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Ingredient Quality and Quantity

Ingredient Quality and Quantity

For many years the supplement industry has had a mixed reputation. While there are a number of companies that create high quality products, there is also a significant portion of the industry that effectively misleads consumers into purchasing lower quality products. In creating Awakened Alchemy, we turned the typical supplement industry business model on its head and were determined to make the absolute highest quality products possible, regardless of the cost of production.

For an ordinary supplement, the key factor in ingredient quality is its bioavailability. This simply means how well that form of an ingredient is absorbed into the body and is made available for use by the body. Different molecular forms of the same ingredient can vary widely in their bioavailability. For example, many cheap supplements utilize Magnesium Oxide instead of Magnesium Glycinate or Magnesium L-Threonate. Only about 4% of Magnesium Oxide is absorbed into the body, so it is very ineffective at delivering Magnesium for use by the body.

For brain health supplements there is an additional and very significant complicating factor in ingredient selection --the blood-brain barrier. Simply, only certain forms of certain nutrients can actually enter your brain from your blood. A good example of this is choline. Many cheaper nootropic supplements use Choline Bitartrate to boost choline levels, but Choline Bitartrate does not effectively cross the blood-brain barrier and is therefore very ineffective at boosting levels of Acetylcholine in the brain. In order to boost levels of Acetylcholine in the brain, only two forms of choline are effective: Alpha GPC and CDP Choline (Citicoline). We utilize CDP Choline (Citicoline) in our products for two reasons: (i) CDP Choline (Citicoline) is twice as potent (meaning that 200mg of CDP Choline (Citicoline) has the same effect on Acetylcholine levels in the brain as 400mg of Alpha GPC), which means that it takes up less space in our capsules and allows us to pack more ingredients into each capsule, and (ii) the “C” in CDP Choline stands for Cytidine, which metabolizes into Uridine and boosts levels of Uridine, itself a powerful nootropic, in the blood.

Each ingredient used in our products is in its most bioavailable form and in the form that is the most effective at crossing the blood-brain barrier. These forms of ingredients are generally considerably more expensive and that is a large part of the reason our products are priced higher than many other products that claim similar benefits. The other main reason is that we use full doses of each ingredient.

Many supplement products use something called a “proprietary blend” to disguise the fact that they underdose expensive ingredients. The FDA requires that all ingredients and quantities be disclosed to consumers, with a key exception that a “proprietary blend” can be listed with the total amount of all ingredients contained in that blend and a list of the ingredients in that blend, without specifying the actual amount of each individual ingredient. The idea behind this was to allow manufacturers to create formulations that could not be copied as easily by competitors. In real world application, however, many manufacturers use this exception to hide the actual amount of expensive ingredients and therefore make their products more profitable. We believe that informed consumers should know exactly what they are ingesting and therefore fully disclose each and every ingredient and use full doses of each.

You will also notice that each herbal component of our products is a high quality extract. This is because we utilize absolutely all available space in each capsule of our products to deliver the highest quality ingredients available. High quality extracts are considerably more expensive, but they save considerable amounts of space in our capsules. We found that many consumers did not want to take 4-6 capsules each morning or evening and therefore we carefully selected our ingredients to maximize their effectiveness and minimize the amount of capsule space they take up.