Causes of insufficient dosages
Dietary supplements contain a wide variety of dosages. So many that it can be overwhelming. How do you know that you are getting the proper, effective dosage? How do you know that you are getting a safe dosage?
The optimal (effective and safe) dosage of our supplements is determined on the basis of thorough research by means of scientific investigations. This cannot be taken for granted, unfortunately. There are many reasons for supplement manufacturers and sellers to use a different dosage to the one endorsed by science. We explain the most important reasons below.
1. Cost too high
Because ingredients are often expensive, it is attractive for a provider of dietary supplements to save money on the dosage. Halve the dosage and you will practically halve the cost. The profit margin will rise substantially.
Thus, in scientific studies on the effect of for instance chondroitin, it has been determined that a daily dosage of 800 mg or 1200 mg is physiologically effective. We use that highest dosage. In many products, however, lower quantities of this expensive ingredient are used: 600 mg, 250 mg, even 50 mg! You can be sure that the ingredient in the last quantity is only used to decorate the label. It looks good, but to the user it is worthless.
The opposite effect can be seen with synthetic multivitamins. Those are so cheap to produce that there is not much difference in cost if you use much higher dosages. Thus, this happens, in order to trump the competition. Only that the fact that such high dosages, for instance of vitamin B6, are downright dangerous to health, is overlooked.
Our non-synthetic Natural Multi does not take part in that race and therefore does not contain excessively high dosages; only sensible dosages.
2. Too many capsules
The optimal dosage is often a high dosage (except in the case of vitamins). For that high dosage many capsules are needed, which not all users are happy with. Some producers therefore choose a lower dosage.
MSM is an ingredient which is regularly added to products for joint cartilage in a dosage that is too low. The minimum daily amount required is 1500 mg. For this only, 1.5 capsules are needed, and often 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin have yet to be added. For just these three ingredients 4-5 capsules must be taken, which is not easy to 'sell' as a daily dosage.
Products with a dosage of 1500 mg of MSM or more are not easy to find. The dosage is usually a couple of hundred mg. Good because there are less capsules to take, not good because the effect will also be less.
At Glucosamine.com we understand the preference for having to take less capsules. We nevertheless consider it more important to provide the proper dosage than a dosage which is easier to take but which is of less use. It is for this reason that we use 1500 mg of MSM in our Arthro-5 product. Together with the other likewise highly dosed ingredients, this means a daily quantity of 6 capsules. Not everyone is happy with that. But isn't the result what counts?
3. Lack of knowledge
Even if a provider chooses the proper, scientifically endorsed dosage, this is no guarantee that this is the dosage that will end up in the product. Glucosamine sulphate, for instance, is a product which is regularly administered in too low a dosage, usually due to ignorance.
Research has shown that 1500 mg of glucosamine sulphate per day is a physiologically effective dosage. A provider that is not familiar with the product glucosamine sulphate will not know that glucosamine sulphate is stabilized with a salt. If the company does not take this into account, it will provide 1500 mg including that salt. After deducting the salt, there will be 24% less left. This is unfortunately all too common.
Chondroitin is also an ingredient which is unknowingly regularly administered in too low a dosage. The best chondroitin has a purity of 95% at the most (100% cannot be achieved in practice). We are one of the few providers that correct for the missing percentage and deliver 1265 mg so that 1200 mg of pure chondroitin can be guaranteed.
4. Legal restrictions
In some countries legal restrictions are imposed on the dosages of dietary supplements. Italy and Germany are two of those countries. Those enforced lower dosages have nothing to do with safety. Their only objective is to make the supplement less effective.
They came into being under the influence of industrial lobbies of companies that have an interest in people taking less or no dietary supplements. They see effective supplements as competition for their products. With an enforced lower, less effective dosage, that competition is eliminated.
In the Netherlands, where we are based, these restrictions fortunately do not apply.