More People Are Getting Suspicious About Their Supplements—and for Good Reason

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The choice is clear.

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When founder Katerina Schneider started her vitamin company, Ritual, she was shocked to find out most vitamin D3 came from sheep’s wool. “I would never willingly eat sheep’s wool, so why would I eat a vitamin that contained something like that?”

Now Schneider is set on sort of “blowing the whistle” on what exactly is hidden in vitamins and supplements. (Ritual coins itself as a company that’s “for skeptics, by skeptics,” and the brand aims to be a reliable resource of expert information when it comes to all things vitamin-related.) “People are starting to care more and more about what they are putting in and on their bodies. It’s becoming a lot more common for restaurants to highlight farms that produce, fish and meats are coming from and the same is true with skin care. It’s only a natural progression that with something we are ingesting each and every day—aka vitamins—we are now thinking more and more where the ingredients are coming from.”

“Simplicity and the idea of going back to the basics will be a theme we will see in 2017. Our industry in the past has been plagued with pseudoscience, health fads and half-truths. Consumers are more aware than ever and expect real science and transparency.”

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It’s that transparency trend that Eve Kalinik, nutritional therapist and ambassador for Lumity, a supplement system that targets the causes of aging, says has created a shift when it comes to consumers’ thinking about supplements. “Just like people have become much more conscious about their food, they are also discerning with the supplements that they are buying and really want full transparency and quality in what they are buying. I think they are starting to understand that it really is worth investing in well-researched and scientifically formulated products rather than trying to find cheaper alternatives.” 

Both women also point out that, even though consumers may be getting smarter about asking what’s in their supplements, there’s still a lot of misconceptions swirling around the topic. “A lot of people seem to think that in order for supplements to be effective, you have to take a bunch of them and/or research high and low to find obscure, trendy nutrients, which usually have little scientific backing,” Schneider says. “Vitamins don’t have to be complicated.”

“People think they’re going to change their body overnight,” Kalinik says. “The best things come to those who wait and sometimes it takes a little bit of time to see those changes. Many of us expect a quick fix when it comes to supplements and that’s very rarely the case.”

Kalinik also stresses that when it comes to vitamins and supplements it’s always best to take a “less is more” approach. “Avoid pill-popping and instead choose supplements that work for you and your body. There is a tendency to overdo it and people think that that is a good thing—when in fact, you can end up oversupplementing or just canceling them out. And nothing can supplement a bad diet, so start with food first and foremost.” 

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