We take them for our health and well-being. We take them when we are sick. We take them daily with or without meals. We are talking about supplements. There are numerous supplements out there that are for various things. Some are simply a mixture of vitamins to get you feeling healthy while others contain herbs and plants that have certain medicinal qualities to them, but have you ever stopped to read the ingredients? Some of the ingredients contained in certain supplements are just downright weird. However, weird doesn’t necessarily mean bad. There are plenty of “weird” components that are really good for you. We have compiled some of the most common yet odd ingredients that are placed in your supplements.
1. Live Bacteria Cultures
Yes, that’s kind of weird, but if you’ve ever taken a good probiotic, you’ve had this. The term “probiotic” is currently used to describe the microorganisms being ingested when taking these products. So why take a mouthful of live bacteria cultures? Because these cultures are extremely beneficial to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The bacteria is actually “good” bacteria that can help with many bodily functions. So while it may sound a little gross, it is really good for you!
The name sounds pretty innocent, but it’s actually pretty weird. Lanolin is a waxy substance which is secreted from the glands of sheep. It helps protect the sheep’s skin, but it is used in supplements as vitamin D3, cholecalciferol. Vitamin D3 comes from the sunshine, but if you aren’t getting enough and are vitamin D3 deficient, the supplemental form is from either fish oil or lanolin. Vitamin D3 is necessary to help maintain bone and immune system health. Again, it’s great for you, but still pretty weird (and kind of gross).
3. Shark Cartilage
It’s the name of an ingredient as well as an actual supplement. Shark cartilage is simply that, dried and powdered cartilage from a shark. This fishy substance has been advertised widely to prevent cancer or tumor growth. Unfortunately, there have been no studies to back up this claim, but instead it has been given that attribution on the basis that “sharks don’t get cancer.” So maybe it doesn’t cure cancer, but some individuals use it for and psoriasis. Sounds like a miracle in a bottle or in a fish.
Again, the name sounds pretty innocent, I mean we eat gelatin, right? Well, it’s correct that we eat it, but what exactly is it? Gelatin is a tasteless pale powder that is derived from animal collagen, the protein of animal connective tissues. It is typically from the hides and bones of cattle as well as pigskin. While this may sound pretty weird, gelatin is actually really good for you, that’s probably why most supplements are encased in a gelatin capsule. Gelatin has 18 amino acids, many of which cannot be produced by the body. It also helps improve hair, nail, and skin health. I guess good things come in weird packages.
This substance is typically used as a flavoring agent, usually when trying to add a raspberry flavoring, but that’s not the weird part. Castoreum is similar to lanolin because it is a secretion from an animal, specifically beavers. While it is mainly used for flavoring purposes there have also been claims about its medicinal agents. Castoreum is claimed to have calming and relaxing agents for sleep issues and anxiety. Who knew?
There are plenty of interesting and weird things out there that we are ingesting whether it be in food or supplements. Most of the time the ingredients are “hidden” by names that we have no clue how to pronounce, let alone know what they mean. What other weird ingredients are you aware of? Share them with us below!