Differing Supplement Price and Quality?

When buying supplements, does brand matter? I mean if I buy a vitamin d supplement and brand x sells it for $5/bottle and each bottle has 100 caps with 500mg per cap, and brand y also is selling vitamin d in the exact same quantity for $4 per bottle, is there any good reason to not simply go with the better price? Is there any merit to the claim that a company sells a higher quality supplement? And what does it even mean to say that?

A higher quality supplement could mean many things:

  • The form that said supplement is in differs in absorption from other forms
  • Purity of supplement
  • Different compounds in the same product which affect or alter absorption
  • Different release rates (Either from other compounds acting upon it, or types of capsules)
  • For plants, the actual method of growth and soil quality
  • Form (Powder, Liquid, encapsulated)

1,3 and 4 could be analyzed by looking at the label and doing your homework, but 2,5 and 6 are more like a gamble. If those two are of a concern, then it may be better to go with the more reputable company.

Not all categories would be a problem for all supplements. For vitamin D, I know of nothing that could be added to increase it’s uptake(1,3) and I doubt 4,5 are concerns. So I guess for your scenario you should just buy the one you want and stop worrying over a dollar.

[quote]Fiction wrote:
When buying supplements, does brand matter?[/quote]

Anything that you’re going to spend money on, let alone something you plan on ingesting, certainly merits a look at the company producing it. That’s true whether we’re talking cars, scotch, or whey protein.

Silverhydra was getting into a lot of it. A “higher quality” supplement is generally one that A - actually contains what the label says it does (you’d be surprised the number of shady companies that simply skip over the whole “giving the customer what they pay for”-thing); B - Actually contains ingredients that are useful (as opposed to, say, kitchen sink formulas that include 34 different ingredients for no particular reason); and C - Doesn’t contain things that it shouldn’t. (The movie Bigger, Faster, Stronger had a great section about this):

The bottom line is that, since it seems like there are a bazillion and three supplement companies out there, you’re best off sticking with brands that not only have few people speaking against their products, but have people actively speaking in favor of them. Also, see what companies are recommended by coaches whose word you already trust.

For example, since we’re talking about Vitamin D in your example, I do take it, and I only get Carlson’s brand. Why? Quite simply because Dr. Jonny Bowden has suggested that particular brand and I trust his opinion, so when I decided to get it, I took his advice. They’ve also been around for quite a while and I haven’t heard any negative feedback about them. Even if another brand is 50% off some month, I stick with Carlson’s because I have faith in that company for that product.

As another example, I only use the Spike line of energy drinks (Shooters, Shotgun, and Double Shot, depending on the activity). I usually tell people that, “It’s made by a sports supplement company, not a soda company. And that’s why.” And I’m only half-joking.

After doing the littlest amount of research, as well as from my own experience, I’m not the least bit interested in Red Bull, Diet Turbo Tea, or any of the other bottles found in the gym fridge. Most of them use that kitchen sink formula I was talking about earlier.

So yeah, it’s not as simple as “you get what you pay for”, because sometimes high-quality companies aren’t necessarily the most expensive products around (for example, Metabolic Drive). But when it comes to supplements, it’s not the time to try to save a penny and always go the cheaper route.

I bought vitamin d for like pennies… maybe i should be concerned now lol

[quote]Mouldsie wrote:
I bought vitamin d for like pennies… maybe i should be concerned now lol[/quote]

The Carlson’s mentioned by Chris Colluci are about 4 cents a piece if purchased through amazon.

carlson’s comes in liquid form too, at which point the price is all but negligible.