No Proprietary Blends.
These are just a few of the most popular and widely used words by emerging supplement companies these days. But there was a time not too long ago, that no company around was using them, let alone knew what they meant.
However, one man and his brand have been championing the cause for quality, truth, and transparency in supplements – and they’ve been doing it for nearly two decades.
His name is Mark Glazier.
His brand is NutraBio.
And this is their story.
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June 2017 Update: If you’d rather watch Mark explain the story himself, watch his interview with Mike below:
Now let’s get to the main story below:
From the Darkness Comes Light
A combat martial arts and karate master in New Jersey, Mark founded Nutrabio in 1996 with the intent of providing the most effective supplements possible for his students. NutraBio didn’t always start out as the industry leader in transparency. At one time, they too outsourced their products from a formulator who used proprietary blends.
The day of reckoning came in 1998, when Mark wanted to update several of those first-generation NutraBio supplements, so he asked his contract manufacturer for the formulas to his products. Despite being “his” products, none of the contract manufacturers would give him the exact formulas, claiming it was “their intellectual property” and not NutraBio’s.
After much legal back-and-forth with the contract manufacturers, Glazier eventually got his formulas in hand, and that’s when he saw the truth: they were extremely under-dosed, garbage formulas.
He realized that the whole concept of proprietary blends was total bullshit. Mark now knew that prop blends don’t “protect formulas” so much as they hide the fact that next to nothing good is in them!
In truth, Mark confesses that at that moment, he felt like a snake oil salesman — and that’s when he found the light!
Over the next 2-3 years, Mark heavily studied the relatively-new supplement industry, testing over 300 competing products, and discovered that nearly everyone else’s products were the exact same garbage! He also realized that the vast majority of brands on the market are just marketing companies who hire those same contract manufacturers to make their products, not truly knowing what’s inside.
The situation was unacceptable, and frankly unbearable to Mark.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Everything came to a head in 2001, when Glazier opened NutraBio’s warehouse doors, and dumped EVERYTHING — $300k of underdosed proprietary blend products — into the garbage. He and the team literally destroyed everything. On that day, Mark and NutraBio made the commitment to quality and transparency:
- Never using proprietary blends: full label disclosure guaranteed,
- Banning all fillers, excipients, and additives from NutraBio products,
- Guaranteeing full therapeutic dosages of every active ingredient,
- NutraBio would manufacture their own products and control every aspect of quality.
Later that year, NutraBio constructed their first manufacturing facility in order to realize those goals, gaining control over raw ingredient selection to quality control of the finished product.
They’ve since moved four times, and today, NutraBio operates a 60,000 square foot full cGMP certified manufacturing facility that’s gone through four full FDA audits under dietary supplement regulation 21 CFR Part 111. They’ve additionally expanded their current facility twice.
Paramount to NutraBio’s quality initiatives is the testing of every batch and every single raw ingredient prior to its inclusion in any NutraBio product. The team first tests each ingredient in its in-house lab, and if it fails specification, it gets immediately returned. Upon a passed specification test, the ingredient also gets sent to a third-party independent lab for further verification.
Long story short? Every ingredient in every NutraBio supplement you buy has passed both in-house and third-party lab testing.
“Full Label Disclosure”
Most know what transparent means when hearing it — doses of active ingredients in a product are openly defined for the consumer to see. However, NutraBio has pioneered the concept of “Full Label Disclosure”.
This means you’re not just telling the consumer the dosage of each active ingredient in a supplement, but EVERYTHING in the tub — active and inactives! Specifically, this translates to:
Listing every protein source and their amounts, including the grade of concentrate used (WPC-80, WPC-35, etc….)
- Mark emphasizes that listing just “whey protein concentrate” on its own is a proprietary blend itself!! Unless, a product specifically says the exact grade used (i.e. WPC-80), it could be a mix of any number of various grades of WPC – and there’s a lot of WPC-34 out there which means the powder is 34% protein and 66% “other stuff”. If they don’t tell you, then there’s a great chance it’s WPC-34. You’ll never have that with NutraBio.
- Also amount and yield for each protein. Example: On NutraBio’s popular Muscle Matrix Protein, you’ll see that the 16.31g of whey protein isolate yields 14.19g complete protein.
- List exact amounts of all inactive ingredients, such as sweeteners, colors, and other additives like thickeners, digestive enzymes, etc.
As a side note, remember that NutraBio only uses natural colors (such as curcumin or beta carotene for yellows and oranges, spirulina for blues and greens, and beet root extract for red).
Staying above the belt
Mark always makes a point that he will never outright attack prop blends (or those companies using them) because at one time, 20 years ago, he too used them. But since that time, he’s learned from the mistakes he made and now works to be an advocate for full transparency.
Rather than attack something, he would rather educate and show why the NutraBio way is the right way, and NutraBio’s massive long-term success is clearly a sign that he’s right.
If you can’t tell by now, Mark Glazier has etched quite a name for himself in the industry. On that defines his vision or “mission statement” of NutraBio — One of openness, honesty, transparency, and quality. We like to think of it as his call to action, he refers to his vision as his “stubborn morals”.
By “stubborn”, Mark means that he absolutely refuses to compromise on quality or purity of product when it comes to any product or single ingredient bearing his company’s name. This is where the company’s hashtag, #WithoutCompromise, comes from.
Losing millions in opportunity to keep brand integrity
For example, on multiple occasions, NutraBio has been offered massive international contracts, but has to refuse them because he won’t “doctor” the label. On more than one occasion, Mark’s been asked to take their Classic Whey (a pure WPC-80 whey protein concentrate powder) and add just a smidge of pure whey protein isolate to the product, so that it can be labeled and sold as a “whey isolate” supplement in order to compete with other international big dogs. It happens more often than you’d imagine.
