Ep. 67: Jerry Sever – Behind the Scenes of the Supplement Industry

“There are very trusted brands whose supplements are very mediocre, to say the least.”

If you had asked me a decade ago what I thought about supplements, I’d probably say that they’re unnecessary, because a well-planned diet should provide you with pretty much everything that you need (with perhaps one or two exceptions). I now understand that my thinking was at least a bit idealistic, if not totally wrong. Yes – a perfect diet should provide you with pretty much everything you need. But a perfect diet does not exist. And my own thinking about supplements has changed a lot over the years.

One thing that hasn’t changed is my belief that you should be able to do your own research and understand what you’re taking, and why.

But it can be hard to know where to start and who to trust in the supplement industry.

Jerry Sever is the Chief Operating Officer at Complement, a supplement brand that evolved primarily to fulfill the needs of people on plant-centric diets, where he’s responsible for research, development, and production of new products. He also happens to be my husband, so I know first-hand how much work they put into developing quality supplements, and also into being transparent with their customers.

This episode is not about promoting their products, though.

Knowing what kind of insights Jerry can offer, we dove deep into things that most people don’t know about the supplement industry, but which can definitely help you make better choices.

Here’s what you’ll discover in this interview:

  • What to look for when choosing a brand of supplements
  • What are some of the essential quality procedures they should follow (and disclose)
  • Whether organic supplements are always better than regular
  • What are some of the things you should look for (and avoid) when checking labels
  • What are some of the things that aren’t as scary as they seem

Tune in + Share

Show notes & links

The show notes are written in chronological order.

  • Complement https://lovecomplement.com/ | Complement is about empowering you to make your own decisions for your health — with tools, superfoods, resources, and nutrients to help build a system that fits your goals.
  • Episode 15: Overcoming Skepticism and Doubts Around Holistic Injury Recovery with Jerry Sever
  • Pludowski P, Grant WB, Karras SN, Zittermann A, Pilz S. Vitamin D Supplementation: A Review of the Evidence Arguing for a Daily Dose of 2000 International Units (50 µg) of Vitamin D for Adults in the General Population. Nutrients. 2024; 16(3):391. [read it here]
  • Chu, C., Tsuprykov, O., Chen, X., Elitok, S., Krämer, B. K., & Hocher, B. (2021). Relationship Between Vitamin D and Hormones Important for Human Fertility in Reproductive-Aged Women. Frontiers in endocrinology12, 666687. [read it here]
  • Sha, S., Chen, L. J., Brenner, H., & Schöttker, B. (2023). Associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D status and vitamin D supplementation use with mortality due to 18 frequent cancer types in the UK Biobank cohort. European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)191, 113241. [read it here]
  • Sentry uses pheromone technology to effectively change your cat or dog’s behavior.
  • Synthetic Food Dyes and Behavioral Effects in Children [read it here]
  • Complement’s Creatine | One of the most researched supplements, creatine supports brain & reproductive health, energy, muscle growth & recovery, and long-term health in men and women. Complement Creatine is pure plant-based creatine monohydrate for optimal results.
  • Complement Essential Vegan Multivitamin | Optimize your foundational health with the 8 critical vitamins, minerals, and sustainably-sourced omega-3s proven hard-to-get through a plant-based diet alone.
  • Complement’s Omega Complex | Omega Complex contains over 960 mg of omega-3 fatty acids from algae and ahiflower seed to help support healthy brain function, nervous system regulation, and foundational long-term health.
  • Complement Organic Protein (unflavored and chocolate) | A plant-based protein made with five real food proteins, and nothing else.
  • Complement Daily Greens | Daily Greens contains five diverse greens in science-backed dosages to support optimal immune function, energy levels, and brain health.
  • ScholarGPT – ChatGPT extension for getting research-based answers [discover more here]
  • OmegaQuant is an independent, CLIA-certified lab that offers Omega-3 Index, Prenatal DHA and Mother’s Milk DHA testing to researchers, clinicians and the public.
  • Vitamin D at-home test [get it here] This simple at-home blood test measures the amount of vitamin D to help you optimize your nutrition and foundational health. The test is processed in a CLIA-certified laboratory.
  • Vitamin B12 at-home test [get it here] This simple at-home Vitamin B12 test measures the amount of methylmalonic acid (MMA) in the urine, which is a specific indicator of low B12 status. The more MMA you have, the more likely you are to be low in this critical nutrient. The test is processed in a CLIA-certified laboratory.
  • The omega-3 calculator | The calculator results provide a guide for how much omega-3 you may need to reach a desirable blood level.

