Let’s take a simplified look at this topic of proprietary blends that you may find on your supplement facts panel. They look impressive, but let’s start to run some numbers. You can actually breakdown products by serving size into this conversation as well, but we will keep it as simple as possible for now.
Determining the value of proprietary blends
If a product lists 8000 mgs of 40 ingredients, simple math would lead to the assumption that there are 200 mgs of each ingredient, this is not the case. Look at the first 3 ingredients in the blend. The ingredients should be listed from the largest quantity to smallest, just like food ingredient labels. The first few ingredients in that list is what you are predominantly paying for, so take a good, hard look at what those are. You could be paying a lot of money for something expensive like pineapple powder, rice bran, lecithin, etc. These ingredients may have nutritional value, but the question to ask is – do they equal the price you are paying for that product?
Here is another example: 1000 mgs total, 40 ingredients, 25mgs of each? Probably not. What are you getting exactly? Each individual ingredient has value based on: What (it is and does – including the the form), Where (did it come from – raw material price and source), and Why (is it even in the formula – borrowed science, looks good, latest hype)? Are you getting enough of the key ingredients to obtain the benefit of each single ingredient? How do you know it is always the same exact blend with each purchase?
Wouldn’t you prefer the kind of assurance individually listed ingredients and potencies gives you when it comes to taking a supplement? Especially if you are not personally not familiar with what most of the ingredients are in that long list of 40 ingredients.
As we have mentioned in a past post, it does not mean ALL proprietary blends are bad. Enhancing a formula is one thing, being the formula is another story.
Photo credit: wide-wallpapers.net