Food supplements are definitely the trendy products of the moment: with growth of +6.29% , the French market for nutritional supplements reached a turnover of more than €2.3 billion in 2021 . A meteoric rise of +125% in 10 years , explained by consumers' ever-increasing attraction to natural health solutions. In addition, the COVID crisis has brought the population face to face with the importance of maintaining an optimal level of health, leading to a spectacular surge in sales .
Countless brands and manufacturers have seized on this phenomenon to ride the wave of ultra-trendy complementary products so much so that we now find entire shelves of these supplements in pharmacies, drugstores , organic and nutrition stores , hyper/ supermarkets , ... And let's not talk about the endless quantity of sites offering these health solutions .
How to navigate and make the right choice? We will explain everything to you !
Step n°1: I look at the packaging of the food supplement
This may seem trivial, but the packaging of the food supplement is important. Indeed, many vitamins , minerals and plants are photosensitive . In other words, in the presence of light, these molecules can change their structure and lose their effectiveness .
It is therefore preferable to choose food supplements in an opaque jar or, failing that, for the jar or blister to be protected by a case .
Aware of the importance of packaging , Reborn has decided to eventually offer all its gummies and chewable tablets in jars in boxes . The Absolu Reborn range is already entirely in a box.
Step n°2: I check that the label or the box complies with French regulations in their entirety.
You can quickly get an idea of the seriousness of a nutritional supplement brand by checking that all the mandatory information defined in European Regulation 1169/2011 is present on the product:
- Legal sales name : Food supplement based on ...
- List of ingredients : It must be preceded by the words “Ingredients” and the ingredients are listed in descending order of weight.
- Net quantity : It must be in the same field as the legal name.
- Composition table: It summarizes the list of active ingredients.
- Directions for use and daily portion
- Specific precautions for use of the product.
- Minimum durability date or use-by date
- Batch number
- Name or company name and address of the person responsible for placing it on the market : this information is essential to guarantee the traceability of the products
At Reborn, we are advised by a regulatory firm with expertise in French and European regulations, which allows us to guarantee the conformity of our products. This compliance with decrees , directives and regulations is then validated by the competent authorities during the declaration stage of placing the product on the market . Our products are notably authorized for distribution in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy.
The fact that a food supplement is authorized in many countries also gives a clue to its safety and seriousness. Be careful though, just because you see that a product is distributed in a country does not mean it is necessarily authorized there! Many brands deliberately omit the validation step by authorities , which is costly. It is very difficult to verify yourself that a product is authorized in a country, even if there are indications.
For example, at Reborn, for our nutricosmetics distributed in Belgium , you will find our NUT number on our products, which is the number assigned by the authorities .
Step n°3: I look at the non-obligatory information on the product
Non-mandatory mentions are generally "marketing" mentions and also reflect the honesty of a brand.
For example, you will find sentences, called “ claims ”, which mention the health benefits of the ingredients contained in the product. We must be vigilant and ensure that these allegations:
- are not inaccurate , ambiguous or misleading ,
- that they do not encourage excessive consumption ,
- that they do not cast doubt on the safety of other brands,
- that they do not suggest that a varied and balanced diet cannot provide nutrients in appropriate quantities
- that they do not mention bodily modifications likely to inspire fear
In short, be wary if you see allegations :
- suggesting that not consuming the supplement would be detrimental to your health
- referring to the rate or extent of weight loss
- for therapeutic purposes, relating to a disease . In particular, it is prohibited to suggest that a nutritional supplement can cure an illness. For example, if you see “calcium cures osteoporosis ” written, this is totally prohibited. On the other hand, it is possible to write ' Calcium contributes to normal bone density '.
There are also nutritional claims referring to the amount or absence of vitamins , minerals , sugars , etc. Are you looking for something in particular in a product? The absence of sugars ? Look for the words “sugar-free” (<0.5g/100g) or “low sugar content” (<5g/100g) A significant amount of vitamin C ? Choose the words “rich in vitamin C” rather than “ source of vitamin C ”. The absence of aspartame ? If the mention "contains aspartame " is absent (and aspartame is absent from the list of ingredients), everything is ok!
