Why avoid proprietary blends when buying supplements?

Why avoid proprietary blends when buying supplements?

Have you ever seen the words “proprietary blend” on a supplement and wondered what does that mean? Or maybe like many people, you’ve seen it and thought that it’s probably a fancy way of saying that the product is high-quality and exclusive. If that’s you, you are dead wrong! Read on and find out what it means when a supplement is labeled “proprietary blend” and why you should avoid it.

What are proprietary blends?

There are many supplements in the market labeled as “proprietary blends.” In others, the label could read proprietary “mix,” “matrix,” “formula,” or “complex.” They all refer to products that have a particular combination of ingredients. But the product owners don’t reveal how much of each component the product contains. Thus, the “proprietary” label. 

  • Why do supplement  Manufacturers don’t have to list the specific masses of each component? 
  • Many uninformed consumers wrongly associate the term “proprietary blends” with high-quality or exclusive products. But in many cases, it’s a marketing hype to drive up revenues.
  • Since no one knows how much of each ingredient is in the blend (apart from the manufacturer), it’s easy to disguise a low-quality product using the “proprietary blend” mask. 


Proprietary blends provide manufacturers with leeway to sell you a mystery supplement. 

Most manufacturers claim their reason for producing proprietary blends is to maintain their trade secrets. They don’t want competitors to duplicate their products. But there’s more to it than what they say. Supplement manufacturers are increasingly embracing the “proprietary blends” label because: 

FDA rules only require manufacturers to indicate the total weight of the product and use fanciful terms like “proprietary blend traces of the effective ingredients, and a big part is just non-dietary fillers. But the point is, you never really know.


Should you take proprietary blends?

The simple answer to this is a straight NO! But here are the reasons you should avoid proprietary. 

Their effectiveness is unproven: Proprietary blends often have an asterisk next to any claim. The asterisk means that the claims are not validated by experts. Instead, you will see a celebrity endorsing the product. Don’t fall for such tricks. Use products that have clinical evidence to support their claims. 

No one can tell how they work: Since no one knows the exact weight of each component, it’s impossible to establish the mechanism of action. Many proprietary blends only have traces of the effective ingredients, and a large part is non-dietary fillers. Thus, they are classified as non-herbal supplements. 

You could be going around in circles: Consuming a supplement whose effectiveness is not proven and the mechanism of action not established takes you around in circles. There’s no real outcome – you will not inch closer your health goals. 

It’s hard to trust a secretive manufacturer: It’s hard to trust a supplement manufacturer who cannot tell you the details about their product. Could it be that the celebrity endorsement is just a gimmick to get you to buy lots of fillers at a premium price?

Your health and wellness are vital. Don’t fall for unproven proprietary blend supplements that are, at best, mysterious formulas. Use only brands that give details about the ingredients. It could cost you slightly more, but it’s worth it. 

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