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The Pitfalls of the Supplement Industry and Why We are Different

In a crowded and often confusing supplement market, EQUI stands out not just for its products, but for a mission deeply rooted in quality, trust, and accessibility. Co-founded by Alice and Rosie, EQUI was born out of a desire to elevate the standard of supplements available to you, the consumers. Our journey began with a clear vision: to bridge the gap between practitioner-grade supplements and accessibility, aiming to revolutionise how our customers perceive and experience nutritional supplements. Rosie explains, "We started Equi because we wanted to improve the standard of the supplement market and break-down the barriers between practitioner’s clinics, where supplements are used effectively, and the consumer”. Our core mission is to transform the supplement landscape by offering products that are not only effective but also trusted by practitioners across the UK. As founders, we recognised the prevalent low trust in supplements, attributable to the number of mass-market products that often deliver minimal results due to their low-quality ingredients and formulations. At EQUI, meticulous attention is given to every aspect of product development, from selecting superior nutrients to determining optimal dosage sizes and formulating sophisticated blends that address various health needs comprehensively. This commitment ensures that each supplement is not only effective but also easy to integrate into daily wellness routines.

Our approach to simplify the complex supplement landscape is met by offering all-in-one solutions that combine up to 50 essential nutrients in each formulation. This holistic approach aims to eliminate gaps in your wellness regimes while enhancing ease and consistency in achieving noticeable health results. In doing so, we have combined the affordability of mass-market products with the high quality of practitioner-grade supplements, and the aesthetic appeal of luxury products. Rosie adds, "Our vision for Equi was to create a brand that offers the best of these worlds - practitioner quality, beautifully branded, and accessible to everyone." This integration allows EQUI to provide high-quality supplements without compromising on efficacy or appeal. Moreover, as scientific research continues to validate the efficacy of supplements when taken correctly, we position ourselves as a trustworthy advocate in the competitive market. By prioritising evidence-based formulations, we ensure that you can make informed choices about your health.

In today’s blog, we will delve into the specific challenges of the supplement industry that we address head-on. For example, we will discuss how mass-market products fair vs. quality products that deliver results and why many affordable supplements fall short on quality and consumer trust. We’ll also give you an insight into the benefits of practitioner-grade high-quality formulations and the challenges of accessing them without professional guidance, which EQUI has overcome with our award-winning Formulas. We will highlight the importance of expert formulation in creating effective supplements, contrasting with generic off-the-shelf products. Finally, we will touch on the importance of brand integrity and trust as a consumer, with examples of our commitment to transparency and results. Through each of these topics, we aim to highlight how EQUI's commitment to excellence in formulation, accessibility, and consumer trust sets us apart in the supplement industry. 

Mass-Market Products and Low Quality

In today's supplement market, affordability often takes precedence over quality, leading to a proliferation of mass-market supplements that promise health benefits at minimal cost. While these products may seem appealing due to their low-price tags, they often fall short in delivering the promised results, contributing to widespread scepticism and low consumer trust in the industry. Mass-market supplements frequently use synthetic ingredients, fillers, and additives to keep production costs low. These products, while inexpensive, may not be well-absorbed or utilised by the body compared to their natural counterparts found in higher-quality supplements. This compromises their efficacy and diminishes the potential health benefits you, as a consumer seeks. One common example is magnesium oxide, a form of magnesium often used in low-cost supplements due to its affordability. Studies have shown that magnesium oxide has low bioavailability, meaning that a significant portion of the mineral passes through the digestive system without being absorbed into the bloodstream and utilised by the body effectively (1). This poor absorption can result in minimal noticeable benefits for those of us seeking to support overall health. Moreover, synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid instead of methyl-folate (vitamin B9), can pose challenges for those with specific genetic variations that impair their ability to metabolise synthetic forms effectively. As many as 60% of the population may struggle to make the conversion of folic acid to folate (2). This highlights the importance of choosing supplements that provide nutrients in bioavailable forms, ensuring optimal absorption and utilisation by the body, such as those used in EQUI formulations.

Beyond bioavailability issues, mass-market supplements may contain fillers and additives that serve no nutritional purpose and may even pose health risks. Common additives include artificial colours, preservatives, and allergens like gluten and soy, which can trigger reactions in sensitive individuals or contribute to overall dietary imbalance. What’s more, one study highlighted discrepancies in the actual nutrient content of multivitamins compared to their labels, emphasising the need for stricter regulation and transparency in the supplement industry (3). This discrepancy further erodes trust and highlights the need for rigorous quality control measures in supplement manufacturing. As consumers, we should be vigilant in scrutinising supplement labels for transparency regarding ingredient sources, forms, and potential allergens or additives. Opting for brands that prioritise third-party testing, use clinically validated ingredients, and adhere to stringent manufacturing practices can mitigate the risks associated with low-quality supplements.

