Geek Corner

geek corner
We kept this little corner of our site for those of you that have an inner geek that gets off on learning the why behind the what. So dive in and enjoy the indulgence (and let us know if you want more).

FAQ's About Supplements

Here we try and answer some of those questions you've always wanted to ask about supplements. If you have any questions we haven't covered, drop us an email and we'll get back to you.

Whilst we know that the tools and methods of different vitamin manufacturers do vary, the basic process is roughly the same everywhere vitamins are made.

The first step is to determine what substances and compounds the intended vitamin product will need to be composed of. This includes not only the essential vital substance itself but also the substance or vehicle that binds the vitamin into a solid form. Unless you’re producing a liquid vitamin, which would err, be a liquid.

Although, where dosing is a critical issue, liquid vitamins must be encapsulated, and could be made into a soft gel capsule.

Solid vitamin pills must utilize an internal binding agent in order for the pill to keep its shape and retain proper dosing. Read chalk or benign fillers. Yummy.

Often times the character and percentage of binding agents used in vitamins will go a long way toward determining how it can be marketed, and whether or not it can be considered organic, for example. Check out labels to look at what comes first to see whether you’re actually just chowing down on some talc.

Once the ingredients are measured out precisely, they are placed in a mechanical tumbler until they form a consistent blend. And after around fifteen minutes in the mixer, most formulas are ready to move on to the next stage. Encapsulation.

The powder is then injected into capsules or mould by their precise weight. This requires very precise machinery. After this, the dry capsules will be polished in order to remove any remaining powder on the surface of the pill and liquid capsules are sealed, sometimes with a vegetarian gel, to prevent leakage.

From there, they are counted and dropped down a chute (we like to think of it as a slide) into a container. Each bottle then receives a sealed lid and is labelled according to its contents, recommended usage information, and the expiration date.

Et Voila. The products are then scanned for accuracy, loaded into boxes and prepared for shipping.

SMPNutra.com

This is another one of those slightly confusing points with a number of different schools of thought. Most supplements recommend taking with food to reduce the chances they’ll upset your stomach, stimulate digestion and improve absorption. However not all are essential. It’s kind of an arse covering situation, BUT we do know that when you don’t, the chances of you belching chalk or tasting fish all day is significantly increased. That’s why we add, fibre to help your body digest and absorb.

Ok there is no Vitamin D5 but it is quite confusing to understand the difference between vitamin D2 and 3. Let's have a look at the differences between them:

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids calcium absorption for healthy bones and helps the body maintain a strong immune defence. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it products Vitamin D3. However, we often don’t get enough sunlight in the northern hemisphere.

Vitamin D2 is produced by plants when they are exposed to UV light and can be found in things like mushrooms, and whilst a viable alternative for vegans, it is not as effective as D3 when it comes to raising blood levels. Whilst they both convert in the liver, D2 yields less calcifediol than D3. So if deficient, D3 has been found to be better at raising vitamin D status, with one study finding that vitamin D3 was twice as effective at increasing vitamin D levels than D2 supplements.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from either fish oil or lanolin in sheep’s wool is the same compound. In most cases it has been chemically converted from a compound in lanolin, while that in fish oil is naturally produced (also by conversion of the same compound). Vitamin D3 from lanolin tends to be cheaper than from fish oil and because vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with fats or oils, some argue that getting it from fish oil helps to provide better absorption. Though if you were being pedantic, this could also be achieved by taking vitamin D with a meal that contains some fats/oils. Or our gels.

Once a sheep has had a haircut, the wool undergoes an extraction process to produce cholesterol, which can be converted into something called 7-dehydrocholesterol – known as pre-vitamin D3. This is then irradiated (kills harmful bacteria) to produce cholecalciferol, which is the same reaction that happens in human skin when producing vitamin D from sunlight. And the sheep, well he’s just happy he got a fresh cut for the summer.

You can. The boffins over at Healthspan created a Vegan Vitamin D3 by working with several universities and research groups to develop a scalable process to produce Vitamin D3 from a 100% plant source. This not only makes the supplements suitable for vegans, but also cuts down the carbon produced during the production process. This new source of vitamin D3 comes from algae, with no animals involved in the process. It still produces the most body-ready form of vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, but it's also non-GMO (genetically modified), sustainably produced, and is registered with the Vegan Society and Vegetarian Society. It's also Kosher and Halal certified. No pesticides are used, as the algae is grown in controlled conditions, and no harsh solvents are required. It is a very low-energy process and can easily be scaled up, as algae grows so rapidly. What's more, 'waste' algae can be reused in the next round of algae growth, contributing to the efficiency of the process. Boom. Well done Healthspan.

