Learn more about the impact of the pharmaceutical industry acquisition of supplement brands. Understand how it may affect the supplement industry. Read more.
“Supplements do not make you healthy but they’re a great addition to a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle.” Megan Retterath, Next Health Chief Medical Officer
Big pharma’s purchase of highly-trusted supplement brands is an increasingly noticeable issue in the health and wellness community, especially with Nestle’s recent purchase of Pure Encapsulations, a favorite and trusted supplement brand of many.
The pharmaceutical industry is designed to make money off of people being sick. The more conditions you have, the more medications you need, and the more money they make.
In other words, there is no financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to keep you healthy and there is really no incentive to help make you even healthier. That is why the purchase of high-quality supplement brands by such companies is causing alarm.
Moreover, supplements are not regulated by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) because they are considered foods, not medications, so the governmental standard for the sale of prescription and over-the-counter drugs does not apply to them. Even more shocking- the FDA cannot inspect a supplement company’s manufacturing process unless it has reasonable evidence their products are harming people.
This lack of regulation means that there is actually no guarantee that the ingredients listed on the bottle are in the nutritional supplements at all.
Big pharma’s purchase of supplement companies highlights an already pressing issue in the health and wellness community: it is difficult to find brands you can trust.
With over 70% of Americans taking supplements on a daily basis, it is important to understand that where you purchase your supplements matters.
Research shows that mycotoxins (mold), heavy metals, pesticides, and other environmental toxins like polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins, have been detected in popular supplements.
Because of these harmful “ingredients,” supplements which are often taken to combat oxidative stress, have pro-oxidant potential, accelerating the aging process and potentially leading to health issues when taken over a long period of time.
That is why education about such wellness products is so critical, especially when considering that the majority of supplements are taken by those who are already vulnerable and over the age of 65. In fact, approximately 30% of adults age 65 and older taking 4 or more supplements of any kind.
Unfortunately, mistrust of supplementation products is only part of a bigger problem: our world is not designed to keep us healthy.
Next Health’s medical experts still recommend practicing supplementation (with high-quality and trusted products) as a way to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet. The supplementation industry has been able to grow into a $28 billion market because vitamin deficiencies are a very real issue in today’s society as approximately 90% of Americans suffer from some form of a vitamin deficiency.
The loss of nutrients in the American diet is due to multiple factors.
First, overfarming, modern agricultural practices, and the increased prevalence of environmental toxins have all left our soil and food nutrient-depleted. Research shows that crops grown decades ago were far more nutrient-dense than the crops we have today. In fact, a study from the Kushi Institute analyzed nutrient data across 12 different vegetables over a 2-year period. They found that average calcium levels decreased by 27%, iron levels dropped 37%, vitamin A levels were reduced by 21%, and vitamin C levels declined by 30%.
On top of all that, the commercialization of processed and packaged foods have made whole, fresh foods a less prevalent part of our diet. Despite their convenience, processed foods do not provide the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need. One 18-year study that measured the increase in industrially manufactured foods found that Americans get over 50% of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods.
Hence why many of us experience symptoms of a vitamin deficiency such as brain fog, burn out, sleep problems, bloating, skin problems, hair loss, and more.
To find out if you have an underlying vitamin deficiency that is leading to suboptimal health, consider the Next Health Micronutrient Test. Micronutrient Testing is detailed blood testing that measures the function of specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids within your cells.
It can be used to determine specific micronutrient deficiencies to guide dietary and supplementation protocols.
Supplementation can be a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, but it is not a catch-all solution.
To ensure your nutritional supplements are high quality are not contaminated with harmful materials, it is best to only purchase products with labels indicating they have been tested by the US Pharmacopoeial (USP) Convention Dietary Supplement Verification Program. This independent, nonprofit organization is dedicated to bridging the gap in regulation between FDA regulated drugs and nutritional supplements. USP has created quality standards and a verification process for such wellness products, so consumers can trust their manufacturers and have the confidence they deserve when choosing supplements.
Although there are few brands that display the USP Verified Mark, which certifies that the product actually contains ingredients indicated on the packaging, the ones that are marked are commonly known brands from major companies.
There are also resources such as ConsumerLab.com, which collects products to independently test, review, compare, and rate in order to hold manufacturers accountable.
It is important to note that although such resources are great for assessing quality and purity, these companies and organizations do not guarantee the effectiveness of a supplement.
You may also want to check out FullScript, a highly trusted online dispensary platform that Next Health has partnered with in order to help you find the quality supplements you deserve. All supplements ship straight to your front door.
There are other ways to fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet such as IV Therapy, which delivers top-tier vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients straight to your bloodstream.
Every Next Health IV includes a multivitamin base, also known as the Myers’ Cocktail, plus a powerful blend of hydrating electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids, & more. Our IVs are administered by one of our Registered Nurses.
Our IVs are customizable to your wellness journey as we offer IVs for immunity, energy, stress relief, detoxification, and so much more.
To book your IV Therapy appointment, call or text us at: (310) 295-2075
And lastly, although the pharmaceutical industry’s increasing involvement in nutritional supplementation is disappointing and sad news, remember:
“Big pharma is not here to keep you healthy. They are not doing things to support longevity, especially in the last two years. They’re not here to keep you healthy. Things are going to change; things have already changed. Just be prepared, don’t be scared. Just be mindful and be extra careful of what you’re putting into your body because it all has an impact.” – Megan Retterath, Nurse Practitioner