00:00 – excerpt from the episode
00:42 – intro (listen to discover a little more about your host. Martin will tell you a new lesser-known fact about Dr. Maya)

01:16
Dr. Maya Novak:
Supplements. Which ones to take, how to take them, what not to take, which are safe and which are not, and similar topics have been discussed quite a few times on this podcast. It started in episode 4 with Angel Evans when we talked about detox plans and supplements that can support healing. And then with Elena Bensonoff in episode 9 we touched the topic of how some ingredients in the supplements affect the microbiome and what might be a good idea to avoid. Then in episode 28 I talked to Dr. Brooke Goldner and we touched the topic of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 supplements,
and continued with Dr. Michael Greger in episode 42 the topic of calcium supplements – about their safety and effectiveness. And then let’s not forget that there was a whole episode, episode 34, about supplements and post-injury nutrition with Dr. Pamela Fergusson, where we had an extensive discussion about that. So you might be asking “Why do we then need another talk about supplements?” Fair. Here’s the thing. This episode will be completely different. I’m gonna be talking with a person who is dedicating his work to development of new products, new supplements, which also includes deep research into which ingredients are good, which might not be, where the ingredients are coming from and so on. He’s the COO of Complement, and he happens to be my husband, Jerry Sever.

02:58
Jerry Sever:
Hello – again.

02:59
Dr. Maya Novak:
Hello again and welcome back. So we're gonna skip the very common first question “Let's talk about you and how did you get to here…” and so that people can get to know you a bit. And why we're gonna skip this is because you were here in episode 15 and so people could get a feel for you and your experiences and who you are and where you're coming from. So today we're gonna go directly into the supplements. How does this sound?

03:35
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, that sounds good and obviously I think this episode is going to be very different because episode 15 was kind of personal….

03:45
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

03:45
Jerry Sever:
… and this one is going to be…

03:48
Dr. Maya Novak:
Emotionless. [laughs]

03:50
Jerry Sever:
Not emotionless. But yeah I'm going to be drawing from my professional life in this one to share what I've learned with your listeners.

04:00
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, so let's first talk about why should people listen to you, except for the fact that you're my husband.

04:10
Jerry Sever:
[laughs] As if that was not enough.

04:11
Dr. Maya Novak:
No, I'm just kidding! But no seriously why should people…

04:14
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, as you mentioned I'm the chief operating officer at Complement. And we are a smallish supplement brand but we're also an INC500 company. And I've been with compliment pretty much from the start. It was founded in March of 2017 I was already connected with one of the founders back then and a few months after they launched he basically invited me to join. So I was employee number one. I started off, you probably remember this, by handling customer support and then because basically the company started with 1 single product, I was basically involved in developing and bringing out all the other products that we have launched since then. So as you mentioned I handle research and development of new products, I handle production, looking for ingredients, checking which ingredients might be okay to use, which might not be, in what amounts, what to test for, and all of that. So it's been seven years now that I have been doing this. So I'm definitely happy to share what I've learned with your listeners and also let's try to keep this kind of broad. So I'm gonna try not to plug our products too much.

05:56
Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay.

05:57
Jerry Sever:
And just give people like I said the learnings that they can apply to any products. Even though if someone wants to go out and buy Complement products, they are more than welcome. [chuckles]

06:11
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. [chuckles] And also, here is behind the scenes. So before you started with all of this and this research, I was the one who was very much looking into studies and checking what is good and what is not and I do remember if we say ten years ago, you were mostly like clueless… Is this a bit going too far or not…?

06:38
Jerry Sever:
Well I knew how to look at studies but I was also very happy to let you handle them.

