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  • Heather Woodruff

Don't Buy Another Supplement (Until You Read This)

First things first I want to be very clear on one important point… there is no magic supplement out there that is going to ‘cure you’. As a Certified Nutritional Practitioner I get the best results from my clients by heavily relying on dietary re-balancing with some supplementation. It can be extremely effective to have that extra boost on your health journey, but even the best supplements won’t be enough to override a poor diet.

I am a strong believer that supplements are meant to supplement which may be longer term for some, or short term for others depending on your health issues, imbalances and goals. But ideally I work with my clients to get them to a place where they are taking very few (if any supplements).

You may notice as you walk the expansive supplement aisles of any pharmacy, grocery store or health food store how many brands, prices and nutrient variations there are.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind for navigating this seemingly confusing world…


Why are you taking these specific supplements or looking to take them. I firmly believe in having purpose in all actions we take and this also includes what we are choosing to put into our bodies. If you are taking something because an infographic on social media said you should (but now can’t remember why) or you just thought it would be ‘good for you’... dig deeper. Every supplement should hold a very specific purpose and benefit to your overall health.

Absorption is Key:

Just because it is listed on the ingredients list does not necessarily mean you will absorb and benefit from it. Some inexpensive supplements are usually produced with poor quality nutrients like calcium carbonate (calcium citrate is better), Magnesium Oxide (Mg citrate or Bis-Glycinate is better) and Iron Sulphate (iron citrate or Bis-Glysinate is better). Spending money on poor quality supplements means you are literally throwing money down the toilet as they travel right through you and absorb very little.


Is the company listing all ingredients, including active and inactive ingredients? Or are they just listing proprietary blends? Hiding behind blends is one of my biggest pet peeves and I honestly do not purchase brands that do it. We unfortunately see this a lot in the protein powder world.

Quality Ingredients:

I love companies that do third party testing for purity and/quality. This means you can be sure you are getting what you pay for. A few years ago Walmart, Target, GNC & Walgreens received cease-and-desist letters for several of their store branded herbal supplements for false labeling, contamination and ingredient substitution. Some of the products didn’t even contain the herbs bolded labeled on the front of the package. Personally I choose to only buy supplements from reputable supplement company’s not big box stores with a ‘supplement line’. Check the companies website to see if they do any third party testing.

I also avoid inactive ingredients such as; artificial colours, sweeteners, flavours, wheat, lactose, stearic acid, and hydrogenated oils.

A few of my favorite brands (at the time of posting): New Roots Herbal, Canprev, AOR, Megafood, Mediherb, Nordic Naturals, genuine health fermented products

Get some help

There are some great health stores who have very well trained staff. I love Finlandia and Pure Pharmacy in Vancouver. However, if you are struggling with any serious or chronic health issue I highly recommend getting the advice from a trained healthcare provider like a Naturopathic Doctor, Certified Nutritional Practitioner or Functional Medicine Doctor. And be sure to check with a pharmacist if you are taking any other medications.

In my practice I recommend supplements that are perfectly aligned with each client’s needs and goals. Book a FREE 30 minute discovery call and see how I can support you on your health journey.

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