Acure: Super C
Humans are among the rare creatures in the animal kingdom that do not produce their own endogenous vitamin C. Oh, we used to, but somewhere along the evolutionary pathway we stopped. Perhaps as a means to remind us to eat lots of fruit? A recent animal study found that when rodents were manipulated so that they no longer produced ascorbic acid on their own (like humans), and then supplemented with a steady-state of vitamin C, their lifespan increased from 8.5 months to 23 months. Holy Ponce de Leon, Batman! I’ll be taking 500 mg vitamin C every few hours and I’ll see you when I’m 216 years old! Acure has a liposomal delivery, which boosts the vitamin C bioavailability up near the 100 percent that we’d like to get.
Barlean’s: High Potency Omega-3 From Fish Oil
Leave it to the trusted oils brand Barlean’s to up the ante in the fish oil concentrate game. It’s all about the DHA and EPA, and Barlean’s goes all out here. Every single tablespoon of this yummy key lime pie flavored oil contains a whopping 910 mg EPA and 590 mg DHA. That’s a super concentrate!
ChildLife Essentials: Liquid Calcium with Magnesium
I’m always looking for a bone-health supplement for my teenage daughters, and they’ll thank me in 50 years when they don’t have osteoporosis because I hepped up their peak bone mineral density as adolescents. ChildLife has a range of quality kids’ supplements, and this calcium and magnesium (along with vitamin D and zinc) in a liquid format is teen-worthy indeed.
Epiceutical Labs: BrocElite
New word: sulforaphane. It would take 7.5 pounds of mature broccoli, or 2.4 ounces of broccoli sprouts, to get the health benefits in two capsules of sulforaphane—39 distinct pro-health applications including two different ways to address inflammation, a potent detoxification agent, various aspects of age-related cognitive decline and dozens of provocative others. Make a note of it if you have trouble remembering.
GNC Earth Genius: SuperFoods Supreme
GNC is going all-in with the Millennials by offering Smoothie Nation, a kitchen sink’s worth of plant power powder. Only 6 grams of a five-plant protein blend so it’s not a protein powder per se, but rather a pretty baller blend that’s vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. It would’ve been nice had they put in an efficacious dose of the clinically validated Lutemax 2020 macular carotenoids (the formula contains only 20% of what the research shows to be good for eye health—of prime import to gaming, screen-loving Millennials). Other than that, though, it’s a balanced bolus of superfoods, prebiotics, adaptogens and greens aplenty. This is part of GNC’s larger, newly launched Earth Genius lineup.
Host Defense Mushrooms: Stamets 7
Paul Stamets is pretty much single-handedly the reason for this post-modern mycology that’s sweeping the world—and may well end up saving the world from humanity. Just Google “Stamets Ted Talk” and be amazed. (Okay, we'll help you out; click here.) One of his messages is that a mushroom blend is best for immune-enhancement, and this product is the culmination of those efforts. This should be on every store shelf come the winter under-the-weather season.
Irwin Naturals: Brain Awake RED with Nitric Oxide Booster
When I hear nitric oxide, I think Viagra. And the No. 1 ingredient here is L-citrulline—shown in a published study to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. The dosage used in the study was 1,500 mg/day. This supplement uses 750 mg per serving, and only 12.5 mg phosphatidylserine—a low dose, to be sure, but the PS might be used, as with the Bioperine black pepper extract, to heighten the bioavailability. So it might all work out after all. Of note: it uses methylcobalamin entrant—that surefire way to denote a quality formulation.
Nariveda: Garuji's Grace
Wow. Very top-shelf, this product here. Formulated in Sedona, modeled after Ayurveda, uses branded ingredients that are designed to target different areas of body health. Oh, okay—body/mind/spirit health. This particular SKU is said to preserve telomere health (a marker of aging on the DNA level), help with intracellular detox, provide for youthful organ function, rebuild the immune system, balance hormones, provide for glowing skin, and is a tri-dosha healer. Alrighty then. I’ll take a teaspoon of that!
Ashwagandha is the “king’s crown” of adaptogenic herbs. A couple ingredient suppliers have competing branded ingredient lines. The KSM-66 extract has nearly two dozen published human clinicals on it, showing positive results for both body and mind. The trick is, published research shows a daily dose of 600 mg/day, and all too often supplement brands use only 300 mg. Not so here with the NatureWise SKUs. Its endurance line includes eleuthero, coQ10, ginseng and green tea with caffeine. Its healthy aging SKU includes resveratrol, pomegranate, maitake and reishi mushrooms and astaxanthin. Either one is a winner!
Quicksilver Scientific: The ONE
Quicksilver is renowned for its liposomal formulations, which superpower nutrients with outsized bioavailability. This is a “mitochondrial optimizer”—the next great category in supplements—with CoQ10 and PQQ. The former improves the performance of mitochondria, the latter creates more mitochondria. The Sun Horse adaptogenic formula is a fantastic blend of herbs, and when supercharged with phospholipids, it makes for an experiential supplements ride.
Redd Remedies: In Joy
This great brand is producing some really innovative formulas. Anything called “In-Joy” absolutely tickles my fancy. It’s got the methylated B12 I talked about earlier—check! And it’s got the nootropics L-tyrosine and 5-HTP, holy basil (walking meditation in a bottle), and the adaptogen shisandra. Check! All in all, this looks like good medicine for your head. The company devotes an entire panel on its supplement boxes to its quality-control efforts. Check!
Sfh: WSO3 Fish Oil
We have a new champion in the fish oil concentrate game. Each single tablespoon contains 3,861 mg total omegas, of which 2,500 mg are EPA and 1,005 mg are DHA. Boom! This challenges the fish oil pharmaceutical, Lovaza, which is a 4,000 mg dose that contains 1,860 mg EPA and 1,500 mg DHA. A more generous serving of EPA is probably better than DHA with inflammatory responses and immunity, whereas DHA is said to be superior for the brain and eyes. With this high-concentrate formulation, you’re really ringing all the bells.
Swanson: Plant Based Omega-3
Mail-order catalog king Swanson Health is following in the same path of GNC by rolling out a line of Millennial-savvy supplements. Its innovation pipeline is focusing on more purposeful launches, featuring real food ingredients. We’re talking transparent labeling, purity and potency, all appealing to the younger consumer. This is important, because what Millennial does his shopping via a 50-year-old mail-order catalog company? Some smart guy at Swanson figured that out, and these Real Food supplements are on point. Here, Swanson uses the Life’sDHA algae-sourced DHA that’s both non-GMO and vegan.
And then there's this one from CBD Land ...
Hemp Bombs: CBD Beard Oil and Balm
I mean … what? We’ll file this under: Jumped the Shark. Sure, the argan oil and jojoba oil and sweet almond oil may well make your uber-hipster beard shine and sizzle with the glow of a thousand mermaids at sunset, and why not add some CBD to round out the uber-hipness of it all? Sure, fine. Still. The shark. She jumped. But it is an indication of the innovation and creativity in action that is the hallmark of today’s hemp oil market.