplements are being used as profit makers.

      But how does it make sense to encourage the corporate controlled regulatory agencies to put supplements under the control of the same people who regulate drugs?

      Result would be loss of accessibilty….much, much higher prices….new drugs prescribed by the same poorly trained doctors.

      This article is simplistic…and the results that are expected are not well thought out…. As in…be careful of what you ask for…you just might get it?




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  2. yes, is there any group doing this work of testing supplements? Just tell me which ones pass the test?
    Thanks for the warning but I do need to take some b12 and vit D and now I am left wondering.




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  3. The supplement and pharmaceutical industries can trace their lineages back to traveling huckster snake oil salesmen peddling Cure-All potions that they claimed would remedy anything from acute and chronic rheumatism, gout, palsy, lumbago, numbness, white swellings, chilblains, sprains, bruises, pains in the face and neck to female complaints, bad breath and drunkenness…




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  4. Makes you wonder whether the D vitamins (during Winter), the B12 and the vegan DHA supplements we take are actually what they say they are.




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    1. When I was growing up, we’d wander around the woods and fields back home and often ate wild raspberries (yum), which are black when ripe, red when not. The first time I saw red raspberries in the store, I wondered why anyone would want raspberries that weren’t ripe yet. :)




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  5. Are we averse to shopping, meal preparation, and healthy exercise?
    Do we really need all those supplements?
    Consumerlab is a good source for better quality if we must.
    A fool and his money are soon parted :)




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  6. What are the US and states Attorney Generals doing about this and all other frauds openly advertised on TV, Radio, press making false claims? Aren’t they supposed to protect the public against fraud, crimes, and swindlers? Oh, they are paid by the same “interest groups” (cartels) to get the positions (if elected)….So, the consumers, the working poor have no protection whatsoever from the “government of the people by the people for the people” because it has become the government of, for and by the corporations…..in hot pursuit of profits at any costs…




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    1. I can’t disagree with you, but what we CAN do is vote with our dollars. Take a look at the labdoor.com site that Katie, above, shared with us. We can now buy any supplements we need that have what they promise in them. I share your frustration and am turning mine into action.




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    2. I very much agree with you Norman. False claims should be investigated, and sued! Other supplement companies (the honest ones) could bring suit of a false advertiser, yet they apparently don’t. Would love to understand why the FTC isn’t being utilized on this, or the false news that convinced so many people to vote against their interests.




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    1. Katie – I went ahead and checked out that site. I can see they don’t have a broad selection for everything you might want, but they have clearly done a lot of testing. What I love is that you can look for B12 and VitD3 and not only find product that has what it claims, but if you choose the “value” option it will tell you which ones give you the best bang for your dollar. What a GREAT resource. I will buy from them just to support their mission.
      Thank you ever so much for sharing this info with us!




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        1. Let me suggest you read the information on their site. Yes, they sell the product. But how they make their money is they take a percentage of the products that they’ve tested and sold; they don’t add-on a sales fee.
          I see your point. But also, a business like this isn’t going to stay in business long without legitimacy. Again, if you go to their site, they show you which products have more/better of the product in it and they rate the products as such.
          Did you look at their site?




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        2. Just an additional comment . . . they also sell products they’ve rated poorly if that is what you would like to purchase. They let you decide the value of what you want to buy . . or not.




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        3. They make a 10% commision on sales through their website so YES it is conflict of interest, also notice that the highest priced products usually have a higher grade….caveat emptor.




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    1. WFPBRunner:

      I like the discussion of macho anxiety in relation to diet in this video. I hear this over and over: I’m a real man, I need red meat!




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      1. Hmmm, sounds like my son on both counts, who is now approaching middle age and used to be so averse to pills! Popping a pill is just so much easier than controlling what you enjoy shoveling in your face, eh? He avoids me because I’m honest and he can’t deal with the cognitive dissonance it engenders, but that’s okay. Ignorance is not bliss when you are in the ER with chest pains.




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    2. Just saw this recently on Netflix, awesome and full of all the heroes! I love that they run so many great docs, especially this kind! (They really need to work on their sci-fi though! Ugh ;)




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    3. i turned it off when this guy said humans are superior to the rest, number 1 blahblah and somehow we can analyze and best pick best food for us LOL
      not sure of the -ism on this one, but its quite the -ism




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  7. I wonder how this issue effects the studies pitting whole foods against the same food in supplement form. Perhaps some of the reason why supplements don’t work as well as the whole food is because the supplement doesn’t actually have the food in it anyways!




