I have recently started researching nutritional supplements. I never realized that many vitamins aren’t effective at all. I found your reviews very informative. I’m also finding it difficult to compare products because of the methods used in the reviewers reviews
The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements by Lyle MacWilliam’s rates Xtend-life’s Women’s formula a 3 on a scale of 5. I also discovered that Lyle uses USANA which could be a bias? The copyright is 2007 (which is a little old). Other top products are by Creating Wellness, Douglas Labs, and TrueStar Health. Any opinions or reviews on them?
Thanks for your time and help.
Thanks for contacting me with your question.
I’m very well aware of ‘The Comparative Guide To Nutritional Supplements’ and I believe you are correct in your suspected assumption that Lyle MacWilliam’s is biased towards Usana. It is a totally misleading publication put together via vested interests which does a large disservice to supplement consumers who are researching/looking for the very best products for their health.
I happen to know that the Xtend-Life Company (the manufacturers of the Total Balance supplements which you referred to) receives emails about this publication every now and again from prospective customers and interested health conscious people and so they have answered them in their newsletters and blogs.
I just did a search on the Xtend-Life blog and found their most recent entry regarding this topic – from March 2011. So, I recommend that you read through that as the Xtend-Life staff respond to the claims in The Comparative Guide To Nutritional Supplements’ more specifically than I can (although they have been very subtle with their words and certainly could have exposed a lot more home truths about The Guide.
Here’s the link:
I am aware of ‘Creating Wellness’ supplements (their ‘Vitalize’ multi formulas for men, women and unisex) and I’m sorry but I can’t agree that they are a “top product”. They fall way short in terms of formula and value for money perspectives, so much so that I have not included them in my site.
The issue with Douglas Laboratories is that they have so many products and so they don’t have one comparable product within the ‘General Health’ category which covers all the bases, or attempts to, like the other supplements in my supplement comparisons. I know their product ‘Ultra Preventative IX” is shown in The Comparative Guide and has has a rating of 5 (according to the rating criteria used in that publication – which by the way rewards and rates based only on simple [inexpensive] ingredients) however ‘Ultra Preventative IX’ is missing too many nutrient categories (amino acids, gender support nutrients, specialty anti aging ingredients etc) some of which are included in their other stand alone formulas.
By the time one was to buy all the necessary formulas from Douglas labs, to represent a formula equal to the type of comprehensive ‘General health’ formula I am reviewing against EG Total Balance, Life Force, Essentials, LifePak and so on, (which I doubt is even possible as there would be too many overlapping ingredients), the cost would be completely prohibitive for any supplement consumer to absorb on any kind of an ongoing basis.
I’m sorry Angela, but ‘Truestar’ supplements are not on my radar and I have never reviewed them to date. I did however just take a look at their website for you and at their flagship women’s formula
( ‘TrueBASICS for Women’ – which is part of their “Truestar Professional Series” ) but even with just a cursory glance down the ingredient label I can tell you that this supplement would not make my supplement comparisons chart on my site. There are simply too many key ingredients missing.
If you were to place that formula next to, say, the Standard version of the ‘Total Balance Women’s’ formula, which costs US $48- versus US $79- for ‘TrueBASICS for Women’ (both for a one month’s supply) you could easily see the significant difference in favor of the Total Balance formula and that is before we even get into the science and importance of the ingredients that are and aren’t there.
Next to the Total Balance Women’s Premium formula (US $96 for a one month’s supply) the Truestar Women’s product is not even in the same class in my opinion.
I assume you have mentioned these three brands as “Top Products” because they are listed in The Comparative Guide and have a top ranking of 5. If you are able to see the deficiencies in the way the criteria is used to rank supplements in The Guide, you will be able to appreciate why I am telling you that these supplements are not top products. They are quite basic formulas and quite pricey – value for money is not one of their differentiation points- that’s for sure.
Please take note that within The Comparative Guide, they are in the category of “Standalone Products” ie. only multi vitamin/mineral formulas whereas the supplement formulas I am reviewing and comparing on my site are more comprehensive than that with a more holistic aim towards general health and wellness. These type of supplements are referred to as “Combination Products” in The Comparative Guide.
I refer to them as multi nutrient formulas on my site and differentiate them from basic multi vitamin/mineral formulas. So, if Angela, you are primarily weighing up multi vitamin/mineral formulas, with perhaps some extra, dare I say (for some companies) ‘in-vogue’ ingredients thrown in for extra credibility such as phytonutrients (well known carotenoids and/or flavanoids) or certain well known medicinal herbal extracts, then we are not comparing apples with apples when we talk about the Total Balance formula versus these brands you have asked about.
I do hope you will use the link above and read through the blog post on the Xtend-Life website (and the first reader’s comment underneath it) as this will help to give you a more balanced view of The Comparative Guide situation.
If you wish to continue your research and you haven’t already done so, I urge you to read through my review of the Total Balance ‘Premium’ formulas as it is a quite detailed review with lots of facts that need to be considered when comparing multi ingredient health supplements. Sure, I act as an affiliate for Xtend-Life products via my website but then again none of the content on my site can be reputed since it is all factual and I’m open and transparent in my content.
My family and I use Total Balance (12 years now) as the main-stay of our supplement regime and I can assure you that if I believed that there was a more sophisticated and efficacious health supplement out there (even irrespective of price) I would switch to it without hesitation as I value both my and my family’s health and longevity (without disease) as the highest priorities in my life.
This link will take you to my Total Balance review:
I hope this answer is of help to you.
Good Health To You Angela.