While mass-market supplements may offer affordability, they often compromise on quality, bioavailability, and efficacy. We understand the vast array of supplements can be really daunting. Our unique solution is to simplify this complexity with all-in-one solutions that combine around 50 nutrients, to support you no matter what stage of life you are at. All you need to do is find your Formula – take our quiz here.

Practitioner-Grade Supplements and Accessibility

Practitioner-grade supplements represent a category known for their high quality, superior formulations, and enhanced bioavailability compared to mass-market counterparts. These products are often formulated based on scientific research and clinical evidence, aiming to address specific health concerns effectively. However, accessibility remains a significant challenge for us as consumers, as these supplements are typically inaccessible and require guidance from healthcare professionals for proper use. One of the key advantages of practitioner-grade supplements is their formulation. These products are often developed with input from healthcare providers who understand the nuances of nutrient interactions, dosage requirements, and specific health conditions, such as is the case with Alice formulating EQUI products. They are designed to deliver nutrients in bioavailable forms that are readily absorbed and utilised by the body, maximising their effectiveness. For instance, certain forms of vitamins and minerals, such as methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) and magnesium bisglycinate, both used in our formulations, are preferred in practitioner-grade supplements due to their superior absorption rates and reduced likelihood of causing gastrointestinal discomfort compared to their synthetic counterparts (4). Moreover, practitioner-grade supplements undergo rigorous quality control measures, including third-party testing for purity and potency. This ensures that the ingredients listed on the label match what is actually present in the product, addressing concerns about variability and inaccurate labelling seen in some mass-market supplements (5). 

Despite these advantages, accessibility remains a barrier for consumers. Practitioner-grade supplements are often sold exclusively through healthcare professionals or specialised clinics, limiting direct consumer access. This reliance on professional guidance can pose challenges for those of us seeking to self-manage their health or who may not have easy access to healthcare providers knowledgeable in nutrition and supplementation. Finally, the cost of practitioner-grade supplements can be higher compared to mass-market products, reflecting the quality of ingredients, formulation expertise, and additional testing required. This price point may deter some consumers from considering these supplements as a viable option, especially when more affordable alternatives are available on the market.

Enter EQUI where our vision was to create a brand that offers the best of these worlds - practitioner quality, beautifully branded and accessible to everyone. For example, our best-selling Beauty Formula, which is a blend of over 45 highly effective nutritional compounds designed to target problem skin and brighten all complexions, while also nourishing, energising, and balancing the whole body. We have included practitioner-grade nutrients, including proprietary GlowCutis® blend, a collagen-stimulating, antioxidant powerhouse to nourish skin, hair and nails. Containing Hyaluronic Acid, Type 1 Marine Collagen peptides, Zinc, Vit C, Pine Bark Extract, Resveratrol & Silica, which work together to support every stage of the skin cell cycle, strengthening and helping to counteract premature skin ageing. If you were to buy this supplement individually, it would cost you over £400, yet Beauty Formula is just a fraction of the price - purchase here.

Branded Off-the-Shelf Formulations vs. Expert Formulation

To differentiate between off-the-shelf formulations branded by companies and expertly formulated products like those from EQUI, it's essential to understand the key differences in formulation expertise, research rigor, and targeted nutritional support. Off-the-shelf formulations are often branded by companies mostly focused on marketing and sales rather than scientific research and formulation expertise. These products may lack thorough research into the specific nutritional needs they claim to address. Instead, they may rely on generic formulations that aim to appeal to a broad consumer base without necessarily delivering optimal results. This approach can result in formulations that are not tailored to address specific health concerns or that do not prioritise bioavailability and absorption of nutrients. In contrast, expertly formulated supplements like EQUI are meticulously crafted with a deep understanding of nutritional science and clinical experience. Co-founder Rosie emphasises, " We pride ourselves on offering practitioner quality supplements and our products are indeed used and trusted by practitioners across the UK. From the superior nutrients we use, the dose size we include to the sophistication of our Formulations."