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  8. As always it’s best to eat natural food instead of taking supplements. I only buy supplements that have a “USP verified” logo, I also read what Consumerlab has tested. Labdoor is sketchy(pay to play) so I don’t trust them 100%




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    1. Do you take VitD3 and B12 as suggested by Dr. G? if yes, . . would you be willing to share with us what you have found to be good reliable makers?
      Or anyone else who is reading . . . .if you have ConsumerLab or Consumer Reports (they owe nothing to anyone) tested B12 and D3, would you be willing to share you information with us?




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    2. Hi Jeff – could you explain what you mean by “pay to play”? I took a look at them and you don’t have to pay them to get their information. I’m confused by what you mean. thx.




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    3. I went to the ConcumerLab website. They provided a link to a Frontline documentary on Vitamins and the Supplement industry. Frontline also provided a written piece titled “Five Questions To Ask When Considering a Health Supplement”. Here is a quote from that Frontline written piece:
      “A handful of private, independent nonprofits have stepped in to partially fill gaps in regulation, inspecting some dietary supplements and reporting the results. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) runs a voluntary program to inspect and certify the quality of a company’s products and facilities. Those that pass can place the organization’s yellow and black “USP Verified” seal on their product — less than 1 percent of all supplements on the market have this label. The international public health nonprofit NSF International runs a similar program aimed at sports supplements.

      Two other organizations, ConsumerLab.com and LabDoor, randomly test dietary supplements and report their findings. Both groups provide general review information for free; full results are accessible to paid members. ConsumerLab has also aggregated a long list of health warnings and recalls for more than a decade.”
      Here’s the link to the full article:
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/five-questions-to-ask-when-considering-health-supplements/




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    4. I take Nature Made Vitamin D3 and calcium/magnesium tablets, both of them are USP Verified. NSF International is also a trusted logo but I have yet to see it on any supplements, you can find their logo on appliances though(washing machines, water filters, etc).

      As for “pay to play”: it means when a company pays a lab money to promote their product, I have heard reports that Labdoor does that. If you go to Labdoor’s website they give some products higher grades even though the product has toxic ingredients or doesn’t have the listed amounts. My intention is not to libel Labdoor, my statements are only my opinion and you should do your own due diligence before buying supplements

      While all companies pay a fee to labs to have their products tested, some labs are more trustworthy than others.




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      1. If you read their information regarding how LabDoor is set up and operates, you will see that LabDoor does not take money from a company to promote its products. Labdoor independently tests various vitamin and supplement products on their own. This quote is from their website:

        “We do not accept contributions or donations of any kind from manufacturers to grade products on our site.”

        This is how Labdoor answers the question “How does Labdoor make money?” :
        “Labdoor makes money in three ways. First, we receive a portion of every dollar spent by consumers who purchase products directly from our site. Second, we collect revenue through affiliate links. Third, we offer a Tested for Sport certification program for companies that want to test their products for banned substances. ”

        A person can see how Labdoor is set up and operates here:
        https://labdoor.com/about

        Labdoor “grades” the products that it tests, provides the public the information, and let’s you decide what to purchase.




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      2. Let me suggest that you get the facts correct before posting incorrect information. This is a fact-based, science-based website. And if your position is that “I have heard reports that. . . .” you might want to clarify the “facts” before posting.
        The whole point of this site is to separate accurate information from mis-information.

        And, as per Labdoor’s business model, “all companies (do not necessarily) pay a fee” to have their products tested.

        Let’s at least go for some accuracy and facts here.




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        1. The way Labdoor grades is subjective, they don’t say exactly how they grade a product . Their highest rated items are usually the highest price which is why I am skeptical.

          Why does Nature Made vitamin D3 get a lower rating even though it contains exactly what is claimed on the label?




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          1. Their website explains just exactly how and why they rate the way that they do. It is not subjective at all. Go look at their website – they explain it. The CEO has already weighed in on your comments. Why don’t you converse with him?




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      3. For me the most difficult aspect is getting supplements with the least amount of added ingredients. Why do we need that sublingual Vit B12 to be sweet? I spend all my time reading the dang labels!




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    5. Hi Jeff. This is Neil Thanedar, Labdoor’s CEO and founder. I want to make 100% clear that Labdoor pays for its own testing. We’re unique in this regard. Our business model is clear — we’re a marketplace. All Labdoor reports are available for free. We only make money when you buy a product through us. We even lose our ~10% commission if you return the product, which further incentivizes us to make the best rankings.

