Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why good herbal products cost more

One of the great tragedies of the supplement/nutrition world is that supplements can be purchased at a supermarket. The reason I consider this a tragedy is for two reasons. Firstly you are not guided in your decision making process. Most people purchase a supplement to address as problem. Due to the complexity of the situation, and the mass of products on offer, the chances of getting a good match are slim. Secondly things in supermarket are price sensitive. We consider price as an important factor in our purchasing decisions (I know this otherwise organics and health foods would take up a larger space in our supermarkets). With price being an issue, supplements are likely to be of poorer quality because top notch ingredients and systems cost more.

As a rather extreme example of this was a supplement that had gone off. It was a syrup with herbs in suspension. The suspension didn't have any preservative in it, and it had gone off. In opening up the package an analyzing the contents, a large range of bugs were found. There was the very nasty staphylococcus aureus. This is the "infection bug". It causes pus infections in wounds, creates boils and can be very serious to diabetics causing them to loose limbs. Staphylococcus epidermidis was also found. Not has nasty as S.aureus, but still a significant threat to anybody with a compromised immune system.There were soil bugs like Bacillus megaterium, which are thought not to hard humans, along with seven other bacteria or fungi.

As this was a sealed product, the contaimination must have been present when the product left the factory. Therefore if you were to purchase this product, even though it might have looked or smelt OK, it would have had these nasty bugs in it. So this is why you pay good money, for great supplements. 

So when it comes to supplements the higher cost, and hence higher quality, products are a much better investment.

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