The People’s Chemist

Contaminated: How Nutritional Supplements are Harming You and Your Family

Pictured above are good soaps and bad soaps.  “Good” ones are easy to identify based on shape.  They’ve formed into the classic rectangular cube – edges are perfectly sharp.  Oddly-shaped soaps don’t pass Quality Control (QC).  It’s easy to spot the bad soap in the picture above.  It’s the white, rounded bar on the right.

These were made by my daughter, Lily.  I taught her how to make handmade soaps years ago.  Since then, her passion for soap making has grown into a soap club ( 

She calls me “The quality-control freak.”  I don’t let rounded soap edges go out the door.

For her, it’s frustrating after the time and effort she labors.  But she’s learning a valuable lesson:  QC is everything in the health and beauty business. 

The nutritional supplement industry has yet to learn this.

Without true QC, customers end up with the opposite of what they’re paying for: Contaminated Harmful Supplements that do more harm than good. 

An oddly shaped soap is obvious.  Easy to avoid.  

But good pills vs bad pills are impossible to spot with the naked eye.

Also pictured above are two orange pills of curcumin.  Both look identical. Yet one was made via a water extraction.  For most natural products, this is a prehistoric method of isolation that pulls out the useless – inactive – compounds, while leaving behind the beneficial.  

The end product is a “bad” curcumin/turmeric supplement.  It doesn’t yield the health benefits touted on the label and it’s a waste of money.  The other identical looking curcumin supplement is loaded with curcuminoids thanks to proper preparation and isolation methods that pull out both water and fat soluble compounds from turmeric.

Same with most cinnamon pills on the market today.

The light brown pills pictured above are two very different cinnamon supplements.  One is a cheap water extraction.  It’s a bad pill.  The other, which I designed and manufactured using state-of-the-art chemistry methods, is a whole herb extraction designed to pull out all of cinnamons beneficial compounds.

This “good pill” version of cinnamon lowers blood sugar and triglycerides while also acting as one of nature’s most potent antioxidants.  But you wouldn’t know this difference by looking at them or reading the labels.

The tower of supplements stacked on the shelves at grocery stores, GNC and Whole Foods are no different.  They’re bad pills with pretty labels.  They are victims of bad extraction methods, adulterated with preservatives to increase shelf life or are simply copy-cats of Mother Nature…

Consumers have no idea.

Today, Americans spend $6 billion “guessing” what the right supplement might be for their family.  Yet, their health continues to decline. 

That’s because they’re choosing contaminated supplements – synthetic, toxic or just dirty products that don’t carry the active ingredients listed on the label.  Ultimately, it’s because they rarely question QC, just like the very same people who make them.

QC isn’t even on the radar.  People today choose pills based on cheap marketing slogans like “natural,” “organic,” “vegan,” and “gluten-free.” 

It’s stupid because any of these can still carry inactive or harmful ingredients.  As highlighted by a congressional report, “most natural medicines are adulterated with toxic fillers and even carry hazardous adulterants like prescription drugs, heavy metals, bacteria, and even viral infections. Researchers found that “nearly all of the herbal dietary supplements tested contained trace amounts of lead and other contaminants.”

Indeed, many families today are being lulled into buying ineffective and even dangerous nutritional supplements, with products that:

  • Lack the active ingredients required for medicinal value
  • Lack the therapeutic dose for a biological response
  • Are loaded with toxic fillers and adulterants
  • And most tragic, in one of the biggest heists in pharmaceutical history, Big Pharma has stolen the real nutrients from supplement bottles and replaced them with nutritional counterfeits labeled as vitamin D, vitamin E, beta carotene, and more.

With this, Big Pharma has done a classic bait-and-switch. To profit from growing supplement sales, they’ve cooked up drugs that are similar to “vitamins” and labeled them nutritional supplements. Moms taking prenatal vitamins – chock full of folic acid, vitamin D and more man-made crap – are most at risk, as highlighted in Chapter 13 of my best selling book, Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded.

How can families navigate the health maze and choose pills that have proper QC?  As “The People’s Chemist,” I’ve used state- of-the-art chemistry methods along with rigid standards to outline 8 characteristics of “the right supplement.”

This supplement should have the following QC standards:

  1. Be backed by science and years of successful use; no new fads
  2. Not be adulterated with fillers such as sugar (dextrose), artificial flavors, soy or vegetable oil, and preservatives
  3. Have verifiable purity via a certificate of analysis (COA) to show actives and adulterants
  4. Be manufactured under good manufacturing practices (GMP) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  5. Provide the proper, natural form of a plant, herb, or nutrient, as warranted by science, to support intake of essential nutrients, not inferior isolates or synthetic mimics like vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, Co-Q10 – common to multivitamins. (see alternative here)
  6. Target a specific action (like anti-inflammation, pain, lower blood pressure, anti-clot, controlled blood sugar) to elicit a positive outcome (like reduced heart-attack risk or reversal of Type II diabetes) so users can monitor measurable results
  7. Not interfere with prescription drugs
  8. Help you feel vibrantly healthy within thirty days

The only way to make a truly healthy, “good” pill is to keep Big Pharma copycats, adulterants, toxins, inactive compounds and preservatives out of the capsule.  And this can only be assured with good QC.

About the Author

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.


The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

* Every testimonial on this site is true and correct as submitted by active customers. Their results are individual cases and do not at all guarantee that you will get the same results. Results vary widely and there is nothing that works 100%.

** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration FDA. Products sold by The People’s Chemist are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical disease. They are not approved by FDA.

Information provided by The People’s Chemist is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. If you want more detailed information, read Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded. Also, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or emergency.

The information on this website is not intended to diagnose you, treat you, cure you or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Product sold on this site are for personal use and not for resale.

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‡ Recent media coverage and scientific publications has focused on the ingredients generically, not the individual products that contain those ingredients.

† Individual results may vary

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