06:44
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah exactly. And then things started to change. So I've noticed how much time you also spend just reading the research so that you can produce the best possible options for your clients, your customers. So let's first talk about is it important to supplement. Is it? Is it not? So I think that here might be a good idea for you to give your opinion, your point of view, and then I'm going to also share mine.

07:16
Jerry Sever:
Well, broadly speaking I would say yes. It depends of course on your needs but we can touch and I think that your listeners know that you and I are both eating a plant-based diet. And I know that one of the big objections that people often raise when it comes to plant-based, vegan diets, even vegetarian diets is that there are certain supplements that are almost essential to be taken when you're eating that way. And so the argument is that if you need to be taking the supplement alongside the diet that that diet is not as perfect as it's made out to be. But the fact is that no matter what kind of food you're eating what diet you follow or even if you don't follow any diet, there isn't a perfect way of eating because everybody is different. And the food that we are eating these days or the food that we are eating period is always not ideal. So you cannot always know what kind of soil the food was grown in, what went into the production, how much of the nutrients were lost during transport and during storage. So supplementation in general I think is pretty essential to your health and wellbeing.

08:51
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, I agree. And I would also add that, and I'm going to talk about my thinking, so let's go back - a decade ago. I was completely sure that you should be meeting all your nutritional needs from the diet. So that it's not necessary to supplement except for those very crucial vitamins, let's say Vitamin B12. And even though those people who are not supplementing with B12 and they are omnivores, so they eat everything also meats and animal products, I mean animals are being supplemented with B12 so they are getting basically in that way, they're getting B12 into their bodies. But here's the thing, what you said you know how we are producing our food and we are most likely not getting enough nutrients from food. And it happened gradually but I would say in the last few years I did start to add a bit more supplements just because I could notice that you know my body is missing something. So I'm not so against supplements anymore, but I'm going to say this in my opinion, it is very important that you do blood work before you start supplementing. Because otherwise you don't know where you're standing. So if we go back to B12, you might be taking B12 but then if your body is really deficient then maybe you're not taking enough, or if your body is not deficient and you are taking B12 just because you're thinking that you should be taking it, then you are going overboard. So in my opinion it is important that you do blood work to check where you're at and then you start with supplements. And then you also do checkups every six months, every eight months, or every year just so that you can see where you're at.

11:04
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, I agree. And you know you brought up B12 which is a very, very good example of, as you said, B12 even for omnivores often comes from B12 that is added into animal feed. So it's just one step removed from supplementing yourself. On the other hand, it is one of those vitamins where it is hard to go overboard because B vitamins being water soluble you just pee them out and so the usually the worst that can happen is that you're paying too much money for something that you don't need. But…

11:44
Dr. Maya Novak:
That's true. But I'm gonna talk again from my personal experience with my body that if I take too much vitamin B12 like we do with tablets orally daily I do get pimples out of that. So right now what I do take is injections every few months and this works for me. So before, yes, I was taking sublingual tablets and it did you know it did help me because years and years and years ago I was deficient. But yeah, it took me quite a few years to figure out “Oh, that's the reason why my skin is breaking out.”

12:32
Jerry Sever:
Yes, I agree. I remember that and in this case testing is quite important. And then on the other hand, if we do not really get into the more exotic stuff, but Vitamin D, for example, that is something that you can take too much of. And if you're taking too much of Vitamin D, it can actually be fatal. So there are studies now showing that the recommended daily amounts are kind of on the very safe low end and that you could be taking quite a lot more without going overboard, but still, you know if you're supplementing vitamin D3, vitamin D without knowing what your levels are there is that risk that you might be saturating your body which can be quite dangerous.

13:24
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, but again don't be now scared of vitamin D, for example. Do the blood work because vitamin D is such an important nutrient for the body because of the production of hormones as well and so many things. So do the blood work, test where you're at, and then according to that you can then work with your health provider to figure out what is the best solution for you. So we don't want to scare people like “Oh, now I'm not going to be taking…”

13:57
Jerry Sever:
Oh, yes. I mean vitamin D is generally a very, very good thing. As you said it's just an example of a supplement that if you don't know where you're at and if you just try to self-medicate you get to a point where more is not better.