Mentions on naturalness, diet, place of manufacture, “free from”, etc.
In the marketing notices , you will also find logos informing you of certain advantages of the product and whether it may suit your diet : vegan , vegetarian , natural flavors and colorings , etc.
Pay attention to certain mentions :
- The words “ GMO-free ” or “ titanium dioxide-free ” must be accompanied by a sentence “According to current European regulations”. Indeed, all food supplements on the market must be, when they comply with regulations , free of GMOs and titanium dioxide . Highlighting it without specifying that this is just simple compliance with regulations is an act of unfair competition and reflects the lack of ethics of a brand. On Reborn products, these notices are absent or accompanied by the phrase "according to current European regulations".
- The term “ cruelty free ” is prohibited. In fact, there are no animal tests expected on materials used in food and therefore for fraud it would also be a question of unfair competition .
- The mention “Mention Made in France ” should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is not because a product is made in France that all the ingredients it contains are too. In order not to mislead the consumer, it is obligatory for the manufacturer to indicate the origin of the major ingredients in the composition of its products, generally plants. For example, for our Hair & Nails it is indicated “ Made in France, Horsetail: French origin ”.
- The “ Natural ” label: apart from flavorings and colorings , the “ natural ” label is very rarely possible for a food supplement . Indeed, even when the ingredients are plants , it is enough for the plant to have undergone an act of transformation to make it into an extract and the term " natural " is then no longer possible. So be wary when a brand mentions this on its label!
Step n°4: I check in the instructions for use that all the “mandatory” sentences are present
" ☑ Does not exempt you from a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
According to Directive (EC) 2002/46, it is obligatory to mention that food supplements are SUPPLEMENTS and that in no case can they replace a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
☑ Do not exceed the recommended daily dose.
To guarantee consumer safety , it is important (and mandatory) to specify the daily dose as well as to mention that it must not be exceeded. Of course, the safety margin taken is large and it is not by taking, for example, 3 gummies instead of 2 that there will be a risk.
☑ Keep out of the reach of young children.
Children , we know, are curious. They touch everything, taste everything. We can't even imagine the drama if they swallow capsules and one of them gets stuck in their little throat. And the risk of poisoning if, charmed by the delicious taste of gummies , they decide to finish the jar. So for their safety and to make sure, be sure to keep the food supplement away from their little digging arms . And, in accordance with the regulations, we do not fail to remind you of this to preserve them as much as possible!
☑ Store in a cool, dry place and away from light.
The conservation of food supplements and the expiration date are developed with specific storage conditions . Usually at room temperature , in the dark and dry . If these storage conditions are not respected by the consumer, there is a risk that the product will expire before its time and therefore a risk for the consumer . This statement may seem trivial but is very important for the health of the consumer .
☑ Seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
This mention is not obligatory but is a health recommendation from the DGCCRF . Some brands grant themselves the right to omit it to broaden their customer target and not exclude particular populations. At Reborn , we refuse to endanger pregnant or breastfeeding women and children . Each individual is a particular case and in particular, these populations mentioned are at risk and only a health professional who knows them will be able to advise them best to offer them maximum safety .
☑ Excessive consumption can have laxative effects.
This statement is mandatory when the product contains sweeteners . The latter presenting certain advantages for diabetics , for oral health and as part of a diet , it is still advisable not to overuse them at the risk of awakening their main disadvantage on transit.
Step n°5: I check that the precautions for use do not prevent me from taking the product
Precautions for use are sometimes combined on the label with the conditions of use . Certain plants or certain vitamins are not suitable because of certain pathologies . For example, turmeric has a blood thinning effect. Combined with anticoagulants , this can lead to hemorrhaging or bleeding . This is why on the label of our Absolu Solar product which contains it, we advise against taking the product simultaneously with taking anti-coagulants .
If you suffer from an illness or if you are taking medication , it is therefore essential to ensure that the food supplement you are going to buy is not at risk for you.
