Tag Archives: Supplements

A Question of Potency

What is the difference between the turmeric, ginger or black pepper you buy at the grocery store and what you find in Freedom? The short answer is its potency. Fully Human uses the highest potency ingredients possible in order to maximize the speed our supplements work, and because it is just the honest thing to do. If you are paying for a supplement you expect it to actually contain the ingredients claimed, and those ingredients to be functional.

What is potency? Well, potency in the nutrition world is really just shorthand for purity, but lets be honest, potency sounds way smarter and more scientific than purity which sounds vaguely artsy or even like what a bad guy in a movie would say. The rest of this article will talk in more depth about potency, but if you don’t have time, don’t want to read more, or just like doing things fast, the main points you need to know are here:

  1. The FDA has standards for vitamin and mineral potency (such as those used in multi-vitamins); but does not have standards for herbal supplements.
  2. There are a bunch of different ways of measuring potency in herbal supplements, but most use ‘standardized extract’ as the measurement tool.
  3. Cayenne pepper isn’t actually terribly spicy
  4. High potency supplement ingredients absorb better than low potency ones
  5. Most people benefit from high-potency supplement ingredients, but a couple categories of people should be careful
  6. Fully Human uses the highest potency ingredients we can find…because you are worth it

Ok, summary complete – now lets get to the details

Overview of Potency

According to the FDA, vitamins or minerals that are 100 percent or more of the reference daily intake (a.k.a. ‘RDI,’ the measurement used to calculate appropriate daily intake of a nutrient) per serving can be labeled ‘high-potency.’ When there are multiple ingredients in a supplement (like in your multivitamin), at least two-thirds of them must offer 100 percent or more of the RDI in order for that supplement to be labeled ‘high-potency.’  When we’re not talking about vitamins and minerals, though, things get a little hairier, since the definition of ‘high-potency’ isn’t officially defined.

When these natural products are made into standardized extracts and concentrates in order to contain larger amounts of their beneficial compound, they might be labeled ‘high-potency’—but again, there’s no official definition here. Take turmeric or ginger for example, there is a huge difference between the turmeric spice, the ground ginger root that you can buy at the grocery store, and an extract. While you’d need to eat a tablespoon of turmeric spice to get about 130 milligrams of curcuminoids (the compounds responsible for turmeric’s benefits), a single capsule of a standardized extract might contain over 200 milligrams.

What Even Is Potency Measuring?

Before we can answer who needs high-potency supplements, let’s first look at how potency is usually measured in herbal supplements. The most common measurement is a ‘standardized extract’. An example is: Turmeric Curcumin standardized to 95% curcuminoids. This standardized extract formulation tells you how much of each active ingredient is in each milligram. For the 95% extract above, there are 95mg of curcuminoids in every 100mg of the turmeric in your supplement.

Another method of measuring potency is to use enzyme activity units. Proteolytic enzymes – the fancy way of describing any group of enzymes that break the long chain-like molecules of proteins into shorter fragments (peptides) and eventually into their amino acid components – can be standardized by using different activity-measuring units. GDU/gram – as used in Freedom to measure bromelain – is another measurement of protein digestion by an enzyme, and is a way to show how much protein an enzyme can digest in a specific time under specific conditions. Similar to extract percentage, these activity-measuring units are usually more potent the higher the number is.

The final metric for potency are Scoville heat units (often abbreviated to simply “heat units”), a unique measurement for spices and herbs that are…you guessed it…spicy. You might have seen the posters or images that show how hot the hottest peppers in the world are. Well, those are based on measurements of those peppers using heat units.

Who Can Benefit From High-Potency Supplements?

Experts suggest most people can benefit from high-potency doses of at least some vitamins and minerals. For example, the RDI for vitamin C is 90 milligrams, but vitamin C is a beneficial, powerful antioxidant, and  200 milligrams or more is widely recommended. B vitamins are a similar story: The RDIs for B vitamins are tiny—and these vitamins are rapidly depleted by stress, poor diet, genetic issues, and more.

Others who might benefit from taking high-potency supplements:

  • People with gastrointestinal issues, who may have trouble absorbing nutrients.
  • Strict vegans who have a hard time getting enough B12.
  • Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant should take high-dose folic acid.
  • Those who’ve just finished a round of antibiotics should take a high-potency probiotic to help rebuild the good bacteria in their gut

Who Should Stay Away From High-Potency Supplements?

While high-potency supplements can be beneficial in many cases, more isn’t always better. For example, since exceeding the upper limit of vitamin A can lead to birth defects, it’s not recommended that pregnant women take high doses.

Meanwhile, if your vitamin D levels are already high enough, a high-potency supplement could be problematic, just as high-potency vitamin K could be an issue if you take blood-thinners. Even high-potency probiotics can do more harm than good if you have a common condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), in which you have too many bacteria festering in the wrong place.