      FYI — This article lists the prices that other companies charge manufacturers to test their products:
      http://www.consumerreports.org/vitamins-supplements/what-usp-verified-and-other-supplement-seals-mean/




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      1. You surely have a unique and consumer valued resource. Unless there’s some evidence to the contrary, I see no reason why your model shouldn’t be trusted. I wish you continued success. By contrast, Amazon is NOT to be trusted. There’s been more than a few reports of dishonest, corporate paid reviewers, selective product placement, and yes, pay to play product search rankings.




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  9. I would hope that a company such as Life Extension is being honest as I do buy from them a few supplements. Then again, its based on hope and reputation. Wish there was an independent 3rd party that would verify the contents of supplements.




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  10. Food is certainly best, but foods are not always available. Dr. Greger does not recommend that we track down indian gooseberries, he recommends amla*. Just because some/many extracts/powders are a problem, does not mean that all are. So best to find out which companies are reliable and if foods are not available, buy from the companies that product quality products.

    *FYI: indian products are not infrequently contaminated so be sure to buy the amla from a place that is reliable and tests for e.g. heavy metal contamination.




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    1. Good thing about amla is, it has never been found to be contaminated. Triphala, on the otherhand, is often contaminated, which is why Dr. Gregor recommends Amla and not the more powerful Triphala.




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  11. FDA GMP Inspectors Cite 70% of Dietary Supplement Firms

    FDA’s dietary supplement team is stretched thin, especially when compared to its overall budget. Citing FDA officials, the GAO revealed the agency’s resources for all dietary supplement activities increased from $14.6 million in fiscal year 2009 to a projected $18.9 million in fiscal year 2012. In fiscal year 2012, FDA had an overall budget of roughly $2.5 billion (excluding $1.3 billion in user fees), according to Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

    “For years, FDA has been underfunded and understaffed for its responsibilities in the regulation of dietary supplements,” said David Schardt, a senior scientist with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition and health advocacy group.




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  12. I have spent thousands of dollars on supplements over the last 30 years. I have decided that I will now only take B12 and the Omega 3 capsules that Dr. Greger recommends which are algae based. I don’t know why I never saw this before, but simple logic just tells you that whole plant foods are going to have more nutrients than a tiny pill that you pay a lot of money for. Why would you pay money for an extraction out of a plant when you can just eat the plant itself. And to make matters worse, the dubious extract has gone under a lot of processing such as heating, washing, pulverizing, and mixed with other “stuff”….and logic tells you that the extract is not going to be of the same quality as the actually edible plant itself with it’s full complement of molecules for growth, and for protection. I think we have all been duped by the health food industry which can easily be traced back to the snake oil salesman of the 1800’s. Everywhere you turn a corner there is someone there to rip you off. Repairmen can rip you off. Doctors can rip you off. Health food stores can rip you off. Religions can rip you off. Politicians can rip you off. Lawyers can rip you off. Everywhere you turn if you examine it very carefully you can see that there is another predator staring you in the eyes to get a little bit or maybe a whole lot of money out of you. And, what is money? Money is energy. It buys you energy. And you need energy to live. Human life and interaction is no different that what takes place on the Serenghetti Plains of Africa. Thank you Dr. Greger for exposing another predator in our modern day life which in this case is the health food predator industry.




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    1. You are so right – the “animals” that might consume us are not lions or tigers or bears but corporations sucking the fruits of our labors each day. It’s always a case of buyer beware. I took my Vitamin C today . . . it was in the form of 1/2 yellow bell pepper which has 170mg of vitamin C – way more than the 60mg rda. It was cool and sweet and crunchy and delicious. Beats a pill any day.
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3017/2




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  13. Did any of these studies use GMP certified supplements? Who funded these studies? Unfortunately my impression is there is some agenda here other than a transparent, fair assessment of supplements. The supplement industry self-regulates via GMP certification which should ensure integrity and potency. Like most things in life, educate yourself and know what you are buying! Can we ask these simple questions before producing videos denouncing an industry? From what I read most studies are funded by vested interests.




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    1. Did you look at the Sources Cited tab? The studies are listed there and you may be able to punch holes in them.

      I haven’t looked and don’t intend to. Dr. G usually makes note of anywhere conflicts could lie, almost always citing the funding. So I trust that he has done so in this case as well. Lastly I’m not concerned because I no longer rely on any potions from the Supplement Folks Inc.