Step n°6: I check the list of ingredients: absence of allergens, nanomaterials or controversial additives and reasonable list length.
Now, zoom in on the list of ingredients !
If the product contains allergens or nanomaterials , these must appear in the list of ingredients . Make sure this is not the case.
Also pay close attention to the length of the ingredient list . A growing list is a bad sign. Indeed, there may be an excess of excipients and therefore an increased risk of multiple presence of controversial additives (you know the "E" something). Or, there is a reasonable number of excipients but far too many active ingredients. And this immense quantity of active molecules , contrary to what one might logically think, is not associated with disproportionate effectiveness , quite the contrary! By multiplying the active ingredients , we increase the risk of negative interactions between them which can sometimes cancel out their benefits . A list of ingredients that goes straight to the point, without extravagance and clean , is the key to a good food supplement .
At Reborn, the ingredient lists are simple and without fuss to guarantee you maximum efficiency : in our gummies you find just the essentials to obtain a perfect gel texture : glucose syrup , sugar (the equivalent of sugars from an apple wedge), apple or lemon pectin, citric acid and a hint of vegetable oil mixture ( coconut oil, carnauba wax). Added to this are our active ingredients with a reasonable maximum quantity per ingredient category. Our chewable tablets deploy an even shorter list of ingredients which we invite you to dissect using our dedicated blog article here .
Step #7: I check the types of preparations used for the plants
Focus on the plants of the product that interests you. How were they prepared ? Are they in powder form? Excerpt ? What is the extraction ratio ? Is there a titration ? Is the extract objectified?
An extract is preferable to a powder , because it is more concentrated and purified of any unnecessary molecule for the desired indication.
The extraction ratio is not always indicated on the label but if the information is there, choose the highest ratio. For example a 4/1 ratio means that the extract has been concentrated 4 times (like our wild pansy extract in our fabulous Absolute Pure ).
A titrated extract is an extract where the quantity of the active molecule of interest is the same regardless of the production batch of the raw material . For example, in our Eye & Contour product, we use a grape seed extract titrated to 95% OligoProanthocyanidins ( OPC ). This means that, whatever the grape harvest season, whatever the climatic conditions and whatever the harvest time, the quantity of OPC will always be the same. A real guarantee of constant effectiveness .
Finally, nothing better than a concentrated extract, titrated and objectified or even patented! At Reborn, we no longer swear by verified ingredients , that is to say which have been the direct subject of scientific studies which have demonstrated their effectiveness . Often, the active ingredient is recognizable because its name is registered and it is followed by an ® on the label. For example, you will find in our products: SOD B Primo-antioxidant® ( Absolu Pure ), Keranat® ( Absolu+ Hair ), Pomewhite® ( Absolu+ White ), and many others!
Step n°8: I check the vitamin dosages
In the table of active ingredients , there are generally 3 columns: name of the active ingredient, daily dose , % Reference Intakes.
The Reference Intake represents the amount of nutrients you need if you are a typical-average adult. This value is indicated in % in the table to inform you that the product gives you x% of what you need.
The ideal is an intake of 100%, or even 200% to take into account that the body does not assimilate 100% of what it ingests. There is no point in overdosing . For water-soluble vitamins (group B, C), the excess is eliminated in the urine via the renal system and therefore has no use, except a risk of tiring the kidneys. For fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K), the excess is stored and can become toxic . An overdose is therefore not synonymous with over-effectiveness but with unsafety . For example, it is a total aberration to put 20,000% AR of biotin in a product, and many brands do it, constantly competing with each other to see which product will contain the most. A real marketing battle endangering the health of the consumer. At Reborn, taking part in this fight is out of the question and we offer the right dose of biotin in our Hair & Nails product (~200% AR).
Choosing a food supplement is not an easy task. Many clues on the label direct you to the seriousness of a brand, the quality of the active ingredients, the suitability to your needs and your state of health and the guarantee of your safety. If you have any questions about our food supplements, do not hesitate to contact our development team: email@example.com