What Does Fully Human Use?

At Fully Human, we think of potency like cleaning supplies. It is fine to use household cleaner when you are wiping down the counter; but if you are disinfecting a doctor’s office, it is time to bring out the good stuff.

At Fully Human we use the same potency herbal ingredients that are used in clinical trials. We do this because we believe in following the science, because we want your supplement to work now…not after months or years.

In the most successful scientific studies of Freedom’s ingredients, researchers used the highest potency ingredients at a relatively low dose. These studies found that ultra-pure herbs were more quickly and easily absorbed by the body.

Higher potency ingredients also mean you need a smaller amount to get the same effect. As mentioned above in the example about turmeric, if you have turmeric that is 25% curcumin extract, it is going to take nearly 4 times as much turmeric to get the same dose as Freedom’s 95% curcumin extract.

Higher potency ingredients also work faster, take boswellia. Studies on the effect of boswellia on knee inflammation found that small doses of high potency boswellia extract was more effective and started working faster than high doses of lower potency version of the herb.

Anecdotal feedback from our customers indicate that you can start experiencing results as soon as the first week of taking Freedom at the recommended daily dosage. We attribute this to the potency of our ingredients. You wouldn’t use a watered-down antibiotic to fight an infection, would you? Try Freedom risk free today and take high-potency ingredients that actively fight chronic inflammation.

Labels…What Are They Good For?

Are you puzzled when you look at the labels on your vitamins, or medicine for that matter and wonder why some say “Take with food”, others say “Take on empty stomach” and still others say “Don’t drink alcohol with this medication”? The answer has everything to do with solubility, or the ability of the body to absorb the material in the pill. For our purposes (vitamins and supplements), there are two groups of substances, water-soluble and fat-soluble.


Water-soluble vitamins, which include all of the B and C vitamins, are easily absorbed into the body. If you consume more of a water-soluble vitamin than you need, the excess will be excreted, not stored. This means the risk of an overdose is low, but you have to constantly replenish your stock. This is why it is possible to get Vitamin B12 shots from basically anywhere, because the worst that happens if you don’t need all of the nutrients is your urine turns a fun color for the rest of the day.

Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D, on the other hand require bile acids to help absorb them. These are longer lasting, and don’t end up being absorbed until your small intestines. They are stored primarily in your liver and other fatty tissues, and in some cases stay in the body for weeks or longer.  There is a significantly higher risk of overdose with these vitamins in excess because a toxic level can build up over time without you realizing it. Don’t worry, a well-balanced diet will not lead to toxicity, but excessive vitamin supplementation might.

Why is this the case?

Why do some vitamins just pass through the body and others linger? Well the short answer is because that is how your body evolved to cope during the hundreds of thousands of years when humans just barely had enough nutrients to survive. The B and C vitamins feed our energy and circulatory systems. They give you a boost of speed, or help protect your heart (no vitamin C did not prevent prehistoric colds, and it won’t prevent yours). These nutrients are fairly plentiful out in the big wild world, and so our bodies are used to not needing to store them.

On the other hand, vitamins A and D are related to long term needs such as your vision and bones. They are harder to find in the wild, and as such our bodies have become very efficient at extracting these nutrients wherever they can be found, and storing them for as long as possible.

I know I know, you are waiting for me to address the last question….”Don’t drink alcohol with this medication”…the short answer is: that is nonsense. Of course you can drink while taking that medication. In fact you can literally drink while taking any medication. The problem comes the next day(s) when your body is trying to recover. Because the warning that you ignored, was just a simple way of telling you that the medicine you are taking is hard on your liver. So give your liver a break and don’t drink when your pill bottle says not to.

What About Freedom?

Our anti-arthritis supplement, Freedom is composed of water soluble herbs, but we still suggest you take each dose around a meal. We do this not because of the absorption potential of our ingredients; but because some, like cayenne can upset an empty stomach. We believe in minimizing the risk of discomfort – especially in a supplement meant to end joint pain. 

Do you want to end your joint pain? If you have arthritis, Freedom might be the answer for you. In the last two years, over 20 clinical trials the ingredients in Freedom have consistently reduced pain, and make it easier to move for people with arthritis (RA and OA). 

We’re confident you’ll love our supplements, so confident we offer a ‘Keep It’ money back guarantee. If the product doesn’t perform for you, we’re not gonna play games with you. If you don’t like it, you can keep it! Notify our team, and we’ll get you a refund right there on the spot – no return necessary.

The Little Things

Shipping Boxes. You never really think about them until you get a bad one. Then it is the only thing you can think of. For the past six months all I have been focused on is the development and manufacture of Freedom, and I never really thought about what happens when someone actually buys a bottle.

