Who Owns The Most Popular Supplement Companies

Who Owns The Most Popular Supplement Companies?

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If you have been following Sassy Holistics for a long time, you likely already know that I am not a big fan of synthetic, isolated nutrients. This means that I don’t personally use or recommend about 90% of the items you would find in a vitamin or health food store’s supplement section. Nearly all of them are synthetic, lab made, and filled with TONS of fillers and preservatives. Have you ever asked who owns your favorite supplement companies?

“BUT BUT, our soils are depleted, we can’t get all our nutrients from food! We NEED supplements in high doses!” I’m sorry, but no. This is not how our bodies work, and I think after you read all of this you will see that this is another ploy to keep you buying from companies that care absolutely nothing about your health and wellness.

“Well, I’d rather use synthetic supplements instead of pharma drugs!” OK, yes so would I. However, a LOT of these supplement companies ARE pharma companies. And using supplements in synthetic isolated forms is just like using medications- you are trying to fit a symptom with a pill, and once again, this is not how our bodies work.

I never thought to make this post before and I hope that it helps to make more sense why I will not support any of these big name brands. As I think of other brands to look into, I’ll update this too.

From this article called The Link Between Big Pharma and the Supplement Industry: ” “Increasingly, Big Pharma and Big Herba are indistinguishable,” claims Parramore. “The very same mega-companies with gigantic chemical labs that make drugs are cooking up vitamin and herbal supplements labeled with sunny terms like ‘natural’ and ‘wholesome.’ Pfizer, Unilever, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and other big pharmaceutical firms make or sell supplements.” While she does acknowledge there are a few small companies still in the mix, Parramore says they represent a tiny amount of the total sales in the $23 billion-a-year supplement business.”

 

So, Who Owns The Most Popular Supplement Companies?

Here are some of the biggest names that you’ll see in stores. I’m sure some of this might be a bit shocking or frustrating!

Garden of Life

Years ago, we heard about this sell-out when Nestle bought Garden of Life. Nestle is one of the WORST companies out there- child slavery and water exploitation are at the top of the list of problems, but read this article to read more.

Dr’s Best

Putting “Dr” in a supplement brand name is great marketing, I’ll give them that. But Dr’s Best is a little TOO close to pharma than they’d likely tell you. It’s not even on their own website (unless it’s hidden well in some find print). In 2016 they sold their company to a Chinese pharma and biotech company.

Smarty Pants Vitamins

This popular brand for kids supplements is owned by Unilever. Unilever owns other toxic brands like Dove, Hellmann’s Magnum ice cream, Suave, and Vasoline. Everything that Unilever owns is something that no crunchy person would be using themselves– so I would have a very hard time trusting any supplement company under them. Plus, Smart Pants is all synthetic and lab made as well.

Vital Proteins

This popular brand of collagen has been EVERYWHERE lately. My local Whole Foods just started carrying a lot of their products, and now I understand why it’s so popular. They are also owned by Nestle! Shocker. I was never drawn to Vital Proteins personally, and now I am so glad that I never supported them.

New Chapter

New Chapter is a very popular supplement company that prides itself on being non-GMO and for using sustainable quality ingredients. They were bought out in 2012 by Proctor and Gamble, a company linked to Monsanto themselves. No thanks!

Other Companies

Pharmavite is another biotech and pharma company- they own MegaFoods, Nature Made, and Innate Response.

 

Looking for more?

I wanted to highlight some of the biggest brands that I know people use, especially ones that you are most likely to see in stores now, but there are MANY other companies that are owned by pharma associated companies, or just companies that most try to avoid. This site has a big list towards the bottom that shows what companies own other nutritional companies like Nature Made and Nature’s Bounty, which are also popular brands you’ll find in health stores.

So if your goal is to not support pharma, but you’re using any of these brands- well, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news! This is why I am so incredibly picky about what brands I support. I don’t claim to be perfect at all with anything either- I think we all need to do our best in the end. I know that when Garden of Life sold out some of my friends and clients said they would still buy them because they were affordable- and sometimes that is what things come down to.

