What’s In The Bottle?

If you haven’t noticed by now, our purpose is to show you the down and dirty of the food and supplement industries. Our tagline is “Honesty in Wellness” but that’s only because we didn’t want to use “Knock off the B.S., Supplement Industry”. People often think we’re overly dramatic or, perhaps, make things out to be worse than they really are. In fact, things are much worse than people could even imagine.

We had two awesome things happen to us recently that we wanted to share. The first is in regards to quality controls and testing.

The second is about what you find on the labels of supplement bottles. You know, the place where companies aren’t allowed to make claims that can’t be proven or aren’t true. It is here where we dedicate our rant…

Companies often solicit us to carry their products in our stores. Then, about 30 minutes into a conversation with us, they wish they hadn’t.

Last Wednesday, We spoke to another company asking us to carry their “Raw, Whole Food, No Synthetics, Non-GMO” product. If you hadn’t guessed, we think these words are tossed around a bit too freely.

After a quick glance at the label, we realized the product was not even close to “Raw”. It didn’t have any food, never mind the claim of being “Whole Food.” To make it a grand slam, the product contained synthetic and genetically-modified ingredients. But wait, there’s more! It also contained a mislabeled species of probiotic bacteria. Those of you who know us would know that if we had a heart rate monitor on at the time, we would have fried it.

Seeing as how almost the entire label was a complete lie, we decided to call the manufacturer and inquire as to how they could make such claims.

Even after sending them evidence on how their raw materials are manufactured AND more evidence as to the mislabeling, they have decided they do not care.

We were literally told that they “Do not care what microbiologists, chemists, or the government say, they do what they do.” I wish we were making this up. I hoped he was just talking to an intern and not someone who actually works there. No, he was talking to a company decision-maker!

This is incredible, but unfortunately, much too commonplace. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve spoken to a company and heard “No one has ever asked us that before.” We understand why other retailers have no idea – they’re untrained, unlicensed, and uninitiated. But, the manufacturers?

Here are some more examples of stuff that goes on the labels of supplements too frequently:

  • “Organic”. Yeah right; almost never, in fact.
  • Too much or too little of the labeled amount. Do you want 250mg? How about 120mg, labeled as 250mg?
  • Mislabeled herbs. Well, this plant LOOKS like ginseng… These grow AROUND valerian, so…
  • Extra stuff. Spiked with contaminants or active drugs to give the desired effect. Weight-loss supplements contaminated with drugs. Protein powders with androgen compounds to “boost” testosterone.
  • Fake Names.  Especially with probiotics.  There is no such species as “bifidus regularis”.

In future blog articles and rants, we’ll get into each one specifically…

The system is self-serving. Bad companies make bad products and poorly educated store employees suspend their ability to think critically about it. (YIKES! That one stings.) 

Unfortunately, as a consumer, you have to be aware that the words used on a label may not be entirely accurate. We make these rants to help build a well-equipped army of patients. We want you to question all of it; everywhere you go, even us.

Chat with one of our experts. We’ll teach you what to know, what to look for and how to debunk the crazy. Then, you can help keep us on our toes!

Our Woodstock Vitamins products are Vitality Approved, so you can be sure that you’re getting quality products: pure, potent, and consistent batch to batch.

Just trying to keep it real,

Neal Smoller, PharmD
Owner, Pharmacist, Big Mouth

Dr. Neal Smoller, Holistic Pharmacist

About Neal Smoller

Dr. Neal Smoller, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist: and owner of Village Apothecary, an independent pharmacy in the most famous small town in America—Woodstock, NY. He’s also the host of the popular wellness podcast, The Big Mouth Pharmacist.”


The Vital 5

Nutrients you shouldn’t live without
The Vital 5 Nutrients You Shouldn't Live Without