Ok that isn’t entirely true. I had nightmares that no one would buy it. And I had fantasies about it becoming the next fad for the likes of Tom Brady and Oprah. But the little thing about what I do with this super cool bottle of an invention I researched and labored on…what about that?

I mean I spent a lot of time working with graphic designers on the bottle. Figuring out the colors, shape, lid color, the metallic background. All these little things that normally I wouldn’t really pay attention to. All of that made me think I had everything figured out.

Turns out I didn’t.

I shipped the first bottles of Freedom yesterday night. In USPS Priority Envelopes. I thought it was a nice touch for me to pay extra to have the bottles shipped faster. But as I looked at the packaged bottles I realized…they looked shitty. Not like I had done a sloppy tape job, but like the way a present wrapped by a five year old looks.

Those of you who had enough faith to be the first to order are the ones who are getting the worst packaging. Yea, sorry about that. I really thought I had it together, but I had forgotten something I learned in during my time with special operations: The difference between good and great is measured in how well you do the basics. It isn’t about being amazing at one thing. It is doing the simple, little things well, over and over again.

I now have boxes perfectly sized for my bottles ordered and on their way. And I was thinking about getting rid of this pile of USPS Priority envelopes I brought home. But maybe I’ll keep them around, just to remind me that doing the little things well every time is what success is made of.

I’ll get back to work here, but while I’m busy re-learning life lessons, hopefully you remember to bring your full selves to life every day. If you are looking for a solution to your inflammation, check out Freedom, the first supplement to combine the eight most effective anti-inflammation compounds to give you a chance to fight inflammation naturally.

Crowdfunding Round Is Live!

Fully Human is about bringing your full self to life, and doing that in a sustainable way. Our first ultra-premium supplement, Freedom, is about giving you just that. Freedom. It will be the first anti-inflammation nutritional supplement that delivers clinically researched, all natural compounds, to you – in the doses that research has shown will aid your body in reducing inflammation. Freedom is not a take-once-a-day supplement that will cure all your problems, because those products don’t exist. Research has shown that taking a supplement once a day isn’t the path to it fully working. We decided that our product needs to be take at the frequency that clinicians find to be most effective. In the case of Freedom, that is three times a day. As a vet I know that freedom takes work and commitment, but in the end freedom is always worth it.

I am launching Freedom on Indiegogo because:

    1. Indiegogo allows nutritional supplements to be funded.

    2. I don’t have the roughly $35,000 needed to research, manufacture and distribute Freedom.

    3. I am unwilling to be beholden to a venture capital or other more traditional lending service who may pressure me to compromise quality for profit. 

Check out the campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fully-human-supplements/x/20552919#/

Or my video about Freedom:


Size May Not Matter – But Time Does

Wake Up.

Pour caffeine into my face.

Wait 20 minutes.

Begin day.

Does this sound like the start of your day? Cause it is basically how every day starts for me. When I was younger there were more steps in the beginning of my day, whether it was eating breakfast (now that doesn’t happen until about 4 hours after I wake up), working out (that is now every other day), or, taking my supplements (now I take my supplements at noon and about 5pm). I want to talk about why I started taking my supplements towards the middle and end of my day here.

Part of the reason I switched was because taking so many pills all at once on an empty stomach really upset me, and made it hard to focus for about an hour after taking them. But the more significant reason is that I learned the time of day matters when taking anything that your body digests, whether supplement, medication or really even food. Once you stop and think about it, which I never did, it makes a lot of sense. The body takes a few hours to process whatever you consume, and then that takes a further amount of time (varies by compound), to build up to its full effectiveness.

For instance, a Kansas State study found that acid reflux medicine nearly twice as many people saw a dramatic reduction in their symptoms when they took their daily medication around dinnertime. This is because acid tends to build up as you eat, and peak shortly before bed, so taking medicine in the morning has significantly less impact than taking it when acid is near its high point.

Freedom is an anti-inflammation supplement, and research has shown that individuals benefit most from anti-inflammation drugs and supplements when taken at specific times. Those times vary depending on the source of inflammation.

Individuals suffering from osteoarthritis (like me), or other forms of inflammation that are the result of ‘use’ (exercise/other activities) have their symptoms peak in the evening. A Texas Tech University study found that the optimum time for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory interventions (supplements, ibuprofen…etc) is between about noon and 4pm. This allows the compound time to digest and reach its highest blood levels around the time you would be experiencing peak inflammation.

Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammation from autoimmune diseases see their worst inflammation in the morning, and according to the same Texas Tech study, benefit most from taking their anti-inflammation drugs/supplements as close to bedtime as practical, in order to prevent overnight inflammation growth.