It’s actually not that complex. The main difference between water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins is how they’re absorbed into and act within the body.

The majority of vitamins are water-soluble and as the name suggests, easily dissolve in water and as a result, are technically more easily absorbed into the tissues of the body and metabolized more quickly than fat-soluble vitamins.

Fat soluble vitamins therefore dissolve in…. fats. These vitamins are absorbed by fat globules within the body and then carried throughout the bloodstream. There are four fat-soluble vitamins, which include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K and rather than being excreted by the body when you go for a pee, they or stored in the liver or fatty tissue for use later on. Claro?

(water soluble vitamins): Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B9 (folate), Vitamin B12(cobalamin), and Vitamin C.

Liposomal vitamins have enjoyed a bit of a moment lately. And it’s not without reason.

Liposomal Encapsulation Technology consists of microscopic healthy fat particles called phospholipids. Phospholipids are very similar to the membrane that surrounds each and every cell within our body

Once upon a time many years ago, researchers discovered that these liposomes could be filled with nutrients. The membrane of the liposome would hold in the nutrient and would not release it until it reached the bloodstream. In plain speak, that means that the liposome would protect the vitamins from degredation as they pass through your digestive system and harsh stomach acid. Once they pass the intestines into the blood, the nutrients are delivered to the cells because the cell membrane is similar in chemical structure to the liposomes allowing the nutrients to enter the cells and replenish the body.

Now whilst this is beneficial compared to taking generic tablets, it is not as beneficial compared to taking a liquid (gel) because the substance is already ready for the body to assimilate quickly. And there are a few considerations, such as the fact that the technology is not widely available.

So in short. Yes to a point. What you really should be doing is taking the most bioavailable supplements you can.

We use a highly functional fibre from citrus fruit, which binds and holds both water and fat.

Vitamins & Minerals

We choose our ingredients with great care, finding the right balance of nutrition and taste. Here you can view all the vitamins and minerals that we use to create our lifetsyle supplements: 

Calcium Everyone knows that calcium improves bone health.

 

Zinc Improves Skin health.

 

Selenium Keeps your immune system healthy. Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity.

 

Magnesium Increases bone density.

 

Iron Transports oxygen throughout your blood.

 

Copper Supports your bone density and plays an important role in iron metabolism.

 

Manganese Improves your bone health.

 

Iodine Balances your heart rate.

 

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) Boosts your immune system.

 

Vitamin B2 Keeps your eyes healthy.

 

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Improves cognition and neurological health.

 

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) Improves digestive system.

 

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) Reduces your risk of heart attack.

 

Vitamin B9 Can reduce the likelihood of congenital conditions.

 

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Keeps your hair and skin healthy.

 

Biotin D Improves skin and hair health.

 

Vitamin A Keeps your reproductive system healthy.

 

Vitamin C Promotes immune health.

 

Vitamin D2 Boosts your immune system.

 

Vitamin D3 Boosts your immune system. Needed for the absorption of calcium.

 

Vitamin E Supports healthy immune function.

 

Vitamin K Prevents Heart Disease.

 

Chromium Normalises your metabolism.

 

Coenzyme Q10 Slows down ageing and provides cells with energy.

 

Boron May improve memory, focus, nervous system function.

 

Lutein Reduces damage from blue screen light.

 

Bioperine Aids digestion and activates ingredients.

 

Reishi A mushroom that has been used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue.

 

Ashwaganda An apoptogenic root traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, which is known for its ability to help the body to adapt to stress. In clinical trials, the patented version of Ashwagandha root we use has been proven to decrease overall daily stress response by 62.2%.

 

Spirulina Energy booster, natural immunomodulator.

 

Turmeric Improves digestion, natural antioxidant and antiinflammatory.

 

L-Glutamine Promotes white cell growth and other immune cells.

 

Citrus Bioflavinoids Increases cellular integrity.

 

Potassium Helps to balance fluids in the body and maintain a steady heartbeat. Essential for muscle contraction.

 

Maca A peruvian herb to help reduce stress while boosting energy, performance and libido. Waheyyyyy.