Although the opportunity to make a quick buck would appeal to more than a few businessmen out there, not a man made of “stubborn morals” such as Glazier. He downright refuses to manufacture a product like this, much less put the name NutraBio on it!
NutraBio maintains that they will never take something out of a product that will cheapen it, ruin it, or detract from its quality — no matter where in the world it is. If that costs them opportunities, then so be it – the NutraBio brand is indeed Without Compromise.
The above situation also happens with mass gainers and pre workouts. Consumers in certain countries are simply less-educated regarding supplements, and this allows brands to get away with “international versions” that have insane profit margins (think: ‘mass gainers’ with nearly all filler carbs). It may happen with other brands, but it won’t with NutraBio.
So where has NutraBio been all my life?
You’re probably wondering how you’ve only just recently heard about NutraBio when the company’s been around for 20+ years. That’s primarily due to the case that NutraBio is based out of New Jersey, and sold only direct to consumer only until recently.
NutraBio grew strictly by word of mouth – and this was before social media made it so easy to connect and share your favorite products.
Instead of advertising, Mark Glazier spent countless hours on the speaking circuit, giving numerous educational lectures to anyone who would listen. In fact, in 2001, he gave over 200 seminars in a single year!
These educational courses taught enrollees how to read supplement facts panels, how to understand common “scams” in the industry, and many other topics that most would find commonplace topics these days. But back then, Mark was spreading the good word about things nobody was really aware of.. literally 15+ years ahead of his time.
The truth is that supplement and vitamin stores simply didn’t understand what Nutrabio was doing, and stores simply felt it was too expensive for the average person to afford. Store distribution and mass-marketing were not the answer at that time, but direct-to-consumer from mail-order and NutraBio.com was.
The industry catches up
Around 2013, however, something happened: others in the industry began to re-learn the lessons Glazier had learned in 1998 – and the consumers were responding!
One major eye-opening scandal that caught fire on the internet was with amino acid spiking in 2014. When we published our article about the scam — the first to dive deep and educate consumers about what was truly happening with their protein powders — Mark reached out, added some comments to the post, and a friendship and a partnership was born.
But more importantly, Mark saw that the world was ready to listen to the NutraBio story. People were finally talking about things he had been preaching for over a decade.
A martial arts master who knows that timing and positioning are as important as strength and power, NutraBio’s time of waiting in the shadows were over. The martial arts master now had the upper hand, and it was time to attack.
Out of the shadows and into the spotlight
So in 2015, NutraBio finally launched a new distribution effort at the Europa Orlando expo, and has since expanded into major retailers such as GNC, Bodybuilding.com, Amazon, Suppz.com, TigerFitness, and hundreds of higher-end sports supplement stores.
Not only did many consumers not know the NutraBio way, but many other industry professionals didn’t know it either. Things came to a head when we published an article where a competitor falsely attacked the brand, and the response brought forth more false attacks on NutraBio from the competing brand.
Glazier could have hit back, but instead, he chose the high road. Rather than attack someone else, he did what he’d been doing since the 1990s: he educated the consumers. So Mark published the video below, explaining exactly how his labels work, and why the NutraBio way is the only way Without Compromise:
That video can be considered the YouTube world’s introduction to Mark Glazier and NutraBio, and continues to collect thousands of new views to this day. It is one of the best videos to watch if you want an answer to the question “Why should I buy NutraBio supplements?”
The spread of this video coincided with the massive spread of NutraBio’s online fan-base, and we don’t think that’s by coincidence.
What’s Ahead for NutraBio?
Mark and NutraBio have had quite the journey from scrappy upstart to the industry leader in quality, transparency, and purity. We’ve seen where they have been, but where does NutraBio go now?
We also spoke to Glazier about that during our recent interview with him about what’s in store for NutraBio over the coming months and years. He mentioned that the company has opened yet another layer of transparency for their customers by publishing all 3rd party test results for all NutraBio Supplements.
Additionally, Glazier also mentioned they are launching a new website called CheckMySupps.com, which gives customers instant access to those 3rd party lab tests.
According to Glazier:
“CheckMySupps.com is a website where you will be able to enter the lot number right off your NutraBio bottle and it will instantly pull up a third-party independent lab result showing exactly what’s in the product you purchased. NutraBio continues to raise the bar for transparency and quality in the supplement industry.
We set the standard in 2001 when we committed to No-prop blends, full doses and no fillers, then again when we launched full label disclosure, and now we’re taking transparency to the next level by publishing our third-party lab results. Consumers deserve honest, transparent and efficacious supplements, we understand this and we are committed to providing it.”
— Mark Glazier, Founder and CEO of NutraBio
This will be especially important for those who are shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and have the bottle handy — if it was manufactured in 2017, you can look at the lot number, type it into the page, and see the results before you buy it!
NutraBio — For the People
If there’s one thing you can say about Glazier and his company, it’s that everything they do is with the consumer in mind. Yes, they may turn a profit on the goods they provide, but that is far from the first reason the company exists. The man backed by “stubborn morals” has created a brand that is an advocate for the people and will continue with that mission long into the future.
See more about NutraBio with Mike’s Plant Tour
Watch Mark discuss the truth about supplement regulations, then join him and Mike on a plant tour of NutraBio’s facilities in Middlesex, NJ:
The laws that all supplement companies must follow:
The NutraBio Plant Tour
- Step 1 – Incoming Ingredient Verification:
- Step 2 – Precision Supplement Blending:
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