If you can’t answer these two questions about your daily health supplement, it’s time to rethink it.
5 Minute ReadTrend Report
by Jessica Lacey, Wellness Editor
Quick test, if someone asked you why you’re taking your regular health supplement, what would you say? If your response starts with, “Apparently…” (often followed by a spurious anecdotal half-fact), you’re on the wrong track.
For the most part, health supplements seem like a smart idea. The concept of bolstering our nutritional intake, offering up some extra goodness to our bodies to keep pace with modern life or even safeguarding ourselves into the future, it all seems like sound practice. But ideals aside, answer this:
Where’s the solid proof these ingredients genuinely work?
How can you be sure what’s inside the capsule is enough?
You’d be forgiven for drawing a blank here because as it turns out, most people who are already committed to taking supplements, have no idea either.
We are all in the dark
Brits are popping health pills without fully understanding their efficacy or safety. According to the latest consumer research from LYMA, in a nationally representative sample of women over 30 in the UK, a staggering eight-out-of-ten admitted to taking vitamins, minerals and supplements without fully understanding how or even, if they are regulated. The survey, which was conducted by Mortar Research, polled 2000 women aged over 30 years old in the UK. It found that 80% of those taking vitamins, minerals or supplements do not know how or if their pills are regulated, less than half read the back of the packaging closely and over 60% do not know the appropriate dosage they should take.
The survey revealed:
61% of Brits take supplements, vitamins and minerals daily
Over two thirds have little or no understanding of the difference between vitamins, minerals and supplements
Over half do not feel they get the required vitamins and minerals through their diet
Only 2% of those surveyed recognised the phrase ‘peer-reviewed’ - the gold standard of testing by the scientific community
Outrageous. Who’s in charge here?
No one, really. The supplement industry is regulated by food law, so supplements are checked only for safety and not whether they are proven to deliver a health benefit, formulated or dosed correctly. Many nutraceutical brands benefit from this lack of regulation because it means the testing criteria of their formulations can remain lax and ambiguous.
“The supplement industry lacks regulation and ultimately puts consumers at risk,” warns Professor Paul Clayton, Clinical Pharmacologist and LYMA Director of Science. “A vast amount of the products in the industry are unproven and contents should match label claims, but these are not rigorously checked. Equally there are some ingredients long past their sell by dates and others not stable enough to survive manufacture and distribution.”
Glossy advertising campaigns, celebrity endorsements and the latest wellness buzzwords are all highly proficient in getting us to think we need the ‘IT’ nutraceutical of the moment, but without any investigation into the formula’s credentials, none of us truly know why or what we’re taking. “The industry feeds off consumer neuroses, rather than anything evidence based,” warns Lucy Goff, Founder of LYMA, the brand behind the world’s-first pharmaceutical-grade supplement. Goff launched LYMA in response to the barrage of ineffectual health supplements in the market, ensuring it was formulated with dosages as a medicine would be. “The hype manipulates people into thinking they need ingredients that can easily be consumed through a healthy balanced diet.”
Top 10 reported motivations for taking supplements:
1. For my joints
2. For my bones
3. To promote healthy aging
4. For my skin
5. For my hair
6. To improve my mood/to make me feel good
7. I know I am missing certain nutrients from my diet
8. To aid brain function
9. To help me sleep
10. To aid digestion
Proven supplements aren’t allowed to share their workings
From a regulatory point of view, no supplement brand can tell customers about their potential, or proven health benefits. Therefore, the little current supplement legislation there is, also has the adverse effect of rendering consumers unable to make informed decisions about the most effective ingredients to take to help live a healthier life.
“The supplement industry is rightly regulated to prevent brands from making unsubstantiated claims. However, it also stops consumers being given information around the potential health benefits of pharmaceutical-grade supplements - those that are proven to deliver a benefit. But we cannot tell our customers about these benefits, the science can only be legally discussed between businesses,” explains Lucy Goff.
Get supplement smart. Here’s what to watch out for:
It’s the on-pack phrase that provides consumers with confidence when in reality, it’s a vague claim that requires no hard evidence and is not easy to disprove. Moreover, companies pay for their own clinical trials, so results cannot be fully relied upon.
Peer-reviewed ingredients are patented compounds or extracts shown unequivocally in preclinical and clinical trials to work. This is evidence that’s been assessed completely independently of the brand, by the world’s most respected scientists.
These genuinely validated, trademarked compounds have had to demonstrate their efficiency at a stated dosage and the results are available for anyone to look up. Watch out for brands including patented ingredients at nominal doses though, just as with medicines, patented ingredients must be dosed at the clinically proven level to achieve the full benefit.
A product label might boast 1000mg of a hero ingredient but take care because a nominal amount of that might constitute the active compound whilst the majority is actually the carrier ingredients to make it water soluble. “The only dose that matters is that of the active compound,” insists Lucy Goff.
What makes LYMA different from everything else out there?
The LYMA Supplement is the first of its kind, setting the standard for the next generation of evidence-based nutrition.
“LYMA isn't a supplement, at least not in the old-fashioned sense, “ says Professor Paul Clayton. The key aspect of LYMA is that it exclusively uses actives which have been validated. These aren't your standard run-of-the-mill vitamins and minerals - these are food or herbal extracts which have been shown in peer-reviewed studies to have a specific effect. For the first time you have a generation of products that have a substantial body of evidence behind them and do what they say they will. This is evidence-based nutrition.”
The transparency of this next-level scientific proof allows LYMA customers to trust fully in the gold-standard nutraceuticals they’re taking, safe in the knowledge their future health is being taken care of.
“The thing about supplements is you should be able to feel them working. After all, that's why you're taking them,” adds Lucy Goff.
“That's what LYMA is fantastic for because even from very early on, you can feel it’s working and if you don't want to believe anyone else, believe yourself. There’s nothing more important than that, after all.”
Try LYMA for yourself today. No promises, just proof.