Nature's Formulas Review: The Strangest Supplement Brand

Nature's Formulas Review: The Strangest Supplement Brand


| |
| |

Nature’s Formulas is a supplement brand that sells a turmeric/curcumin supplement called Curcumin180. The brand describes this supplement as a "revolutionary formula...for maximum clinical strength inflammation support." 

But does Curcumin180 contain research-backed ingredients for inflammation support? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? Are the brand's claims about "180x absorption" proven? And is the brand using stock images for their customer testimonials?

In this review we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Curcumin180 to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective for inflammation, or if it's a waste of money.

We'll share our concerns about the customer testimonials published by the brand along with their health claims, as well as our opinion on the pros and cons of this product.

Ingredient Analysis

Curcumin180 ingredients

The ingredients in Curcumin180 are shown above. 

Turmeric root extract is included at a dosage of 335 milligrams (mg).

We consider this to be an effective dose based on a meta-study of turmeric extract in individuals with osteoarthritis. This study analyzed data from 10 clinical trials, and in all trials, turmeric therapy improved pain scores significantly.

The minimum dose used in any of the trials was 200 mg, which is significantly less than the dose in Curcumin180.

Turmeric root powder is a less potent version of the same plant compound, so it may provide additional inflammation support.

BioPerine is an effective ingredient for a turmeric/curcumin supplement, because as we documented in our review of BulkSupplements, this compound is clinically shown to increase turmeric absorption by up to 2,000%.

Boswellia extract is included at a dosage of 180 mg, and a 2020 medical review suggests this ingredient may be effective for pain relief at the dose in Curcumin180.

Overall, we consider Curcumin180 likely to provide inflammation support, because its core active ingredients appear to be effectively-dosed and backed by clinical research.

It's also a good thing that this supplement contains no harmful additive ingredients. Its only inactive ingredients (hypromellose, water) are entirely safe and non-toxic.

But is the brand using fake customer testimonials? We'll share our concerns in the next section.

Are the Customer Testimonials Fake?

Nature's Formulas customer testimonials stock image example 1

Nature’s Formulas has a Testimonials page on their website featuring supposed user headshots that are found elsewhere on the web. The testimonial from supposed customer “Steve Alldis,” for example, can be found on a German website linked here.

Nature's Formulas testimonials image 2

Another testimonials image on the Nature's Formulas homepage features a woman's face that's found on an Adobe stock image (linked here).

We find this marketing practice to be highly concerning, and we would urge the brand to only use customer testimonial images from real customers. We consider this a red flag and recommend that users be cautious purchasing from brands willing to market in this way.

Highly Questionable Health Claims

Nature's Formulas questionable health claims

Nature's Formulas makes a number of questionable and uncited health claims about the Curcumin180 supplement.

As shown above, the brand claims (without proof) that the supplement is "180x more effective," presumably compared to other curcumin supplements.

Nature's Formulas claims (without proof) that their supplement is 180x more potent, which is easy to disprove given that there are many other turmeric extract supplements on the market with the same standardization ratio (95% curcuminoids) but a higher dose.

A brand called Qunol currently sells a turmeric supplement with the same standardization ratio but a much higher turmeric extract dose, as shown below:

Qunol turmeric extract supplement potency

The brand claims "180x more absorption" (without proof). As we documented in the ingredient analysis, BioPerine does improve turmeric absorption by up to 20x, but we haven't come across any medical evidence that Curcumin180 is likely to have 180x more absorption than any other turmeric supplement.

We recommend that consumers be wary of supplements brands making specific health claims without providing any proof.

How Much Does Curcumin Relieve Pain?

A YouTube video published by a doctor named Brad Stanfield analyzed research on curcumin and inflammation in a video that's less than 5 minutes long and has over 190,000 views:

Highly Questionable Marketing Practices

The Nature's Formulas website suggests that the brand is associated with major research institutions including Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, as shown below:

Nature's Formulas questionable marketing practices example 1

There is no proof provided of this working agreement, nor have we seen any evidence from these research organizations that they're partnered with Nature's Formulas.

Claiming to "work with" leading research centers if there is no actual working agreement in place would be extremely unfair to consumers.

Later on this same page the brand states that they base their formulations on research published by major institutions, and if this is the extent of the relationship, we would consider these marketing claims to be highly unfair to consumers and arguably misleading.

As shown below, on the same page the brand has a header advertising "Clinically-Proven Results:"

Nature's Formulas questionable marketing practices example 2

However, no clinically proven results are cited, and we can't find any clinical trials on any supplements sold by Nature's Formulas.

Another strange and confusing aspect of Nature's Formulas' marketing is that the Twitter link in the footer of their website, at the time of updating this article, does not direct to a Twitter handle for Nature's Formulas but rather to an individual named Demetrice Etheridge.

Our Curcumin Supplement Pick

The curcumin supplement we recommend is Bulletproof Curcumin Max.

Like Curcumin180, this supplement contains turmeric extract and Boswellia extract, but it also contains ginger root extract, which was shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in a medical review published in the Nutrients journal.

Bulletproof Curcumin Max is significantly cheaper than Curcumin180, currently retailing for $39.95 (vs. $69.95).

Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Curcumin Max at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

Pros and Cons of Nature's Formulas

Here are the pros and cons of Nature's Formulas in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Research-backed ingredients for pain relief
  • Turmeric appears effectively dosed
  • Contains BioPerine which increases curcumin absorption
  • No dangerous inactive ingredients
  • Brand claims to offer a 100% money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Brand makes strange and uncited health claims
  • Brand uses stock images for customer testimonials
  • Brand claims without proof to be partnered with major research institutions
  • Expensive
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Nature's Formulas sells an inflammation support supplement called Curcumin180 that's decently-formulated. 

We don't recommend this supplement due to the questionable marketing practices of the manufacturer (including customer testimonials that seem to be sourced from stock images), but from a formulation perspective alone we have no issue with this supplement and consider it likely to be effective for pain relief.

Nature's Formulas makes strange and uncited health claims including that Curcumin180 is "180x more effective (presumably than other curcumin supplement brands) while providing zero proof of that claim.

The brand also claims to work with "leading research centers" and includes logos from organizations like the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic while providing no proof that these organizations are partnered with them.

The company's Twitter link currently links to an individual with no apparent association with Nature's Formulas, which is something we've never seen before in the hundreds of supplement reviews we've published on Illuminate Health.