At LivingHealthy we are consumers like you—curious about everything we put in and on our bodies. We tend to be skeptical. We research our purchase decisions. We read reviews. We read articles. We check sources. We get buyer’s remorse. We loathe buying products we can’t use. We fear that if we cannot put something into our daily habits and routines, we won’t use it.
Most of us admitted to being sporadic about and conflicted around taking vitamins and supplements regularly.
The medical literature finds the evidence of the benefits inconclusive, if not downright controversial.
And then there are the news headlines, like this one from ABC News on February 3, 2015: “Bogus Herbal Supplements Fail Ingredient Test: Investigation.” And from The New York Times Well Blog: “New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers” and “Chains Pull Dietary Aids Off Shelves After Inquiry.”
What’s in our vitamins and supplements? How are they made?
A quick Internet search around the question of what’s in vitamins and supplements brings up an array of articles, some quite dated. Topics about synthetic versus nonsynthetic popped up, as well as a random smattering of articles ranging wildly in facts—each one contradicting the next.
Our motto for the LivingHealthy SHOP is “sought-after products we love from sought-after experts we trust.”
So here’s what we did. We decided that we were going to visit the factory where Dr. Schulze’s products are made and see for ourselves. We wondered if he would let us. And if he wouldn’t, what that might mean? In getting to know the “maker,” we had spent time interviewing Dr. Schulze on camera and asking his staff lots of questions. In one of the interviews with Dr. Schulze (which you can watch here), he talks about his surprise in touring a vitamin and supplement factory when he was just starting out, and seeing only “vats and vats of chemicals.”
We wondered: Would his factory be different? Would our fantasy of “farm to table” herbs and supplements be just that? Would we even know what we were looking for or looking at?
On the day of the videotaping, my phone started lighting up and ringing. “This place is like my grandmother’s kitchen.” “My eyes are burning from the chilies.” “The ginger smells so good, I want to cook something.” “I could never eat that much garlic in a lifetime.” “I feel healthy just being here.”
This video shows our raw footage of what we experienced and saw. The factory staff explained that there are two main processes: “wet” and “dry.” The wet is for making the tonics, drops and liquid formulas. The dry is for making the tablets, caplet ingredients, snack bars and teas.
So we hope you like this brief “tour” of what we saw in the making of Dr. Schulze’s products at the ingredient level.
All I can tell you is this: I have the best job in the world for me at this point in my life. To be able to take an herbal supplement that suits my personal needs (and my family’s needs) and have the knowledge of how it’s made, where it’s made, what’s in it and who made it is about as good as it gets (when you are as skeptical, obsessive, cost-conscious, unable-to-eat-her-way-to-a-perfectly-balanced-diet type as this consumer). Do I drive myself a bit nutty sometimes worrying too much about getting everything I need to look and feel my best each and every day? Maybe (but you don’t have to live with me; you just get the benefit of me obsessing for you). Do I share with my medical doctor all the vitamins and supplements I take? Yes, I do. Secret: When my doctor is writing me prescriptions for some of my longtime medical conditions, she also writes down the vitamins and supplements I take and we compare anecdotal notes on those—just between us. And we treat our discussion of my prescriptions and their effect on me with equal reverence as our discussions on my herbal supplementation strategy. That’s about as nonscientific and anecdotal as it gets. That conversation never would have happened 20 years ago. And it’s happening more and more. Read this article from one of our PhD writers: Do Doctors Have a Moral Responsibility to Discuss Alternatives to Conventional Medicine?
CONSUMER FDA NOTICE – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.