I have a very short list of companies that I use and love. You can check this page for the ones I am actually an affiliate with (I only go with companies that I personally use myself!). This post outlines how to tell if a supplement is synthetic or not. And this is one of the best posts on my site- how to use whole food nutrition to heal, and how to get the most out of your diet (hint: it’s not about using high doses of isolated nutrients!)

 

Companies that are Private (and haven’t sold out!)

These are the main companies I personally use and trust:

Herb Pharm, Nordic Naturals, Gaia Herbs, Perfect Supplements, Mountain Rose Herbs, Earthley, Bioray, Herbalist & Alchemist

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Kristin
Welcome to Sassy Holistics! My name is Kristin, and I'm a Holistic Health Coach. I've been on the path to help people achieve better health using whole food nutrition, mineral balancing, and holistic healing principles for almost 7 years now.

The body is a whole and we must treat it as such! I have my Bachelor of Science in Natural Health Sciences, certificates in Herbal Studies from Herbal Academy, and I am constantly learning more about health to help my clients and followers.

My goal is to help you unleash your own inner healer! You already hold the power to heal inside you. My role is as a guide to help you realize this potential.

33 thoughts on “Who Owns The Most Popular Supplement Companies?”

  1. Usually I just do a web search if I’m not sure on companies- “who owns Kyolic?” for example. This is what I found: Wakunaga of America, Co., Ltd., is a privately held, family-owned health and wellness company dedicated to offering high-quality dietary supplements.

  2. I haven’t seen them listed on anything, and I don’t know much about them. A quick look at their website looks like they might be ok!

  3. Hi
    Thank you
    Who owns lifeextension com
    The bottle says:
    Mfg for
    Daily Supplements and Vitamins, Inc.
    Ft Lauderdale FL 33309

    I can’t find it online

    Thank you

  4. All I am seeing is that their manufacturing company and retail store is in Ft Lauderdale, so that’s likely what that address is. I’m not seeing who owns them though unfortunately.

  5. Kristin,
    Thank you so much for this article. I research companies before buying supplements often because you never know when they get bought out by big pharma.

  6. Not sure about those. Anything that has synthetics is something I would suspect, and since I don’t personally recommend synthetic nutrients I wouldn’t use those companies anyway.

  7. This is a very appreciated article. Swander Pace Capital now owns Swanson Health Products, a private equity firm.

  8. Are you aware your first “big list toward the bottom” link does not work? Are you aware of another site that provides similar info? Thanks

  9. thank you for letting me know. I had no idea- it was just working not too long ago. They must not have updated their site. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any other good lists 🙁

  10. Hello, I have embarked on staying away from all supplements because of your website. I am very happy about it, and it just all made sense to me. I am against isolated nutrients.. But their is one I had to go back to, and that is magnesium. I had been without it for about a month, I eventually completely stopped eliminating. ZERO bowel movements. Only urination. I have hashimotos and this helps me on my healing journey. I tried taking natural magnesium from “ancient minerals’ in spray form, it does absolutely nothing for me. Not even epsom does anything. I started taking M. citrate again and I started having bowel movements again while giving me a sense of calm. Is their another form of natural magnesium you know of that I could try? I’ve also tried pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, it also doesn’t do anything for me and it makes me sick too. Thanks for all your wonderful information.

  11. hey Anita! I’m glad to hear your feedback and that you’ve mostly has a good experience. So mag citrate is a laxative- we can get dependent on it for bowel movements unfortunately. It sounds like you’ve developed that symptom from using it. It’s less about the mag and more about the laxative aspect so working on overall colon healing is likely going to be a big step for you. I have some ideas on colon healing in this post: https://www.sassyholistics.com/natural-colon-healing/

  12. What do u yo ou think about Dr Morses formulas? He has GI broom and blood circulation extracts thst seem pretty good, I thought they would make uour list?
    Also Researched nutritional?

