Supplement Standards

In our aisles you’ll find high-quality supplements required to meet our standards that ban 150+ preservatives, flavors, colors and other ingredients.

Lifestyle image of supplements on counter

Sometimes our bodies need support. Whether starting a new workout program, rounding out what you put on your plate or simply balancing the pressures of the day to day, our aisles are stocked with supplement choices that adhere to our strict standards — perfect additions to any self-care routine.

Supplements That Meet a Higher Standard

We devote time to research the ingredients that go into the vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements on our shelves. To decide whether an ingredient is acceptable or not, we start by researching findings from reputable authorities like the American Botanical Council and American Herbal Products Association. We also ask the questions: “What is it? What’s its purpose? How is it manufactured? Does it have a long history of use? Does it connect back to Whole Foods Market Core Values?” Those answers make all the difference. We seek out and have long-standing relationships with trusted brands — many of whom are pioneers in the supplements industry.

Ingredients We Don’t Allow in Our Supplements

Because you’re important to us, we prohibit over 150 ingredients in our supplements, including hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup and sweeteners such as sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. Just like for the food we sell in our stores, decades of research have gone into the list of ingredients we ban from dietary supplements. Here are a few examples of ingredients we’ve added to our list over the years:

Sweeteners: Aspartame, Saccharin and More

Many of the same flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners found in food can show up in — and are banned from — supplements we sell too. We've banned them in everything from protein powders to lozenges. Since the early days, we’ve banned sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin from both food and supplements.

Krill and Shark Cartilage

Existing on opposite ends of the marine food chain, krill are some of the smallest ocean-dwelling animals, while sharks can be some of the largest. We feel both are too important in our oceans to be used in supplements:

  • Krill are small crustaceans that serve as the main food source for hundreds of bird, fish and marine mammal species, and can also be used as the main ingredient in some fish oil supplements. In order to help keep krill in the sea, we offer fish oil supplements derived from other species of fish with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Shark populations are in decline worldwide. We don’t sell shark-derived dietary supplements in our Supplements department. Instead, we offer alternatives like glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and essential fatty acid supplements (including fish oil and flaxseed oil).

Below are many of the ingredients we've banned.

Banned Ingredients






Alkanna Tinctoria

Ammonium saccharin



Apricot kernel

Apricot kernel extract


Bacillus coagulans ProDURA UABc-20




BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole)

BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene)

Brain glandular


Caffeine, extended release

Calcium disodium EDTA

Calcium hydroxide

Calcium saccharin


Cannabis sativa seed extract/oil


Carb blockers



Chromium hydroxide green

Colloidal minerals

Colloidal silver

Coral calcium

Cricket flour


Deer antler velvet

Diatomaceous earth

Dimethylbutylamine, DMAA

Disodium calcium EDTA

Disodium Dihydrogen EDTA

Disodium EDTA

Disodium iron EDTA

DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide)


Emu oil

Ethyl vanillin (synthetic)

FD&C Blue No. 1

FD&C Blue No. 2

FD&C colors

FD&C Green No. 3

FD&C Red No. 3

FD&C Red No. 40

FD&C Yellow No. 5

FD&C Yellow No. 6

Ferric oxide

Food grade hydrogen peroxide

Fulvic acid



HCG homeopathic remedies

Heart-leaf sida



Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

Hydrogenated oils

Insect flour

Iron oxide


Krill oil

Lithium chloride

Ma huang (Ephedra)

Methyl silicon


Mucuna pruriens

Nano minerals

Nano silver

Oxygen, stabilized

Nature identical flavors

Ozonated minerals


Partially hydrogenated oils



Plant sterols


Polyvinyl alcohol

Potassium bisulfite

Potassium metabisulfite


Propyl gallate


Rhubarb root

Raspberry ketones


Seal oil

Shark cartilage

Shark liver oil


Skate oil

Sodium acid sulfate

Sodium bisulfite

Sodium cyclamate

Sodium hydroxide

Sodium metabisulfite

Sodium propionate

Sodium saccharin

Sodium sulfite


Synthetic caffeine

TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone)

Testosterone homeopathic remedies

Thymosin alpha-1


Vanillin (synthetic)

Whale oil

White kidney bean extract


Zinc oxide (nano)

Note to product suppliers: This list is intended for our shoppers; it’s not for use in formulating products. Creating a product with no unacceptable ingredients does not guarantee that we will sell it.

Brands That More Than Make the Grade

These featured supplement brands share our passion for supplements that raise the bar.

365 by Whole Foods Market Supplements and Whole Foods Market Supplements

For all of the reasons above, we’re proud to offer supplements from our very own brands. We stand behind our 365 by Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market brand vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. Our team carefully selects our suppliers, visits their facilities and reviews the processes and procedures they follow to verify the quality and integrity of our products. Whole Foods Market brand takes it to the next level with premium, innovative and unique formulas.

Browse Whole Foods Market supplements in your store


Supplements made with real food: The team at MegaFood purchases over 700,000 pounds of fresh produce annually. They share our obsession with quality, closely collaborating with trusted farmers.

Learn more about MegaFood

Ancient Nutrition

Ancient Nutrition is rooted in principles from Ayurveda and traditional Chinese herbalism, and tests products for heavy metals and harmful microbes.

Browse Ancient Nutrition in your store