Lyle MacWilliams "Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements"

    From time to time for quite a number of years we are asked about this publication. Recently Ivan from Australia asked it again so I thought that it was time to make a refresher comment.

     Ivan asks: Dear Mr Matthews, what's your opinion about "Comparative guide to nutritional supplements by Lyle MacWilliam Australia & New Zealand". Thank you, Ivan. Country: Australia


    Warren answers:


    Hmm...I don’t want to seem uncharitable to Lyle MacWilliam but his books are quite misleading in their rating systems. He rates products based on using simple common ingredients and makes zero allowance for complex highly effective but expensive nutrients.


    To give an example! When he considers methylation he only factors in the amounts of B vitamins. However, B vitamins are only moderately effective for methylation, but they are cheap so some manufacturers use more of them. But, too high a dose can be problematic over the long term.


    On the other hand SAMe has been well proven to be the safest and most effective methylator available…BUT, it is very expensive. However, that is only part of the story. In order for it to be effective it must be protected from stomach acid.


    To do that, it requires a delivery system known as enteric coating which releases the ingredients in the upper intestine whilst protecting them as they journey through the stomach. This delivery system is difficult and expensive to apply and we are one of the few manufacturers in the world specialising in this technique for dietary supplements. Usually enteric coating is only found on pharmaceutical drugs.


    This is only an example of one nutrient that we use that is not commonly used because of either cost or delivery system. There are also other factors that are not taken into account. For example, the grape seed that we use is quite a unique one because of its extraction process and its anti-oxidant properties.


    They are grown and processed in New Zealand and we pay six times more for this extract than another grape seed that we can buy ex USA. Even cheaper options are available in China. However, these issues are also ignored in the ‘Comparative Guide’.


    Years ago when the first edition came out I complained to Lyle MacWilliams in that we felt his rating system was unfair and unbalanced. Although he claimed not to be influenced, the top four rankings all went to companies that he was either consulting for or had done so in the past. So, since then I don’t even bother looking at it, because he was not prepared to be more balanced.


    It is a reasonable tool to use if you normally buy mass produced supermarket brands but not if you are considering top of the line sophisticated supplements such as we produce.

    4 Responses

    do you think that Shaklee Food Supplements (Vitamins) are a good one to take?  Are they worth the extra cost?

    Mary June 01 2016

    Hi Mary,

    Quite a number of our loyal customers were previously purchasing Shaklee vitamins, before making the switch over to us.

    However, every individual is different and what we would suggest is to do careful research on the ingredients instead of being swayed by the price or marketing of a product.

    As we are not privy to the details of Shaklee’s manufacturing processes or the sourcing of their ingredients, we are not able to make a fair comparison. Instead, you may like to read this recent blog I wrote on why you should choose Xtend-Life supplements: . You may also be interested in watching the following video on how Xtend-Life supplements are made:

    If you have any questions about the blog, video, or about any particular ingredient in our formulations, simply contact us at

    In good health,


    Xtend-Life Expert June 01 2016

    Hi Rich,

    The other ingredients you see listed on the label are the enteric coating ingredients and ingredients used in the manufacturing process for binding of the tablets.

    These ingredients are mainly mineral compounds or from vegetable extracts, they are definitely safe for consumption and they are well established processing aids that are used in dietary supplements world-wide (i.e. help the actives to blend together well and help the tablets to bind).

    I hope this information helps.

    Xtend-Life Expert April 11 2012

    Warren, one question, why are so many "other ingredients" in your products? Are all of these safe?

    Rich Evans April 09 2012

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