 

Cacao (Chocamine) Helps reduce inflammation, and regulate metabolism and muscle growth.

 

Ubiquinonol CoQ10 Vitamin-like compound made in the body and used by cells to produce energy for growth and repair.

 

Collagen Peptide (1&2) Collagen is a structural protein found in connective tissues throughout your body, including skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Its primary function is to help tissues withstand stretching. As we age, our bodies make less collagen. Some people attempt to restore collagen by taking a collagen supplement.

 

Hylauronic Acid Hyaluronic Acid (which you might find hiding on the labels of some of your skincare products as HA), is naturally occurring in the human body,' says Dia Foley of Indeed Labratories. The substance works as a magnet for moisture, helping your cells retain as much of it as possible so that your skin feels and appears hydrated, plump and healthy.

 

L-Carnatine Helps the body turn fat into energy.

 

Siberian Ginseng Plant used in herbal medicine to increase energy and alertness, and reduce mental and physical fatigue.

 

Taurine Amino acid found naturally in the human body. Improves focus, and mental and physical performance.

 

CDP Choline Compound that works to improve attention, focus and mental performance.

 

Rhodiola Rosea Flowering plant that helps boost mental processing, learning, attention span, mood and work capacity.

 

Folate A B vitamin. It helps make DNA and produce red blood cells.

 

DHA Omega 3 Essential for the maintenance and normal function of the brain.

 

Bacopa Monnieri Native to Southern India, is traditionally used in Ayurveda and has demonstrated memory improvement and anxiety reduction2 properties.

 

Alpha GPC A precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, studies have shown this to improve attention3 and protect against cognitive decline4.

 

Phosphatidylserine Is vital for cognitive function, but is not necessarily needed as the body synthesizes it. However, Phosphatidylserine (PS) supplementation in older individuals seems to improve memory and cognitive capacity.

 

Euphoria Longan Fruit Comes from a tree native to tropical areas of South East Asia. Traditionally used for cognitive improvement, we have included a high strength extract of it in a powerful 20:1 extract

 

Gotu Kola Believed by alternative practitioners to have antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and memory-enhancing properties. It has long been used as an herbal tonic to treat mood disorders and enhance memory. Gotu kola appears to reduce anxiety by regulating the activity of neurotransmitters known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Asiatic acid is the compound in gotu kola believed to trigger this effect.

 

L Theanine Supports mental function and relaxation, particularly with reference to anxiety.

 

L Tyrosine Is also commonly used to improve learning, memory, and alertness, especially during stressful situations.

 

Carnosine Is important for many normal body functions including the proper function and development of the muscles, heart, liver, kidneys, brain, and many other organs. There is some interest in using carnosine to prevent aging because it seems to interfere with certain chemicals that might play a role in the aging process.

 

5HTP A compound which gets converted into serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the principal neurotransmitters involved in happiness and anti-depression.

Liquids v Pills

An interesting article from Medicare Europe highlighting the difference between liquid extracts Vs. capsules/tablets.

• Because the body does not need to break down a liquidextract, more of the medicinal properties can be absorbed into the system,making it (and you) much more powerful than a capsule or tablet.

• With capsules or tablets, the body must first extractor break down the medicinal properties of the herb to putthem in liquid form in the stomach.

• More specifically, it takes liquid extracts 1-4minutes to assimilate. Whereas capsules or tablets (pills) can take from20-30 minutes just to break down, and that’s before the body can evenstart to ­assimilate them. 

• The body uses 98% of liquid extracts, whereas the bodyonly utilizes approximately 39-53% of capsules or tablets. Guesswhere the remainder ends up? Yup. Shit huh.

Medical studies have shown that liquid extracts have fasterabsorption rates; higher optimization rates and is more easily digestible. Infact, the Physician’s Desk Reference states that 85-90% of nutrients in liquidsupplements are absorbed in just 22 to 30 seconds. Compare this to hours ittakes for the nutrients in pills to be absorbed by the body and that’s a wholelot more time that those vitamins are supporting your body than being purely intransit.

Add that to the fact that it has been demonstrated that only10%-20% of the nutrients in pills actually are absorbed and there really is noother option is there?  Why do you thinkthat the preferred method of delivery in hospitals is liquid medicine?

The National Advisory Board state that 100 mg consumed intablet form translates into a concentration of only 8.3 mg or 8.3% in theblood.