Proprietary Blends: Hidden Risks of Nutritional Health Supplements?

If you are new to health supplements, make sure you read labels and look for transparency when purchasing your products. Some formulas are labeled as complexes or proprietary blends, which is where things get a bit sticky. By labeling products as proprietary blends, the manufacturer doesn’t have to list and identify all the ingredients that are in it- in fact, they could change the formula altogether unbeknownst to their consumer audience.

What is a proprietary blend?

A proprietary blend is a combination of ingredients in a supplement that are not all necessarily identified by the manufacturer nor does the label need to say how much of each is contained in the product. The FDA states that proprietary blends are required to list the total amount of the formulation or product, but not the amount of each one. Instead, a descending list of prevalence is acceptable- but not very informative for the buyer.

If you buy supplements, here is what you should know about proprietary blends:

Proprietary Blends Defined

When you buy a proprietary blend, the manufacturer doesn’t have to release the ‘recipe’ of the formula to the buying public. This brings about the issue of protecting their special formula from other rival supplement manufacturers. Since you can’t own or get a patent on natural herbs and some derivatives, brands are using proprietary blends to comprise a portion of their formula that keeps the exact amounts and details ambiguous, at best.

The Downside

While this makes sense for the brand’s secrecy, it doesn’t help the prospective buyer much. With a proprietary blend, the buyer never really knows what they are going to get. This applies to products marketed as complexes, too. Since many of these supplements are not regulated much, the purity, potency, and concentration of the ingredients comes into question. It always makes the most sense to buy from trusted brands that are made in the US.

Consider the Order

Manufacturers do have to list the contents of their formulations in a descending order on the label. They do not need to say how much, how potent, or any details, but the descending order should indicate that the last ingredients listed on the label are least prevalent.

For example, if a protein powder lists their formula as: Whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and milk protein.

This means the formula contains mostly whey protein concentrate and milk protein the least.

If you are shy about buying proprietary blends, consider buying from a company that you trust to still enjoy the benefits that some of these formulas provide.

Benefits Abound

If you are going to choose proprietary blends, look for those made by a manufacturer and brand that are reputable and trustworthy- they are out there! These carefully crafted formulas from curated ingredients can make all the difference to your health and wellness regimen. Traditional medicines have used specific combinations of herbs for the way that they work and complement one another- it comes as no surprise that brands are not quick to share the specifics on their own popular proprietary blends.

Proprietary Blends FAQs

What is in a proprietary blend?

That all depends. The proprietary blend contains combinations of herbs or nutrients, listed in descending order of appearance in the product. That is, you may know how much of a blend is in the formula, but not the amounts of the ingredients that are in it. This is most commonly used in supplements like pre-workout powders where many ingredients are used.

Are proprietary blends bad?

Proprietary blends are not bad- in fact, they can be fantastic! The best way to find a good proprietary blend is to buy it from a trusted name and brand of supplements. Talk to friends or read online reviews to find highly rated products from companies that exceed customer satisfaction.

What do proprietary blends add to the supplements?

Proprietary blends bring all kinds of health advantages to the table- depending, of course, on what is in it. Again, reading labels is the best way to glean all you can about a supplement as well as the brand that distributes it.

What is a proprietary blend of ingredients?

A proprietary blend of ingredients is a curated and formulated list of ingredients contained in a health supplement. These blends do not provide an accurate or specific breakdown of what is contained and in what amounts.

How do you get good results using a proprietary blend?

It may be hard to get optimal results using a proprietary blend as you won’t know exactly how much of anything is in the product. Always take the proprietary blend as directed by the manufacturer, if that is what you decide to use.

Why does the FDA allow the sale of proprietary blends?

The FDA approves the use of proprietary blends, which is why brands are able to sell them. It is reported that it is to prevent the theft of formulations from one brand by another.

There you have it- all that you need to know before buying a product that contains proprietary blends. Remember that if you have sensitivities, these may pose problems; the best approach is to seek reliable, reputable brands that offer transparent labels and quality ingredients. Read customer feedback online to determine the best products for you based on your distinct health and wellness goals.

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