How to Read Supplement Labels Like a Pro

How to Read Supplement Labels Like a Pro

Have you ever bought a supplement knowing the daily dose you want only to discover that it takes five pills to reach that dose? Frustrating and literally a lot to swallow!

Practitioners tell us that people don’t stick with supplement plans because we won’t take too many pills. That’s why understanding and comparing supplement labels is key to getting the most for your money in the fewest servings. This article helps you decipher labels, compare products, and get the best value!

What Supplement Labels Must Tell You

Whether your practitioner recommended a supplement, or you’re doing the research yourself, you likely have a daily dose amount in mind. It seems like comparing labels would be easy, since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all labels to list the same facts. However, the way facts are listed – especially the daily dose – can be problematic.

First, a few basics. The FDA requires five elements on the label:

  1. Supplement name,
  2. Supplement amount,
  3. Nutritional facts,
  4. Ingredients, and
  5. Manufacturer, packer, or distributor.

The front label typically lists the amount of the supplement in milligrams (mg) or International Unit (IU). IU is used to measure fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E. IU measures bioactivity and is different for each substance.

The front label usually also states how many tablets, capsules or soft gels are in the bottle. Under Supplement Facts, you see the serving size and the percent of recommended daily value in each serving.

Calculating the Servings, Rather than Dose

Here’s where supplement labels get tricky and some math is required to get the most for your money. You might be fooled if you try to compare the number of pills in a bottle, or the cost-per-pill. Instead, look at the cost-per-serving.

The serving size is ideally one or two tablets, capsules, or soft gels daily. Yet, we find supplements labels showing a huge discrepancy between daily dose and dose-per-pill.

A good example is Taxifolin (dihydroquercetin). We see products showing a 50 mg daily dose the front, but the back label shows that each serving only has 10 mg of Taxifolin. The product looks like a great deal at $29 for 100 servings. Each pill costs you 29 cents. However, you need five pills a day to reach 50 mg. So, really, your daily cost is $1.45 for 50 mg of Taxifolin.

Comparatively, our Taxifolin Complex SR, shows 50 mg of Lavitol® dihydroquercetin in each tablet. A bottle of 60 is $60. So, a comparable daily dose costs you $1 a day. Over a month, you pay $13.50 less for the same Taxifolin dose. Plus, that serving is in one pill!

Additionally, our Taxifolin Complex SR is combined with 500 mg of high-potency vitamin C and 10 mg of highly bioavailable zinc bisglycinate. So, if you are taking vitamin C and zinc separately, you can add that to your cost savings as well.

It’s Not How Much You Take, But How Much Your Body Absorbs

Instant-release supplements can dissolve too quickly for your body to absorb the nutrients. So, you eliminate most of the supplement though your urine. That’s why you may see bright orange urine after taking a traditional, possibly cheaper supplement. 

When a supplement releases so quickly that your body only assimilates 30% of it, you literally flush away 70% of your money.

Our proprietary controlled-release technology offers further value that can’t be compared to regular supplements. This novel process features a vegetable wax matrix tablet core that releases nutrients slowly over hours rather than minutes like traditional tablets. 

This sustained-release technology delivers high doses of water-soluble nutrients over 4-8 hours, depending on the product. It’s more expensive to produce supplements with this technology, but it ensures you don’t quickly expel a huge portion of the nutrients in urine. 

The Taxifolin Complex SR in the above example is formulated for steady release over 5-7 hours, mimicing how our bodies naturally process food. Health care providers appreciate this technology because you get optimal absorption and tissue retention. We earnestly want to provide the most value and nutrient benefit for your money!

Reviewing the “Other Ingredients” on Labels

Reviewing “other ingredients” on a supplement label is also crucial, especially if you are vegan or have food sensitivities. Other ingredients are typically lubricants and binders that help ingredients stick together and in our case, provide the proprietary controlled-release technology. 

All our ingredients come from vegetables, even our wax. They are free of common allergens like milk, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. Additionally, none of our products have salt, sugar, artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. However, some brands use binders and fillers that are unhealthy or even dangerous, according to this article from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

We hope being a pro at understanding supplement labels helps you pick the best options for your budget and your health. Curious about how our controlled-release technology mimics the way our bodies naturally process food? Visit us and learn more.