Supplement Facts And Fads: How To Know What Really Works

The following post includes a book review. Read time 2-3 minutes.

As you may have read last week, I’m a huge believer in support from quality supplements for health and fat loss. In case you missed my post, I spoke about the theory that we shouldn’t need supplements if we eat well, and the reality of nutrient depletion simply through life in an imperfect and stressful world. I consider good supplements to my nutritional insurance, and I know they’ve made a huge difference in the way I look, function, and feel. Personally I take supplements not only for general health, digestion, sleep etc, but also to ensure I’m getting the most out of my workouts. In fact, you could even say I take supplements to help me be a better writer, given that Omega 3 fatty acids, along with the amino acid L-Carnitine, are both known to boost brainpower and mental focus.

Anyway, you can probably tell that supplementation is a subject I’m passionate about, but let me tell you how that relates to you. The thing is, when I discovered the ‘real deal’ about supplementaion and nutrition my body results went through the roof. Prior to having a baby I was in good shape, and worked hard (mainly through exercise and nutrition) to get there. Now, 9 months post baby, I can honestly say that I’m slowly but surely getting in the best shape of my life. I credit a lot of this to my education from Charles Poliquin as a BioSignature practitioner. I’ve changed aspects of my training and nutrition to better suit my hormonal needs and it’s made a huge difference. But one thing I’ve also changed – you could even say introduced – is admitting that properly chosen nutritional support makes a huge difference.

In the past 4-5 weeks particularly I’ve been burning fat and building muscle like nobody’s business and I credit much of that to the fact that I’m finally using supplements as a primary and structured part of my training. Through BioSignature I’ve learnt a lot about choosing supplements for myself and my clients, and I’m also lucky enough to have the help of some great trainer friends in this area, so I feel confident in where I spend my supplement money. But I can understand what a maze the world of supplements can be when you haven’t specifically studied that area of health. And why would you have? It’s tough enough knowing where to start when it comes to sound nutritional advice. But this is one are where you do need to either work with someone who knows what they’re on about, or do your homework. Otherwise you risk spending money on trashy gimmicks that look impressive on your kitchen bench but do little else.

A couple of months ago I came across a tool by a fellow BioSignature practitioner that really impressed me. It’s a book called The Truth About Supplements and it sums up 90% of my own knowledge on the science and application of supplements, and even taught me a bunch of stuff I didn’t know. When it comes to supplements there are just so many products that promise the world but don’t deliver. On top of that, everyone you speak to has an ‘opinion’ about which supplements are best which can be incredibly confusing, with an end result that you’re wasting your hard earned money and time on stuff that just doesn’t work. As you know I use and recommend Poliquin supplements, but that’s not to say I don’t recognise there are other great brands out there. And the truth is that since reading the Truth About Supplements I now know so much more about which supplements are best for achieving my (and your!) specific goals – based on science – and which ones are useless or even dangerous.   My conclusion: If you want not just results but the sense of control that comes with detailed knowledge, then this book is the bomb! It covers everything from supplement fundamentals, to laws and regulations that affect ingredients, to your essential nutrient needs and then how to choose the best supplements for your training goals such as fat loss or muscle growth. Author Mark Ottobre has really done his due diligence here, covers a range of popular brands with no apparent bias toward any one brand, and also uncovers a bunch of very interesting myths.

I think you’ll enjoy what you read and good luck with your training!

Click here to learn more about The Truth About Supplements

Disclaimer: The links above are all affiliate links, which means that should you click through and purchase then I’ll receive a commission. If you’re happy to support me and the time I spend on then thankyou! But if you’d rather not, I understand, and you can always google ‘The Truth About Supplements” and buy the book without using my links. As you know, I rarely review a book or a product – I really do recommend reading this one if you’re the kind of person who likes to be well informed and in control of your nutritional choices.

4 responses to “Supplement Facts And Fads: How To Know What Really Works”

  1. Hi Kat!

    I’m glad to see this article from you today as I am currently in the midst of learning more about supplements that are natural and science-based. I would love to know if you have heard of the privately-held company Melaleuca (they are in multiple countries). I recently started taking their supplements (within the last 1-2 months) and would love to hear any knowledge you have about them. I plan on reading the book you recommended, The Truth About Supplements, however in the meantime, do you have any knowledge on Melaleuca’s trademarked “Oligo” that allows the body to absorb up to 85% of their multivitamin nutrients versus the 10% that is usually absorbed from most other multivitamins on the market?

    The Melaleuca supplements I recently started taking are Replenex, the Vitality Pack, Unforgettables and Phytomega. I was also considering their ProvexCV. If you’d like, I can email more information about these items if you haven’t heard of Melaleuca and can even show you a webcast online about the natural, eco-friendly products they manufacture.

    I am eager to hear your opinion since I value it so much. And you’re right, the supplement industry is a crazy one to try and keep on top of! Thanks Kat 🙂

    • Kat says:

      Hi Heather,
      Thanks for commenting! Unfortunately I don’t know anything about that company. My knowledge is extremely detailed on Poliquin, Metagenics and some of the other top practitioner lines, and I certainly know enough about shelf brands not to bother! But it might be best to ask Mark himself about that one!

      • Thanks Kat. It’s actually not a shelf brand, it’s only available via the Web or via phone directly from the manufacturer (Melaleuca). I will check with Mark to see if he has heard of them. If you’d like to check it out, take a look at and let me know if you have any thoughts! Thanks 🙂