Is Pure Encapsulations Still Good After Nestle Takeover? Where to Buy?
This is my review and opinion of Pure Encapsulations after Nestle bought out the brand.
Disclaimer: The “Pure Encapsulations” trademark and logo are owned by Pure Encapsulations, LLC. This post reflects my own personal opinion and is not sponsored or endorsed by PE.
Located in Sudbury, Massachusetts, Pure Encapsulations is known as one of the prominent manufacturers of premium, hypoallergenic (allergen-free) dietary supplements. This brand primarily focuses on marketing and selling their products through the healthcare practitioner channel.
Unlike many other popular brands that can be found at most local and online retail stores, Pure Encapsulations’ products are exclusively sold to healthcare professionals, and consumers can access them through their doctor, naturopath, etc. There are also a few online stores authorized to sell their products directly to consumers (scroll down the page for a recommended vendor).
Nestle Takeover and Controversy
Pure Encapsulations, alongside a few sister brands, have grown so popular over the past few years to the point it drew the interest of a giant multinational food corporation; Nestle.
Indeed, in late 2017, Nestle acquired Atrium Innovations; The parent company that owns Pure Encapsulations, Garden of Life, Douglas Laboratories, and a few other brands (official press release).
After the news about the acquisition came out, some customers were so unhappy that they decided to stop buying this brand’s products, and some even called for others to boycott the company! Why? Basically because they see Nestle as an “evil” megacorporation that only cares about boosting their profits and doesn’t really care about the health or welfare of others, especially those working in their supply chain!
Well, I’m not going to get into that argument here… you are free to believe whatever you want. And while I’m not a fan of multinational megacorporations, I’m also not a fan of completely boycotting anything.
Despite the controversy about Nestle’s raw material sourcing ethics, I think some people go a little too far demonizing this company. I don’t think they are less ethical than most other companies out there, but because they are one of the biggest global brands, they are in the spotlight more often than other companies.
Once again, I’m not a proponent of gigantic megacorps, and I’m especially against buying Nestle’s bottled water, however, I still think they make some good quality products and I will continue to buy those products.
Did Pure Encapsulations Change After Nestle’s Acquisition?
One of the main arguments made by some boycotters is that under Nestle’s management, Pure Encapsulations’ product quality will start degrading as the company would seek to cut corners and use cheaper quality ingredients in order to lower costs and maximize profitability. However, after a couple of years under the new ownership, there is nothing to suggest that this has been the case.
Pure Encapsulations is still the same reputable company with the same quality products, the same sourcing and manufacturing practices, and the same expertise and people working in it. When that changes, I may have a different opinion about this brand.
If you look at customer reviews over the past couple of years, you’ll notice that they are mostly positive as usual. It’s those few customers who have a somewhat subjective negative view of Nestle that decided not to buy Pure Encapsulations anymore, and not because it’s no good anymore.
But everyone may have their own definition of good and bad, so if you’re not comfortable with this brand any longer, there are certainly several other reliable manufacturers to choose from.
Where to Buy Pure Encapsulations’ Supplements?
As I said earlier, being a practitioner brand, Pure Encapsulations don’t sell directly to consumers, but rather sell their products to healthcare professionals who then sell them to their customers/patients after consultation. The company’s website offers patient fulfillment services allowing customers who have a special code from their doctor to register for an account and order products directly from the company.
Additionally, a few online health stores are authorized to distribute Pure Encapsulations’ products, and one of the most convenient of these is PureFormulas.
PureFormulas ships domestically and internationally to several countries. Check out their listing page for Pure Encapsulations products, most of which have plenty of mixed customer reviews that can be helpful for first-time buyers.
Pure Encapsulations vs. Garden of Life
Although both Pure Encapsulations and Garden of Life are owned by the same parent company, they operate separately and each brand has its own philosophy and standards.
Both companies make quality products, but while Pure Encapsulations’ main focus is producing hypoallergenic supplements, Garden of Life’s primary mission is making whole food supplements that are free from synthetics. Many GOL products are also certified organic and vegan.
Pure Encapsulations does use some synthetic ingredients in their products, including synthetic vitamin forms, such as thiamine HCl (vitamin B1) and pyridoxine HCl (vitamin B6). As a matter of fact, most manufacturers use such synthetic vitamins in their formulas because they are easier to produce in large quantities.
Synthetic vitamins are chemically similar to their natural counterparts and they have the same effects in the body. However, there have been some concerns raised about the safety and effectiveness of some of these synthetic nutrients. For example, taking too much pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in synthetic supplement form can cause nerve damage (neuropathy).
While synthetic vitamins are generally safe and effective, those that are derived from natural sources (whole food) are more tolerable and less likely to upset your stomach or cause other side effects, even when taken on an empty stomach.
So, if you would like to try whole food vitamins and other plant-based supplements, Garden of Life is a great brand to go with. Click here to check out Garden of Life products.
Are Vitamin Supplements Really Worth it?
Well, for most people, no they aren’t! Even if you aren’t meeting the recommended daily intake of some vitamins, you are unlikely to suffer from symptomatic deficiency.
Supplementation may only be effective in certain cases, such as absorption issues, restrictive diets (e.g. vegan), as well as certain health conditions or medications that can cause depletion in the levels of certain vitamins/minerals.
Healthy people don’t need to waste their money on vitamins since they aren’t likely to provide any significant health benefits. On the contrary, taking high dosages of certain vitamins may cause adverse effects and even some serious health risks in the long run.
Add to that the fact that isolated vitamins taken in supplement form aren’t as efficiently absorbed by the body as those found in real food. The presence of many other phytonutrients in whole food helps the body better absorb and utilize different vitamins, and that’s not something you can find in a pill.
Unless your doctor has advised you to take certain vitamins, you’re probably better off saving your money for something more useful. Unlike what some companies claim and promote, supplements aren’t for everyone who’s looking for a better and healthier life! The best way to achieve that is by consuming a balanced diet rich in healthy, whole fruits and vegetables (not necessarily the expensive ones!)
Your body is designed to absorb moderate amounts of vitamins alongside other nutrients found in whole food. Taking one megadose of isolated and concentrated vitamins isn’t very natural, and most of it may end up passing through the digestive tract without being absorbed.
Supplements do have their uses, but only in specific cases and as recommended by a healthcare professional. Not everyone should be taking dietary supplements!
Alternative Practitioner Brands
Pure Encapsulations may be the top practitioner brand in the U.S. dietary supplement market, but there sure are plenty of others you can consider. Two other reputable, doctor-trusted brands that offer quality products you can purchase online are Klaire Labs and Integrative Therapeutics.
Like PE, these two are also on the higher end of the price scale, as is the case with almost all practitioner brands in the USA. If you are a frugal consumer, you can look into non-practitioner brands where you can find some more economic alternatives with comparable quality.
Alternative Non-Practitioner Brands
Despite the hefty price tag, some of the specialized formulations made by PE are worth the investment and may not be available elsewhere. However, some consumers may not be able to afford buying all the supplements they need from this premium brand (or any other practitioner brand for that matter).
For more basic, commonplace products, like vitamins and essential nutrients, you can get more bang for your buck with some other less pricey brands. There are numerous non-practitioner brands that offer affordable products with decent quality. If you’re on a tight budget, I’d recommend you check out NOW Foods.