Gut Health

Beware of Dangerous Counterfeit Supplements!

Know your source before you buy.

If you take any supplements, look at them. Are you sure they contain what you think they do?

Because the truth is, they may not. It really depends on where you bought them.

Dangerous players have entered the multi-billion-dollar supplement market. They create fake versions of real products—products you could otherwise trust for safety and effectiveness. These counterfeiters don’t care what they put into capsules and gel caps as long as it's super cheap.

Counterfeits can be full of ineffective ingredients. Or worse, toxins. Either way, you’re not getting what you paid for… or any of the benefits you were counting on.

That’s why it’s so important to buy your supplements from legit sources – so you can take care of your health in the best possible way.

Counterfeit Supplements Are More Common Than You Think

With billions of dollars on the line, the supplement industry has attracted countless counterfeiters into the mix. And the easiest market for them to break into is one of the most popular platforms in the world: Amazon.

What exactly are counterfeit supplements? Fake versions of the real thing. Scammers lock in on the most popular supplements, copy the bottles and labeling, and stuff them full of whatever they want. Then they sell them to unsuspecting customers, mainly through online stores. You get what you think is the real thing… but it’s not.

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Examples of some known counterfeit products sold on Amazon include:

  • Prevagen
  • Align Probiotics
  • Pure Encapsulations L-glutamine
  • NatureMD’s GutConnect 365
  • Bausch & Lomb’s PreserVision AREDS 2 Eye Vitamin and Mineral

NOW Foods uncovered 11 fake versions of their products on Amazon, including psyllium capsules and magnesium citrate.

Fungi Perfecti found nearly two dozen counterfeiters selling copies of their Host Defense mushroom supplements.

Unfortunately, Just Thrive has also been targeted by Amazon counterfeiters, and you can find photo examples of fake bottles and how to guarantee you’re getting a genuine Just Thrive product in this post.

And there are many more brands impacted that we don’t know about… yet.

Ingredient Labels Contain Lies

While they may go through the trouble of creating similar bottles, product labels, and logos, supplement counterfeiters do not care what actually goes into the supplements. They’re counting on you to not notice that something’s off.

Maybe instead of probiotics they’re stuffing the capsules with rice flour. Other common fake capsule fillers include things like salt, sugar, and other cheaper ingredients. So when you’re trying to calm down gut disturbances with probiotics, and they’re just not working… you may not actually be taking probiotics at all.

NOW (a prominent supplement company), for example, bought and tested 19 bromelain (a powerful digestive enzyme) supplements on Amazon and found that 75% didn’t meet the label claims. And 60% contained less than 10% of the bromelain power listed on the label.

A group of researchers tested 30 immune supplements purchased on Amazon and found that:[1]

  • 17 of them had inaccurate labeling
  • 13 were misbranded, meaning counterfeit or intentionally deceptive
  • 9 had ingredients not included on the label

Not only are you not getting what you paid for, these imitation supplements can also put your health—maybe even your life—at risk.

photo of woman with hands over mouth in shock at counterfeit supplements

Fake Supplements Threaten Your Health

You’re taking supplements for a reason—to improve your health, probably in specific ways. Maybe you’re taking herbs to manage your blood sugar… or polyphenols to support your immune system… or probiotics for a more comfortable gut. But when the supplements are fake, they don’t deliver the same benefits as the real thing.

But it gets worse than ineffectiveness.

Counterfeit supplements may contain actively harmful ingredients. And because of their misleading labels, you might not even know that taking them puts your health at risk until you start to experience problems.

Here are just a few of the ways counterfeit supplements threaten your well-being:[2,3]

  • Fake herbal products may contain different plant species, contaminants, and fillers not listed on the labels.
  • Imitation supplements can contain undeclared allergens, such as soy, shellfish, peanuts, and gluten.
  • Contaminants can include dangerous drugs such as anabolic steroids, weight-loss drugs, erectile dysfunction medications, and mind-altering substances.

