Shady Supplements


I wanted to make everyone aware  of some information I learned this week. I had previously heard  that some supplement companies engage in some sketchy practices, but I had not done a lot of digging into this. Well, this weekend I was listening to a Podcast by I guy who’s stuff I follow named Mike Matthews. In it, he launched into just some of the practices that some (not all) of these companies use in order to make an extra buck. I will mention just a few of them.

1. “Amino Spiking”

This is a practice of making it appear as though there is more quality protein in a product than there truly is. Nutritional stated

How do they get away with it? By exploiting a quirk in the method used to determine the protein content of foods, beverages, and dietary supplements. Called the Kjeldahl method, this procedure is what Sarma terms “a surrogate test,” in that it measures the total nitrogen in a test substance and uses that as an indicator of the protein present. “Typically, the numerical result for the amount of nitrogen is simply multiplied by the factor 6.25,” Sarma says. “The resulting figure is used as the amount of protein.”

Read the rest of this awesome article at

This news is shocking to someone like me who used to be super excited to find $18.00 protein at Wal-Mart. One of the ways that Matthews said  to check on this is to look for third party tests on the products. Apparently there are some people who have enough free time to build labs at their homes and run tests on this stuff. That is awesome for the rest of us! There have also been some scholarly studies on them. Another thing mentioned in the podcast was looking at the people who own the companies. Do a little digging on the company and find out who runs it. With the internet, you can get a decent sense of whether a person really cares about the product they are selling or if they are only in it for the money.

2. Buying Reviews

You know those Amazon reviews that you base a lot of your purchases on? Yeah, many of them are actually paid for by the companies whose product is being reviewed. This is an elaborate marketing scheme by many of these companies, and it is apparently completely legal. Just google “buying Amazon reviews,” and you will see that there are entire sites dedicated to buying your own reviews.

These are just a couple of the things seen in an industry full of shady practices. This is not meant to make you overly negative about the supplement world. There are many trustworthy companies out there that seem to really care about their customers. This is just meant to make you aware of these scams so that you can keep an eye out for them and make wise choices in your buying

As Christians, we are to be uplifting and encouraging people, but we are not called to be naive and overly trusting. This is another example of the sin that lives in all of our hearts and shows itself in ugly ways. Keep an eye out for these shady dealings. and continue to be forgiving of the sins of others. No matter how despicable these practices seem, those who commit them are equally as sinful as we are.

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