Editorial Policy

Every shred of information you learn about a nutrition supplement or brand is a stride towards a more confident investment in your health, which is exactly our mission at The Nutrition Insider.

Collaborating closely with our medical review board, our team of expert reviewers follows a research-driven process for individually reviewing and ranking both nutrition products and the brands that create them. 

Read on for a closer look at how we separate the so-so from the stellar in the ever-expanding nutrition supplement space.

How We Rate Dietary Supplements

Rather than taking buzz words slapped onto nutrition supplement labels as gospel, we opt for a slower, but much more accurate method, which means pouring through plenty of research data surrounding a product and its ingredients.

The subjective elements of each user’s experience with a product can’t be ignored, however, which is why we also factor in taste and effectiveness. 

Each of our product reviews is divided into the following categories:

  • Ingredient Quality
  • Supporting Research
  • Reported Side Effects
  • Brand Experience
  • Value 

Here’s a closer look at how we award points within each category.

Ingredient Quality

A: The product/brand clearly outlines their safe and sustainable sourcing, extraction, and other manufacturing processes. Negligible harsh preservatives, fillers, sweeteners, etc. Consideration for non-GMO, vegan, organic, regen ag, as well as certifications (Rainforest Alliance, USDA Organic, Banned Substances Testing, GMP, etc.) and direct partnerships with suppliers.

B: The product clearly outlines safe and sustainable sourcing, extraction, and other manufacturing processes. A small amount of preservatives, fillers , sweeteners, etc. A small range of certifications. 

C: The supply chain and/or sourcing methodologies are less clear. Suppliers are not listed as partners, or at all. Small to moderate amount of preservatives, fillers, sweeteners, etc. Little to no certifications.

D: There is little to no mention of sourcing standards or methods on customer-facing content. Moderate or greater use of preservatives, fillers, sweeteners, etc. Very few or no certifications.

F: Sourcing methods are not disclosed at all and/or include demonstrably unsafe, low-quality methods and materials. Heavy use of artificial sweeteners, fillers, and preservatives. No certifications. 

Ingredient Analysis 

A: A robust body of research on most or all of the supplement’s ingredients (and/or the supplement itself) confirming their benefits in human trials. ( I was going to mention possibly including study size, but I think this is best to be evaluated by me and the other doctor on board, as a lyaman will not understand importance of study size, so “robust body of research” is perfect. )

B: A moderate amount of research suggesting active ingredient benefits in human clinical trials. 

C: Some evidence for possible benefits of some active ingredients in studies with or without human subjects.

D: Very little evidence for possible benefits of active ingredients in studies.

F: No evidence supporting benefits of active ingredients (including research that warns against active ingredients).

Reported Side Effects 

This ranking category is not meant to accurately reflect user experience. The general lack of research on combinations of ingredients (as in supplements) and your unique circumstances (e.g., medical history) can alter your experience. 

A: Very low frequency and/or severity of documented side effects (dry mouth, mild headache, etc.) as reported in studies of relevant ingredients/products.

B: Low to moderate frequency and severity of documented side effects as reported in studies of relevant ingredients/products

C: Moderate frequency and severity of documented side effects as reported in studies of relevant ingredients/products.

D: Side effects occur frequently, and include more severe issues (cardiac event, major disease risk increase, suicidal ideation, etc.). Regulatory agencies may warn the public about these risks.

F: Side effects occur at a high frequency, and include serious issues (cardiac event, major disease risk increase, suicidal ideation, etc.). Regulatory agencies are actively warning the public about these outcomes, and the ingredient(s)/product(s) may be in the process of being outlawed.

Brand Experience

A: Excellent ecommerce experience, consumer education, shipping and return policies, and customer service.

B: Above-average ecommerce experience, consumer education, shipping and return policies, and customer service.

C: Average ecommerce experience, consumer education, shipping and return policies, and customer service.

D: Subpar ecommerce experience, consumer education, shipping and return policies, and customer service.

F: Very poor ecommerce experience, consumer education, shipping and return policies, and customer service.. 

Value for the Price

A: Very affordable when factoring in ingredient quality/density.

B: Fairly affordable when factoring in ingredient quality/density.

C: Moderately priced for ingredient quality/density.

D: Expensive for ingredient quality/density

F: Very expensive for ingredient quality/density

Our Experience 

Finally, at the end of each review, we will share our personal experiences with the product(s). Given the subjective nature of this section, we don’t factor it into the product or brand’s overall score. Your experience may differ from that of our testers.

Here is what we’re looking for:

  • Consistency and potency of benefits
  • Taste/texture
  • How accurately benefits reflect manufacturer’s claims
  • Any adverse or unexpected effects
  • Amount of product required to achieve said effects
  • Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability

Why We Don’t Have Bad Reviews

It only takes one positive review of a superior brand to find the perfect health and nutrition product for you, whereas simply ticking off brands you should avoid is a much less efficient way to arrive at a sound purchasing decision.

This is why we only review top-tier health and nutrition brands we believe will help our audience; because actively helping is a much higher and more practically realized standard to ascribe to than “not hurting.”

Months before each review is published, we actively research and connect with each brand, reviewing the products ourselves and interviewing executives, marketing directors, PR representatives, and/or other professionals at the company to get a first-hand account of their values and principles, operations, certifications, and much more.

We lean on our own experiences as customers and preliminary research when determining which brands will be worthy of a positive review, which is why we don’t take this vetting process lightly—brands who do not qualify will not be (and cannot pay to be) reviewed. 

All of this is to provide our audience with real, actionable insights into the products that can change their lives for the better.