In fact, since 2007 the FDA has identified at least 1,050 supplements tainted with drugs.[3] And many of these tainted products—especially weight loss and sexual health supplements—have been sold on Amazon as “best-sellers” and “Amazon’s Choice,” according to the FDA. The agency has sent numerous warning letters to Amazon… but the counterfeit supplement problem hasn’t disappeared.

How to Know Who to Trust

You want to make sure you’re getting the real deal when you buy supplements, and not potentially harmful imitation knockoffs. That means sticking with vendors you know you can trust.

The counterfeiters are good at what they do. They can copy the look of bottles, labels, even the look of the supplements inside. And when you’re buying from a random seller on the web, you really have no way of knowing until you get the product… or sometimes until after you’ve taken it and had a bad reaction.

Red flags can include:

  • Small typos on the labels
  • Slightly different color bottles or bottle caps
  • No UPC number on the label
  • Missing lot numbers
  • Supplements that look or smell different than usual

But all of these can be hard to spot, especially when you’re ordering based on a picture from an online vendor.

That’s why you want to make sure you only buy from authorized sellers of your favorite supplements. And the safest choice is to buy straight from the supplement company to get genuine, safe, effective products without any worries.

Note: As previously mentioned, Just Thrive is not immune to counterfeiters. If you have bought any of our products through Amazon and are concerned they may be counterfeit, please contact our support team, and we’ll be happy to walk you through how to report the issue to Amazon.

Count on Just Thrive to Deliver Proven Potent Probiotics Every Time

With Just Thrive Probiotic, what you see on the label is what you get in the bottle. Every single capsule. Every single time.

Just Thrive Probiotic contains four clinically studied spore probiotics:

  • Bacillus subtilis HU58™
  • Bacillus coagulans (SC-208)
  • Bacillus clausii (SC-109)
  • Bacillus indicus HU36™

This proven combination of spore probiotics has been shown to promote microbiome diversity[4] and deliver overall support for health and wellness… especially in the gut.

Just Thrive Probiotic is also DNA tested, backed by clinical research, and has proven 100% survivability—so it gets to your gut alive and intact, ready to support your wellness with every capsule.

You can count on Just Thrive to deliver consistent quality, transparent labeling, and clinically proven products.

And if you have any doubts at all… we can help with that.

When you purchase direct from Just Thrive, EVERY purchase is covered by our Bottom of the Bottle, 100% money back guarantee.

So you can try Just Thrive Probiotic to see if it works for you… and we’re confident it will.

But if for any reason you don’t feel a difference, simply ask for a full product refund. Any time. Even if it’s 3 months or 3 years later. Even if the bottle is empty! You’ll get your money back any time, no matter what.

When you buy direct, you’ll also have access to exclusive offers and discounts (such as our cost effective and easy to manage subscription options) and dedicated customer support. You can even schedule a FREE, 15-minute consultation with one of our product specialists to get all your questions answered and get tailored guidance!

>> Try Just Thrive Probiotic, RISK-FREE TODAY, and save 30% on your first month’s subscription with code SUB30.

Just Thrive Probiotic CTA banner image with SUB30 discount
Sources
  1. Crawford C, Avula B, Lindsey AT, Walter A, Katragunta K, Khan IA, Deuster PA. Analysis of Select Dietary Supplement Products Marketed to Support or Boost the Immune System. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 1;5(8):e2226040.
  2. Newmaster, S.G., Grguric, M., Shanmughanandhan, D. et al. DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products. BMC Med 11, 222 (2013).
  3. Denham BE. Dietary supplements in the USA: problematic trends. Public Health Nutr. 2021 Jun;24(9):2771-2775.
  4. Marzorati M, Van den Abbeele P, Bubeck S, Bayne T, Krishnan K, Young A. Treatment with a spore-based probiotic containing five strains of Bacillus induced changes in the metabolic activity and community composition of the gut microbiota in a SHIME® model of the human gastrointestinal system. Food Res Int. 2021 Nov;149:110676
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