Originally proprietary blends were created to protect companies from competitors copying their formulations. Instead of listing exactly how much of which ingredient is in a certain product, you can simply create your own proprietary blend. You then still need to list what is in your product, but not how much.
Below we break down two specific dietary supplements. One that lists every ingredient individually, and one that lists their proprietary blend. Make sure to read that section, because you’ll know exactly what to look out for next time you want to buy a supplement.
Just be mindful of what you put into your body. Most dietary supplements will not do much for you to begin with, which is even more true for those with proprietary blends. 9.5/10 times they’re full of fillers, ineffective amounts, and not knowing what’s in a product also means that you won’t know about any possible negative side effects it can cause for you as an individual.
WARNING: Don’t let supplement companies trick you into spending your hard-earned cash on proprietary blends and other wallet-burning supplements.
At least that’s what supplement companies want you to believe.
Now before we get into this article, I want you to know that it’s not meant to bash the supplement industry altogether. On the contrary, there are many supplements that can be beneficial when applied correctly. For example, many of our online nutrition coaching clients follow a tailored supplement protocol that supplements their nutrition and training program.
However, truth is that most supplements out there seem to do very little to NOTHING for your long term fat loss/fitness goals.
You’re about to learn exactly what proprietary blends are, how supplement companies use them to mislead you, and how you can make an informed decision next time you hear about the new magic pill or powder.
(That being said.. This article may even save you some money!)
What Are Proprietary Blends? ^
Originally proprietary blends were created to protect companies from competitors copying their formulations. Instead of listing exactly how much of which ingredient is in a certain product, you can instead create your own proprietary blend. You then still need to list what is in your product, but not how much.
While this sounds fair enough, it also makes things confusing for the consumer. Because instead of knowing exactly how much of what is in a product, you just get a long list of ingredients without any context.
Before I show you an example, here’s what a proprietary blend looks like on a label:
X blend / Y formula: Ingredient 1, ingredient 2, ingredient 3, etc.
Ingredients are listed from most to least, in terms of amounts. Remember this, because it’ll help you understand the second label I’ll mention below.
Breaking Down Supplement Labels – Proprietary Blend vs Honest Supplement Facts ^
First, let’s have a look at what an honest supplement company does when listing their supplement facts.
Honest ingredient label (sleep supplement) – Notice how every ingredient is listed individually, including the exact serving size per ingredient.
After a quick search on Examine.com to see what the research says about these specific ingredients and their effective dosages, we can confirm that the product above contains enough of the listed ingredients to improve sleep.
Proprietary blend label (weight loss supplement) – Notice how only their own ‘_ Formula Blend’ is listed in micrograms? Now as mentioned earlier, ingredients are listed from most to least in terms of amounts.
That means that turmeric is the most prevalent ingredient in this product. Now unfortunately, turmeric does not seem to have any effects on weight loss. Its effective dosage (for lowering inflammation, the main reason people take turmeric) also seems to be 3x500mg per day, which needs to be combined with black pepper extract (which is not found in this product). That means that the number one ingredient in this product is already a filler in this scenario.
Now let’s look at ingredient number two; African Mango seed. African mango does seem to have some evidence to support its weight loss benefits. However these studies were of poor reporting quality and had some serious problems in terms of the methods used. For that reason there needs to be more, higher quality research before we know how African mango really affects weight loss (if it even does). Effective dosage is not currently known, however it’s mostly used in amounts of 150-300mg per day.
This means that the 250mg of this Proprietary Blend this product includes per serving, is not even enough to provide the main two ingredients in adequate amounts.
You can imagine what that means for the remainder of the ingredients list..
Understanding Effective Dosing ^
If you want your money’s worth then let’s make sure that when you do buy a supplement, that it’s a research-backed product that includes ingredients in effective amounts.
So here’s what you want to do.
Any time you want to learn more about a supplement, always check the label first. Then look up the individual ingredients over at Examine.com (the largest database of nutrition and supplement research on the Internet). What I love about this website is that they provide you with a full breakdown of what the research tells us about a specific compound, but in plain English so that everyone can understand it.
Does this supplement include ingredients that will actually be beneficial to you?
Make An Informed Decision When It Comes To Proprietary Blends ^
To wrap things up, just be mindful of what you put into your body. Most dietary supplements will not do much for you to begin with, which is even more true for those with proprietary blends. 9.5/10 times they’re full of fillers, ineffective amounts, and not knowing what’s in a product also means that you won’t know about any possible negative side effects it can cause for you as an individual
Remember that the basic nutrition and lifestyle changes I often talk about on our channels, will always do more for your long term health and fitness than any supplement out there.
Do some of our online fat loss clients use supplements? Sure, they do. But we always focus on the basics more than anything. Then once those are dialed in, we’ll look into specific supplements that can get us an extra couple of percentages.
Wanna learn more about the 8 research-backed supplements we DO like to include in most of our clients’ supplement protocols? Then download my all-inclusive Fat Loss Nutrition Guide below, and check out the ‘Basic Supplementation’ chapter on pages 69 – 73.
Oh and if you need full checklist of the exact habits you need to dial in to create lifelong results, then check out pages 75 – 76 for the ‘Fundamental Habits’.
Feel free to check it out. I’m sure you’ll enjoyed it as much as I did writing it 🙂
When it comes to supplements.. Be critical, always do your own research, and always double check with your doctor if you have ANY doubts whatsoever.