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 opens in a new tab and American Herbal Products Association opens in a new tab. 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 opens in a new tab?” 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.
Apricot kernel extract
Bacillus coagulans ProDURA UABc-20
BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole)
BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene)
Caffeine, extended release
Calcium disodium EDTA
Cannabis sativa seed extract/oil
Chromium hydroxide green
Deer antler velvet
Disodium calcium EDTA
Disodium Dihydrogen EDTA
Disodium iron EDTA
DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide)
Ethyl vanillin (synthetic)
FD&C Blue No. 1
FD&C Blue No. 2
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
Food grade hydrogen peroxide
HCG homeopathic remedies
Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Ma huang (Ephedra)
Nature identical flavors
Partially hydrogenated oils
Shark liver oil
Sodium acid sulfate
TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone)
Testosterone homeopathic remedies
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.
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.
Ancient Nutrition is rooted in principles from Ayurveda and traditional Chinese herbalism, and tests products for heavy metals and harmful microbes.