Whenever I look at the nutritional labels on diet supplements – there is often an anomalous ingredient called a “proprietary blend”.
The blend lists its ingredients but without the amounts.
What is a Proprietary Blend?
A supplement that lists a “proprietary blend” on the bottle can be there for one of two reasons:
(a) to prevent the competition from knowing exactly what ratios and amounts of each ingredient present in the formula to prevent the competition from copying their formula exactly (commonly referred to as a ‘knock off’) or
(b) to hide the fact the formula contains very little of the active ingredients listed on the bottle in an attempt to fool consumers.
Sadly, the latter use is far more common then the former. They see a long list of seemingly impressive ingredients listed in the “proprietary blend” none of which are there is amounts that will have any effects. This is commonly referred to as “label decoration” by industry insiders.
The former use of the term is a legitimate way for a company of a quality formula from having the competition copy or “knock off” their formula and the latter use of the term is to scam people.
Danger of Hidden Amounts
As consumers, we really have no idea of the exact details of a proprietary blend.
Most people have neither the time or inclination to research all that info just to decide if they want to use a product and thus the many “proprietary blends” on the market that are no more then a long list of under-dosed ingredients.
Xenadrine EFX is a good example.
The nutritional label lists something called “Proprietary Thermodyne Complex”. Which in turn contains three more proprietary blends:
Ingredients for Proprietary Thermodyne™ Complex: Tyroplex™ (proprietary blend of l-tyrosine and acetyl-l-tyrosine), Green Tea Extract (standardized for epigallocatechin gallate, caffeine and polyphenols), Seropo™ (proprietary cocoa extract standardized for PEA[phenylethylamine], tyramine and theobromine), Yerba Mate (standardized for caffeine and methylxanthines), dl-Methionine, Ginger Root (standardized for gingerols), Isotherm™ (proprietary blend of 3,3′,4′,5-7 pentahydroxyflavone and 3,3′,4′,7-tetrahydroxyflavone), DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol), Grape Seed Extract (standardized for catechins).