Supplements: Patented Ingredients vs Generic Ingredients
At Apex Supplements, when we are looking at formulations for new and existing products, one of the key areas we look for on a Supplements Facts/Ingredients panel is the inclusion of patented ingredients. Patented ingredients are a trademarked or patented variant of an existing ingredient, and are usually more expensive than their generic, non-patented counterpart. A number of current supplement brands are packing their products with patented ingredients, these include: JYM Supplement Science, Kaged Muscle, Naughty Boy Lifestyle, HR Labs, Axe & Sledge, Strom Sports Nutrition & Glaxon.
You’ll probably recognise a lot of patented ingredients from your own supplements you use, some of the most popular patented ingredients to look out for include; TeaCrine, PeakO2, Creapure (Creatine Monohydrate), Carnosyn (Beta-Alanine), MitoBurn, Infinergy (Di-Caffeine Malate), Nitrosigine, elevATP, AlphaSize (Alpha-GPC Choline), VASO6 and KSM-66 (Ashwagandha).
The question is, are they worth the extra price tag? Let’s have a look at the facts:
Research: When supplements are studied in clinical research, these trials are usually conducted on the patented form of the ingredient at its correct clinical dose. When studies cite the benefits of a particular ingredient, that will generally refer to the specific patented form rather than a generic form. On the flip side, companies that use the generic versions of these ingredients in their products can sometimes incorrectly refer to clinical research on patented forms as part of their marketing protocols. By choosing the patented version of an ingredient you are getting the most effective, and clinically-dosed version that has the researched benefits associated with it.
Getting what you pay for: As patented forms of ingredients are generally those that have been studied the most, you are getting the most effective strain of a particular ingredient at its most effective clinical dose. As some supplement ingredients are extracted from plants and other natural sources, there can be multiple strains of the same ingredient and they can all differ in effectiveness. Therefore, unpatented forms can be less effective as they could be one of multiple, milder, strains. With the patented forms, you know you are always getting the same, most effective strain for maximum benefit.
Manufacturing Quality: Patented ingredients have to be manufactured to the highest possible standards based on the requirements and reactivity of the specific ingredient. For example, some ingredients can be temperature sensitive or more sensitive to moisture and sunlight. These specific nuances are accounted for in patented ingredients, the same can’t always be said for generic forms with cheaper manufacturing processes. A higher quality manufacturing process also means a higher standard of quality control which reduces the risk of cross-contamination between substances. This is of great importance if you are a tested athlete. They are also less likely to include bulking agents and fillers due to the purity of the patented form. This means you aren’t consuming any undesirable by-products.
Cost: With all of the benefits listed above, it’s important to recognise that this comes with an additional price tag. Some claims state that patented ingredients can have an elevated production cost of around 300-400% compared to the generic alternative. On the other hand, the additional production cost should give relative peace of mind of the stricter production and manufacturing processes involved. Generally speaking with supplements, just like anything else, you pay for what you get. This is of greater importance when you are talking about something that you are putting into your body to improve health, wellbeing and performance. With patented ingredients you can rest easy knowing you are getting an ingredient in its purest, most effective form at a dose that is actually going to do what the label claims.
Conclusion: This article was designed to explain some of the key benefits of patented ingredients vs their generic counter parts. In our opinion, peace of mind is priceless, especially when health is concerned. The real stand out benefit of patented ingredients is knowing you are getting the most effective version of an ingredient at the dose that will provide maximum benefit, whilst also knowing it has been produced and manufactured in a strict and controlled environment. Whilst the cost is a potential downside, it is better to know you are getting the proper benefits associated with it compared to a potentially inferior product that may cost you more in the long term.
It is important to note that not all ingredients used in bodybuilding supplements and sports nutrition products have a patented form therefore you shouldn’t necessarily be put off from a product if you don’t see any patented ingredients on the label.
The Apex Pledge: At Apex Supplements we will only stock and sell products that we believe in and that we feel will provide you with maximum benefit. We look for specifically supplements with full transparent labels and dosing and we try to actively avoid under-dosed ineffective. To put it simply, we won’t sell anything that we wouldn’t be happy to use ourselves.