The BIGGEST MISTAKE you can make about supplements

Jonathan Roseland
6 min readFeb 22, 2024

Let’s say you want to buy a brand new Lexus, at the auto dealership you don’t really need to worry that they are going to try to scam you and sell you a Kia that looks like a Lexus.

It’s the same thing with buying a new cell phone; you go to Best Buy to get a new Samsung smartphone or iPhone and you don’t need to worry that they are going to sell you a cheap knockoff packaged to pass as the fanciest brand new smartphone.

Unfortunately, you can’t assume the same about the health supplements, anti-aging Nootropics, and organic superfoods that you purchase from vitamin stores or online sources (especially Amazon.com).

So you take responsibility for your health; you eat right, you exercise, and you go to the trouble of researching the best supplements to take or biohacking tools to use to empower your mind and body along with preventing disease. You spend a not-insignificant chunk of your disposable income and free time staying healthy. Unfortunately, whether it’s…
Mitochondrial support like CoQ10 or ALCAR
Adaptogenic nutriceuticals like Rhodiola Rosea or Panax Ginseng
Essential nutrients like Magnesium or Vitamin D
Organic superfood powders like Tumeric or Chlorella
you need to be wary of bad actors who are in the business of selling you what is at best mediocre, impure product and, at worst, dangerously toxic stuff falsely mislabeled.

This all might sound like fearmongering to make you spend more money, but many supplement marketplaces, like Amazon, do not even safety test the products sold, let alone ensure purity.
A Wall Street Journal special investigation revealed that a lot of products found on Amazon are trash, literally, they are found in dumpsters and resold on Amazon.
An ICP-MS spectroscopy investigation revealed that “organic” probiotic supplements sold on Amazon contain toxic Leonardite, an industrial byproduct, which is rife with the heavy metals lead and aluminum.

Gary Collins, an FDA Agent, and Forensic Investigator reported about counterfeit supplements:

“During my FDA tenure we ran lab tests on all kinds of lookalike pills and capsules. Some cheap/counterfeit supplements had ten times or more the amount of “medicinal” ingredients as was indicated on the label. Worse, some had none, and others simply contained large amounts of sawdust!”

Buyer beware.

Demand to see a certificate of analysis before ordering or consuming anything.
The biggest mistake that consumers (and a lot of otherwise savvy biohackers) make is consuming things without verifying what they really are. We are seduced by the marketing or the product packaging and we put stuff in our bodies that might not actually be good for us.

How to examine a COA for heavy metals toxicity — from my review of “Food Forensics”

About 10 years ago when I got into the health supplement business, I was troubled to learn that none of the marketing-powerhouse online brands (Onnit, Bulletproof, etc) published lab testing results verifying their products’ quality and safety. For years, I talked with people at nearly every company selling Nootropics and I would always ask the same thing…

“So you guys test your products for purity? Why don’t you just publish your COAs to your website?”

And they would almost always assure me that they did purity test their products BUT that they couldn’t share their COAs because of some nonsense reason like “we don’t want our competitors to steal our formula!”

Fast forward to today and there’s some reason for optimism about this issue of ingredient purity in health supplements. Onnit and Bulletproof still don’t, but a lot of other companies treat their customers with the respect they deserve and publish certificates of analysis. Capitalism is working the way it’s supposed to, as the market has gotten more competitive, companies are striving to offer better products and they are proving it to the public by publishing COA spectroscopy reports.

How to avoid being scammed…

Look for a COA or testing certificate document or PDF on their website, it should be found on the product’s listing page. If you can’t find it on the front end of their website, email them and ask for it. On the COA you want to look for…
Assay: Conforms
Or
Purity above 97%
The COA should be done by a credible North American lab (if the product is being sold in North America). I would not trust a COA done by a Chinese lab or provided by a Chinese manufacturer, consistently these are proven untrustworthy. An American lab will list their phone number and the lab technician responsible for the COA, you can actually call them and verify.

Other notable indicators of credibility

Use Whois.net to see how long they’ve been around. If their website and domain name are brand new I’d scrutinize them a bit more. I would prefer to order from online stores with domain names that have been around for a while and pre-paid with a registrar for at least the next two years.

Check their rating on Trustpilot.com, this is probably the best independent ratings and reviews directory online. Unlike Amazon, Google Maps, or Yelp they do a pretty good of fighting review fraud.

PureBulk.com — One of our recommended Limitless Mindset Secret Society vendors

When I buy supplements, I consider the people behind the product(s) or brand. Who am I giving my money to?
I’m suspicious of websites that don’t have real people publicly behind them. I like dealing with people who have skin in the game, who put their real names and photos on their websites.

Myself and some Nootropics entrepreneurs I met on my first digital nomad trip to Costa Rica back in 2012

Finally, I prefer to buy things like supplements from religious people with families, which might seem totally crazy to you (and yes, I’m aware of all the classic arguments against religion) because they have much more serious motivation for behaving morally in business. If you understand human psychology much you understand that abstract, secular moral systems are not really enough to motivate us to be moral and not cheat. I prefer to do business with people who are just a little worried that they might go to hell when they die if they cheat or scam me.

People with families, kids, wives, or husbands have a greater incentive to operate with integrity. People with families are concerned about how their reputation in business reflects long-term on their family who they care about more than anything else in the world.
So I try to buy from companies that espouse family and faith as guiding values.

Who measures up to these standards?

Well frankly, not a lot of companies do, but the Limitless Mindset Secret Society vendors, listed here, are a pretty safe bet.

Order from them via the links on LimitlessMndset.com and you’ll be eligible for a 30-minute free biohacking consultation with me.

Originally published on LimitlessMindset.com. I’m not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I’m a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinking. You should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset — spend over $150 and you’ll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

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Jonathan Roseland

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