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High-Quality Clean Supplements: a Checklist
By Jordan Rubin
March 31, 2023
People of all ages take supplements for various reasons, such as to fill nutrient gaps in their diets, support skin and cognitive health, or enhance athletic performance and recovery.
One of the greatest benefits of supplementing with high-quality, “clean” supplements is that they can help people meet their recommended daily intake of certain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and B12, that they may not be getting enough of from their diets.
If you choose to spend your money on supplements to promote your overall health, you want to be sure you’re purchasing and ingesting the safest and most effective products possible. Below, find out why Ancient Nutrition is a “clean” supplement brand, including our use of only certain quality, sustainable ingredients that are produced with strict standards in mind.
For Ancient Nutrition, we consider a clean supplement as one that’s high-quality, safe, effective and contains the ingredients listed on the label in the stated amounts. When you choose transparent, “clean” supplements over inexpensive types with vague claims and hidden ingredients, you can feel better about knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body.
Here are some characteristics that make a supplement “clean”:
Look for supplements that have been third-party tested by a reputable, accredited organization. Third-party testing is a type of quality assurance testing that is conducted by an independent organization that has no affiliation with the company or product being tested.
Make sure the supplement is produced in a facility that follows good manufacturing practices, meaning that the facility has strict quality control standards in place to ensure the products are consistently produced and controlled, according to Quality standards.
Choose supplements from a trusted brand with a good reputation for producing quality, effective supplements. Read reviews from customers online or look at independent websites that test various products and report on their findings.
“Clean” supplements contain high-quality body-friendly ingredients that are backed by scientific research. For instance, some vitamins and minerals come in various forms, but only certain types are more absorbable once ingested.
Supplements can also be processed to help with nutrient absorption, such as collagen when it is fermented or hydrolyzed.
Avoid supplements that contain artificial flavors or additives, such as preservatives and colors, as they may be more difficult to break down or have negative effects on digestion.
Even if a supplement is “clean,” it’s critical to take it in the proper dosage based on the potency of the active ingredient(s). Take products that list the recommended dosage based on the daily percentage of the nutrient you’re taking.
Most supplements will provide directions for use, depending on your age; however, others go further to provide additional information about how to best take the supplement (these tips may be listed on the manufacturer’s website).
For example, high doses of some nutrients, such as iron or zinc, may not be best to be taken with other products because certain vitamins and minerals often should not be taken together. Some supplements should be taken on an empty stomach or at specific times of the day, which the manufacturer can advise on.
Important note: While adding clean supplements to your routine can help boost your nutrient intake and support various functions, supplements shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for a balanced and healthy diet. It’s also smart to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, allergic, have a medical condition or are taking any medications.
To choose the best supplements when considering the various options available to you, it’s important to read ingredient labels and do your research about methods that different manufacturers use.
At Ancient Nutrition, we pride ourselves on being transparent about our ingredients. In fact, our company was founded with a goal to create the highest-quality supplements on the market: Those that unite nature with science to offer effective ingredients in highly absorbable forms.
Here are some of the factors that make Ancient Nutrition a clean supplement brand:
We provide certifications of analysis for some of our Multi Collagen Protein and Bone Broth Protein products to disclose their composition and more. These certifications also disclose that our products are as we say they are based on volume.
We believe in using ingredients backed by clinical studies whenever possible. “Clinically studied” means our ingredients are supported by research, backed by peer-reviewed studies, and/or tested for efficacy, safety, and transparency.
Using clinically studied ingredients means that when we make claims about our product ingredients, we really mean them!
We go to great lengths to source our ingredients from organically grown, grass-fed, humanely raised, wild-caught and free-range sources, whenever possible. Here are a few examples:
Our Multi Collagen Protein products contain 10 types of collagen from four sources, including chickens from U.S. farms, grass-fed and pasture-raised bovine, and sustainably produced fermented eggshell membrane collagen.
In our Bone Broth Protein formulas, we use sustainably sourced chicken bone broth concentrate that comes from non-GMO, U.S.-farmed chickens as well as beef bone broth concentrate from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows.
Our Organic SuperGreens is USDA Certified Organic, meaning its ingredients are grown without toxic pesticides, are non-GMO, and it also contains no added sugar.
We believe in the power of leveraging ancient wisdom, including techniques like fermentation and herb combining, in order to produce formulas that are as easy for your body to absorb as possible.
Here are some examples of our unique production methods and how they help make our supplements more effective:
Fermentation: We ferment many of our ingredients, including herbs and minerals, because fermentation helps to break down and transform nutrients into smaller units that are easier to utilize. Fermentation involves using beneficial bacteria or yeast to enhance nutrients’ bioavailability. Fermented ingredients are also often produced without the use of harsh chemicals or high heat, making them a desired alternative to some other supplements.
Hydrolysis: Our collagen products feature hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which are “broken down” to help support their absorption.
Ingredient combining: We carefully combine some nutrients — such as collagen with vitamin C, turmeric with black pepper and super greens with probiotics — because these nutrients offer benefits when combined together.
We have a commitment to Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition & Climate Health (what we call the R.A.N.C.H. Project). We want to change the future of farming and lead an evolution in the supplement industry that can potentially have a significant impact on climate change.
That’s why we’re committed to planting 10 million superfood perennial trees, bushes, vines,and shrubs over the next 10 years. We also grow many of our own ingredients, such as herbs and botanicals, on our own regenerative farms. Read about our 2023 Impact Report.
There are certain supplement ingredients that you should be cautious of consuming, or ideally, avoid altogether. Here are some ingredients to look out for:
Supplements that contain high levels of stimulants (such as some pre-workout or weight loss formulas), such as caffeine or ephedra, can have negative health effects among people who are sensitive to their effects.
Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame or sucralose, may be linked to negative health effects and should be avoided, if possible.
Supplements that contain fillers and additives, such as magnesium stearate or titanium dioxide, may be unnecessary and should be avoided, whenever possible.
Some supplements, particularly those that seem suspiciously inexpensive, may contain fillers and metals. These can include lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.
Synthetic vitamins, which are chemically produced in a laboratory, may be less absorbable or effective than vitamins from natural sources. We recommend choosing food-based supplements when possible since these are recognized by the body and may be easier to digest.
Supplements that claim to have health benefits but lack scientific evidence to support those claims should be approached with caution.
Not all supplements are created equal, and you usually get what you pay for. While clean, quality supplements may be a bit more costly, they’re also generally safe to consume, effective and absorbable.
When in doubt, ask your healthcare provider for help when choosing supplements and do your own research to better understand your options.
Jordan Rubin is one of America’s most recognized and respected natural health experts. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Maker’s Diet and 26 additional titles, including his latest work Essential Fasting. An eco-entrepreneur, author and lecturer on health and nutrition, Jordan is the co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, where he currently serves as CEO. Jordan is also the founder of Heal the Planet Farm and the Ancient Nutrition Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainability located in southern Missouri and middle Tennessee.