Are Supplements Placebos?

I get the following email from a friend:

“……but you nevertheless felt the effects 🙂
“Amazingly, 79% of the supplements tested did not contain the primary ingredient listed on the label.”

A Really Bad Week For The Supplements Industry

The author of the article assumes that herbal supplements don’t have the stated chemicals because they don’t contain the DNA of the plant.  He implicitly assumes, therefore, that they are just placebos with rice in them.

Many of the articles you’ll see will also bunch all supplements together and infer that ALL supplements aren’t reliable.

Probably most of the supplements that I recommend are not even herbal such as Inositol, Zinc, PQQ, etc…

I buy supplements for the chemicals they contain, not the DNA in it.  Plant chemicals like Honokiol, Curcumin or Fisetin don’t contain DNA.  This is basic biology and chemistry.

I always prefer to buy from reliable companies that have a track record of passing third party testing from Consumer Labs.   Generally, all of the big companies do well.

I try to buy standardized supplements so that I know what I’m getting.

If they do a study that shows that big companies don’t have the chemicals in them that are standardized, then that’s when my ears will perk up.

Sometimes, I’ll buy the whole herb if I feel a good effect from it.  Generally, you can see if you’re getting the herb in question in the same way you know you’re buying blueberries when you go to the store.  They have a certain smell, look, taste and effect.

I take supplements for the effects of it, not for the DNA that they contain.

It happens to be that I’ve never really had a very powerful effect from the supplements that they tested, especially ginseng. I’ve tried many types of ginseng and have been disappointed.  I don’t think we’re getting the quality stuff.

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics


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