What’s in that powder, anyway?
A “proprietary blend” is a group of ingredients that may disclose every ingredient, but not the exact amount. They make their appearance on product labels, often with trademarked names like “Detox Blend” or “Greens Blend.” The total weight of the blend per serving is indicated, but never the proportions of each ingredient. To make it even more confusing, some proprietary blends contain other proprietary blends. A blend within a blend!
Why would a company use a proprietary blend?
There are several reasons a company may want to hide their formula on the label:
- As a marketing tactic, by using trendy names or catchwords for their blends
- To increase the perceived value of a product (a blend may contain a higher portion of the cheaper ingredients in the list)
- To protect their formula from competitors and copycats
- To hide an ineffective mix (a blend may contain a lower portion of the active ingredients)
The risk involved
While using a proprietary blend can be of benefit to the supplement company, it’s probably not a benefit for you. Here’s why:
- Since you don’t know how much of each ingredient you’re getting, you can’t check with your doctor on dosage because you won’t know the dosage.
- If you have an allergy to something in the formula, it will be that much harder to figure out which ingredient is causing the allergy.
- You could be wasting your money on a formula that does not have adequate quantities of the active ingredients.
- The proportions of ingredients in a given product could change drastically without the company needing to disclose the change. A product that once worked for you can suddenly become completely ineffective.
Vibrant Health: full disclosure labeling
Our formulator, Mark Timon, designed over 450 nutritional supplements for other companies before founding Vibrant Health. Sounds like a pretty good gig, so why did he start his own company? When Mark would create complex, effective formulas for supplement companies, they would use his formula as a foundation, but would cut costs and corners until the product that hit the shelves contained little more than filler. Once Mark was at the helm, he vowed to create a company with a single creed: Truth. Trust. Transparency.™ With small batch production, full disclosure labeling, and Mark as our fearless formulator, Vibrant Health holds true to its humble roots more than 25 years later.
As a result, we respect your right to know what goes into every product, by disclosing the exact weight of each ingredient in every scoop, right on the label. You always know exactly what you’re consuming.
As a consumer, it’s very difficult and tiresome to choose a trustworthy brand. It’s enough to make our heads spin. The problem is, many people (and labels) just want to sell us something–and that’s understandable–but take a look at the ingredients. If a product is good for you, it should want to give you every detail.
It’s more than likely that some of the supplements that use proprietary blends are effective, and are just trying to protect their formula. However, is that good enough? It’s clear what the consumer wants today: honesty and truth. If it’s good for you, there shouldn’t be anything to hide.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion in this blog is intended to be, nor should be construed to be, medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.