  13. I was sad when I found out Nestle bought = Pure Encapsulations, Solgar and Garden of Life.. ugggh!! Shocked about Pure… Clorox bought Burt’s Bee’s a while ago….

    Do you anything about Vital Nutrients? Are they still self owned and ran? They have nothing to do with Vital Proteins, totally different company. Know anything the company Pharmative LLC? I just found out they “acquired” Mega Food a while ago. :
    https://megafood.com/blogs/all/news-big-t-pharmavite-acquires-whole-food-supplement-innovator-foodstate-html

    thanks for doing this!

  14. I haven’t seen Vital Nutrients on any lists, but just taking a look at their items they are synthetic, so it’s possible there is an issue. Personally I never recommend *anything* synthetic, and would never trust a company that sells anything synthetic. Mega Foods has had a lot of issues with their items, and so many of these “whole food based” companies are just using fermented yeast, not real food 🙁

  15. Since natto is a fresh food it is hard to recommend just one specific brand as it really depends on what you’ll be able to find in your local stores.

  16. You ought to add Carlson to the “okay” list. It is a fourth-generation, family owned company. They also are very good at keeping prices as low as possible, and offering coupons etc.

    I work in a locally owned health food store and we try to promote products that have NOT been bought out. Carlson and Nordic Naturals are the only brands we carry for fish oils.

    I think that Clorox buying out CALM magnesium drinks is the worst one yet; seems like most people finally understand that they need magnesium in their life so they turn to CALM (because it’s easy to find), but it’s not a clean source. I personally love Trace Minerals or a pure source of magnesium flakes to make my own oil.

    What are your thoughts on NOW brand? Our store carries a lot of their products, mostly because they have a great “customer guarantee” and will refund products, no questions asked. I do believe it is still a family-owned company, but I personally prefer smaller companies for my own supplements.

  17. Carlson was actually one of the first brands I saw that used synthetics in their CLO, so nope I do not recommend them. Not sure if they changed things, but several years ago this was the case. They lost my trust then. (I just did a quick search and I’m still seeing labels that say synthetics). When I recommend Cod liver oil, I want pure CLO, not synthetics.

    Eww I didn’t know Clorox bought Calm, that explains a lot though.

    NOW brand has a ton of synthetics too so I’m not a huge fan. The only thing I sometimes recommend is their sunflower lecithin.

  18. I am behind in reading my emails but I must have missed the approved list. Is it on your website?? There is a video on Telegram with a guy showing how bad the NOW brand is. I have been too afraid to buy any of them and my body and mind are paying the price. I have tried the Nettles infusion a couple of times but always feel like I need to throw up!?! Please advise about the approved list. Is the brand Trace Minerals zinc good?? My husband used to use Emergen-c for extra vitamin c but they are owned by Pfizer!!

  19. Hi Rebel- my approved list of companies is at the end of this post. It’s not a very long list. Since I don’t recommend synthetics at all, that eliminates a lot of companies. Trace Minerals brand often has synthetics and their main item (the Trace Minerals themselves) is not even balanced as it has a TON of magnesium in it.

  20. Hi, I just recently found your page. Thank you so much for all the research your doing regarding supplements. In reading your page their are 3 companies that I use but did not see them. Could you please advise regarding
    NaturePlus, Solaray, and Aqua Biome (omega-3).

    Thank you
    Cate

  21. I have not heard of Aqua biome, but I don’t typically recommend just Omega-3s as a supplement personally. The other 2 offer many synthetics, so they would also be suspect to me. I have not seen any of these in my research though.

  22. Herbdoc.com is some of the best products you can buy. It’s private owned and all made from food. Dr.Schulz is also again all synthetics. You can read alot on the website. I’ve used the products for 20 years and recommend them to my patients. Pricey, but potent and worth every penny.

  23. That definitely sounded promising, but it looks like a lot of nutrients in those are just from yeast 🙁 There is no way to get 1292% of your B12 from food in a supplement without that fermented yeast.

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