The Effects of Supplement Casings on Your Health and The Environment

Alpha Brain Naked capsule

Not all health or dietary supplements are created equal. And the same can be said of health or dietary supplement casings. Pay attention to what you’re putting into your body, and in turn what will be leeched into the environment.

Fish oil for example, in capsule form, often comes in gelatin capsules, which are commonly made from animal based ingredients (vegetarians take note). Web.md says of the possible negative side effects of gelatin:

Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of gelatin products with diseased animal tissues including those that might transmit mad cow disease

NaturalGrocers.org bans products and supplements with artificial dyes with the following explanation:

There are currently seven artificial (synthetic) coal-tar based dyes on the market. There is evidence that four of the seven being used cause cancer in laboratory animals. The FDA has banned 17 food dyes since 1918 because of their potentially toxic effects. Furthermore, six of the seven being used in the US have been banned in other countries.

Companies like Onnit.com, makers of the nootropic Alpha Brain, are really leading the way in transparency of ingredients, and consideration to what they’re making their supplement capsules from. The announced their ‘Naked’ campaign earlier this year:

As part of our ongoing commitment to offer you the absolute highest quality in health, nutrition, and fitness, while minimizing environmental impact, Onnit is proud to announce that we are in the process of transitioning all of our capsules to be free of coloring and dyes.

Alpha Brain, Onnit’s flagship product is the first to make the transition to ‘naked’, environmentally friendly capsules. It also includes only earth grown ingredients. You can check out an independent review at http://brainperformancereviews.com

Know your Plastics! Fizzy Drinks, Supplements, Milk Jugs and Household Cleaners

Plastic bottlesDid you know there are ton of different types of plastics? And not al plastics are created equal, some are more recyclable than others. Knowing which is which, and what happens to the different types can inform your buying decisions.

To identify plastics you can check packaging for a triangle made up of lines with arrows, with a number in the middle. It’s called a Resin code, and looks like this:

Resin identification code

The number in the middle and the letters underneath tell us the type of plastic we’re dealing with.

Here’s a quick run down of some of the most common types of plastic we come across in daily life, and what usually happens to them after use.

1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)

PETE, or PET is usually found in fizzy drink and water bottles. It’s also used for things like supplement containers. I just checked a bottle of Omega 3 tablets I have, and the bottle of another nootropic supplement I use, Alpha Brain.

Only 20% of PETE can be recycled, and it’s commonly reused for things like polar fleece, fiber, tote bags, straps, furniture, and carpet.

2 HDPE (high density polyethylene)

Found in household cleaners, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, yoghurt tubs and the like.

It’s often recycled into detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, and similar packaging.

V (Vinyl) or PVC

Found in clear food packaging, windows, (also detergent bottles, like HDPE).

This type of plastic is rarely recycled, except by plastic lumber makers.

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