One of the key elements that sets EQUI apart is the involvement of co-founder Alice Mackintosh, a registered nutritional therapist who actively runs a successful London clinic. Alice's first-hand experience in working with clients on a weekly basis allows her to stay abreast of the latest scientific developments and nutritional insights. This ongoing engagement with clinical practice ensures that EQUI's formulations remain grounded in real-world effectiveness and relevance. Our commitment to using superior nutrients in forms that are well-tolerated and bioavailable further exemplifies our dedication to quality. Moreover, the sophistication of our formulations incorporates synergistic blends and clinically validated ingredients such as GlowCutis® in Beauty Formula and VitaCholine™ and FerroChel® Iron in Pregnancy Formula. These trademarked blends have been researched for their efficacy in supporting skin health, hormonal balance, pregnancy, and overall well-being. 

Brand Integrity and Credibility

Brand integrity in the supplement industry is crucial for establishing trust and credibility among consumers. It encompasses having genuine, knowledgeable people behind a brand who are passionate about health and wellness, understand the science behind their products, and are committed to delivering tangible benefits to their customers. A shining example of brand integrity can be found in EQUI, where founders Alice Mackintosh and Rosie Speight bring a wealth of expertise and dedication to their formulations. Alice Mackintosh, a qualified and well-regarded nutritionist, plays a pivotal role at EQUI. With years of experience running a successful London clinic, Alice ensures that EQUI's products are grounded in scientific research and clinical insights. Her deep understanding of nutritional science allows EQUI to develop formulations that are not only effective but also safe and tailored to meet specific health needs. Take our recently launched Collagen Edition – not only does it support the skin, we went the extra mile by including well researched Cynatine® HNS Keratin which is a bio-available keratin, an amazing protein that keeps our nails strong and hair 65% more glossy, backed by research (6). Rosie Speight, co-founder of EQUI and a long-time friend of Alice, shares the same passion for health and wellness. She went to Alice for support when her skin broke out when she came off the pill. The results Rosie achieved with Alice’s guidance and supplement recommendations was outstanding, but she was taking several different practitioner-grade supplements to achieve this. Off the back of these results, Alice and Rosie got their heads together and EQUI was born. They combined their expertise and friendship to create a brand that prioritises quality, transparency, and customer satisfaction. This personal connection and shared commitment are evident in every aspect of EQUI's operations, from product development to customer care.

One of the hallmarks of EQUI's brand integrity is our commitment to transparency. We believe in providing clear information about our products, including detailed ingredient lists and the rationale behind our formulations. This transparency helps you as consumers make informed decisions about your health and ensures that you know exactly what you are putting into your bodies. Customer feedback plays a crucial role in reinforcing our brand integrity. Alice and Rosie receive heartfelt testimonials from customers on a regular basis, describing how EQUI's Formulas have significantly improved their lives. Whether it's managing challenging menopausal symptoms, restoring energy levels, enhancing mental clarity, or revitalising skin health, these testimonials underscore the real impact of EQUI products. This direct feedback not only validates the effectiveness of the formulations but also motivates us to continually innovate and improve. Shop EQUI here

Disclaimer: All of the information on this website is provided for general information only, it should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional providing personalised nutrition or lifestyle advice. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. No one diet or supplement regime works for everyone and you should always seek help from a GP and registered health expert before making changes to your diet, or before introducing any supplements. This is especially important when pregnant.



  1. Schutten JC, Joris PJ, Mensink RP, Danel RM, Goorman F, Heiner-Fokkema MR, Weersma RK, Keyzer CA, de Borst MH, Bakker SJL. Effects of magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate supplementation on arterial stiffness in healthy overweight individuals: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2019 May 28;20(1), p. 295.
  2. Greenberg JA, Bell SJ, Guan Y, Yu YH. Folic Acid supplementation and pregnancy: more than just neural tube defect prevention. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Summer;4(2), pp. 52-9.
  3. Gahche, J. J., Bailey, R. L., Potischman, N., Dwyer, J. T., Kushi, L. H., Midthune, D., ... & Dodd, K. W. (2011). Dietary supplement use among US adults has increased since NHANES III (1988-1994). NCHS Data Brief, 61, pp. 1-8.
  4. Bohn, T., Davidsson, L., Walczyk, T., & Hurrell, R. F. (2004). Fractional magnesium absorption is significantly lower in human subjects from a meal served with an oxalate-rich vegetable, spinach, as compared with a meal served with kale, a vegetable with a low oxalate content. Journal of Nutrition, 134(3), pp. 460-463.
  5. Gahche, J. J., Bailey, R. L., Potischman, N., Dwyer, J. T., Kushi, L. H., Midthune, D., ... & Dodd, K. W. (2017). Dietary supplement use among US adults has increased since NHANES III (1988-1994). JAMA Internal Medicine, 177(3), pp. 379-389.
  6. Beer C, Wood S, Veghte RH. (2014). A clinical trial to investigate the effect of Cynatine HNS on hair and nail parame


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