The Importance of Potency

The Importance of Potency

They might call it Marketing...we call it Window-Dressing!

We feel strongly that there is one area of the food supplement industry where marketing hype is often allowed to take precedence over the science of nutrition; namely the common practice of including ingredients in formulas at levels that are, in terms of nutrition, completely irrelevant.

Some companies play on the fact that their customers have no measure of what constitutes a relevant level for a particular nutrient. That’s because there is a huge difference in scale between different nutrients. For example, a relevant dose of Vitamin B12 is 1μg (microgram), but for Vitamin B1 it is 1mg (milligram).

The levels look similar but there is actually a 1000 times difference between a microgram and a milligram. But customers cannot be misled when the nutrient is a vitamin or mineral, because the percentage of the RDA (recommended daily amount) has to be listed on the label, and so there is a clear indication of potency.

However, when it comes to plant materials such as cranberry, tiny amounts are often added just to act as ‘window dressing’. In the case above, 10mg of cranberry has been added, when in fact a relevant dose would be more like 10g which is 1000 times more! This explains why we don’t add cranberry to any of our tablets, because the amount needed simply wouldn’t fit. In fact we think cranberry is great stuff but the dose required to be effective is actually 60g a day (or 60,000mg) of fresh cranberries, and the only way to achieve this level as a supplement is in the form of a concentrated powder – which is the form we provide.

At Natures Best we are serious about the science behind supplements and so only include nutrients in our formulas at relevant levels. This means at levels that will make a significant contribution to a normal diet, or in the case of herbs a level that is supported by scientific studies.

Here's a few examples

BASIL

10mg of basil was added to a men’s multi (you’d get 10,000mg in a serving of pesto!)

GINGER

20mg of ginger was added to a ‘joint’ formula (1000mg would be worth talking about)

GINKGO

5mg of ginkgo was added to a 50+ multi (6000mg is the correct dose)

WATERCRESS

10mg of watercress was added to a women’s multi (you’d have at least 10,000mg in a sandwich)

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