What Are the Key Characteristics of A Good Supplement?

Nutraceutical capsules on a white background

So many products on the market, and more being introduced every day. So many appear to be the same: same ingredients, same proportions, same claims, some making claims that should not be made. And each one claiming to be better than the competition.

Here, I will briefly describe the key attributes of a good supplement, and point you to a Guideline for Determining if a Nutraceutical Supplement is Good that you can obtain through the Nutraceutical Alliance website.

The key attributes are:

  • the right ingredients – backed by peer-reviewed scientific research
  • ingredients in the right proportions – backed by scientific research
  • servings that provide the right amount of ingredients in order to have a good chance of obtaining the intended effect – backed by scientific research
  • ingredients that are high quality
  • ingredients that are safe at the level likely to be used even with triple-dosing


Thousands of products do not have the right ingredients. These tend to be knock-off products arising after the first-to-market products. These knock-offs tend to be cheaper versions and costs are reduced by compomising on all points.

Many products have the right ingredients, but FAIL on points 2, 3 and 4. Are companies unwilling to do their due deligence? Sometimes yes. And some companies do not know how to tap into the scientific knowledge – and no: most commercial websites and blogs do not provide high quality scientific knowledge.

Many products have points 1 and 2 covered, but the serving amounts are far to low to have an effect. Such products tend to be marketed by companies whose primary purpose is to take market share and generate revenue. They really are not interest if you or your pet truly benefit so long as their pockets are being lined.

The bottom line: Science and Quality are key. The Nutraceutical Alliance can help.

If you would like to compare products, or evaluate an existing product, please read our Guideline for Determining if a Nutraceutical Supplement is Good which you can request here.

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