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  14. Someone has probably already pointed this out, but just in case – for some plants, the leaves are sometimes a good source of the same polyphenols as the fruit/berries. I’ve seen black raspberry leaf tea for sale and the tea might be worth looking into as a more convenient or cost saving alternative.




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  15. The Medical Doctor who wrote Eat to Live and many other books sells a multivitamin specifically for vegans. Go to his web site www,drfuhrman.com




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    1. I will weigh in here, briefly. I do not believe that healthcare practitioners should be in the business of selling supplements. It is an inherent conflict of interest, unless they make absolutely no profit from the sale. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (at our most recent conference in 10/2016) had a session at which this practice was strongly discouraged. I have learned much from Dr. Fuhrman, but do not agree with his selling supplements.
      One very reputable company in the supplement business is Thorne Research (thorne.com). But check them out yourselves. I have no relationship with them, and haven’t bought anything from them in about 5 years.




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  16. Unfortunately “actual food” of any decent quality is all too often priced beyond what the general public can afford. Is good health only for the rich?




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    1. There’s nothing less expensive that potatoes, rice, and dried beans. Fresh veggies are cheap too and can be easily grown at home.

      I see no veracity in your statement and I wonder what is your point?




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    2. Chicken is about $2/lb, broccoli about $.90/lb, potatoes $1.00 – $.50/lb, oranges about $.89/lb, rice about $1.50lb(organic), cold cuts about $7.00/lb, steak about $5.00lb, tofu $1.30lb – all of the meat products are significantly more than the vegg products. A 2lb bag of rice can feed a family of 4 for about 5-6 meals. I can feed myself for about $25-30/week, 3 meals/day.
      I’m sorry but I just don’t see this as expensive – except the meat. .




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  17. As for berry powders, Dr. Mary Ann Lila, director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at NC State University, told me that spray drying berries for powders destroys phytonutrients but that freeze drying preserves them. See http://zesterdaily.com/cooking/tips-picking-unseasonal-berries/ I asked her recently about the use of infrared to dry berries and its impact on phytoactive nutrients. She’s not sure yet, she says. Does anybody know about the infrared process?




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  18. Better control of the Supp’ industry is one thing but sadly you can see it not ending there if we end up with a situation where control means instead of simply making sure what is claimed is in them really exists, we also have a situation where supplements are banned or so heavily licenced that you cannot get hold of them easily.




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    1. Mark,

      Clearly you hit the nail on the head… The MAJORITY of nutraceutical manufacturers are legit and do adhere to great standards. And I ‘m not disagreeing that eating the whole foods, when and as available are your best choices. BUT…….

      Too bad there are some bad actors that are used to claim that everyone is on that path. Keep in mind that indeed the claim was 25% with a selective approach , ie Black Raspberries. More importantly the company mentioned assuming it’s the big gorilla on the stage, only checks some of the products in commerce and not consistently or usually the physicians branded firms.

      You would be PLEASANTLY SURPRISED to know that you can purchase quality…..checked and verified supplements, by going to reputable firms and some of the aggregators such as Natural Partners and Emerson. They make a habit of not carrying the brands that don’t follow the (GMP) good manufacturing practice rules that are indeed required by law for supplement manufacturers.

      Part of the rules require identification of the substances placed in the supplement products and indeed the majority of manufactures use a number of methods to assess the quality, and characteristics of the raw products prior to use. Another completely different issues is the use of dna fingerprinting vs the accepted methods of mass spectrometry identification of herbs specifically.

      The use of dna assays is not only suspect but also may be an intentional means of NOT properly identifying herbal products. For a deeper dive into dna identification please see…..http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1759-6831.2011.00132.x/full (note the partial information areas assayed) and then consider the rest of the details by reading another article on the subject, that clearly is current and should be considered, https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0036-1597032

      The subject is much more complicated than assuming it’s an easy DNA check and we are good to go. Using a partial methods and then claiming FACTS …..well just plain stinks….. A further dive into the subject is warranted and I will contact Dr. Greger for an updated info piece. Until that time use legitimate firms that support their claims.

      Call the manufacturer and ask pointed questions, such as can they send you an assay on the current batch and more or trust the work done by the aggregators of quality products exclusively OR eat more fresh berries as available and get even more benefits. Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




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  19. if the supplement industry is so bad, why are you advising us to buy omega 3 supplements? Not to mention that the algae omega supplement I bought costs $50/month! Isn’t there a better way?




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