14:15
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah. So moving forward. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to supplements?

14:23
Jerry Sever:
I guess my biggest pet peeve is probably the pet peeve that I have with a lot of things in life which is that…

14:31
Dr. Maya Novak:
[chuckles] Really? I haven't noticed that.

14:35
Jerry Sever:
… that a lot of it really comes to marketing and branding. Right? So I'm not going to be naming any names here, but there are very big and very trusted brands out there, especially in our space because Complement does produce supplements primarily for plant-centric diets. There are very trusted brands in that same space whose supplements are very mediocre to say the least. You know, the ingredients that they use are not the best quality. They use a lot of extra stuff that is completely unnecessary. And it's just something where people are familiar with the brands because they've been around for ages, they trust them, but it's really not a supplement that I would choose for myself, for you, for anyone that I care for.

15:37
Dr. Maya Novak:
So how do you know that? You know, I mean you are trusting the brand, so how do you know what is going on? How can people educate themselves so that they can make better choices for themselves for their families?

15:55
Jerry Sever:
Well I think that's kind of the whole purpose of this interview.

15:58
Dr. Maya Novak:
Off course!

15:59
Jerry Sever:
If you don't mind I'm not going to answer this one immediately because it's what we're going to be answering this throughout the next 40 minutes. But basically how you educate yourself is first by listening to what we're discussing right now, and knowing what's good and what's not good but also realizing that someone being big, someone being spoken about does not necessarily mean that they actually have good products. And another very, very good example is influencers. So again I'm not going to be naming any names at all, but another of my pet peeves is that it's just much, much too easy for anyone to just start their own supplement brand. And now if we're talking with someone who has a couple million followers on Instagram, they have that clout. They have that trust.

17:06
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

17:07
Jerry Sever:
And they can just go out and launch their brand in a matter of weeks. And the products that they can put out, while not being harmful to people, can still be far, far from again what I would choose for myself or for anyone close to me. And you know when you're putting out products with flavors like peanut butter cup or patriot pops, and these are all real examples by the way, that's not a flavor that exists in nature. So there's definitely been some ingredients that went into those products that really have no place in it.

17:54
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, this is something that I wasn't actually aware of until you started working with Complement, for Complement, how easy it is to create your own brand. And it's basically it's just like a catalog, you shared this with me, it's like a catalog and then you just choose “Oh, I want…” You know, it's like shopping for dresses. Am I remembering it correctly?

18:27
Jerry Sever:
That is absolutely the reality. And it's how a lot of supplement brands actually operate, especially supplement brands that are, you know, formed within a matter of weeks. But also many that feel bigger but aren't. What you have to realize is that most of us, Complement included, most supplement brands they do not run their own production facilities. So most of production is done through comans, contract manufacturers, and contract manufacturers they can either produce your own proprietary formulas, or they can give you a catalog as you've said, and you can just pick what you want, you create your labels, and in a matter of weeks, you're going to have products that you can put on a simple website; which you can build in a matter of days or pay someone a couple thousand dollars to build for you. And you start selling.

19:32
Dr. Maya Novak:
And then we're back to marketing right? So the better marketing you have…

19:34
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, and it's literally like one of these brands, not a supplement brand, but one of these contract manufacturers actually advertises themselves as the print on demand of supplements. You know how you can start a T-shirt business and this is I think it's still very lucrative on the internet. You can start your own T-shirt store just by having the designs and then finding someone that prints the T-shirts on demand.

20:05
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

20:05
Jerry Sever:
So this this company is advertising as the print on demand of supplements which is obscene because literally…

20:15
Dr. Maya Novak:
… and their ingredients are not... You wouldn't say that they are the best ingredients or would you?

20:21
Jerry Sever:
No. I mean when it comes to… So this is white labeling. It's called white labeling - these print on demand supplements. You have the formula, some of the formulas are not really that bad and this is usually formulas that are super simple. So maybe single ingredient supplements where it's really hard to mess things up. It doesn't make that much of a difference. But as soon as we start talking multivitamins or multi-ingredient formulas then proprietary stuff, something that is developed in-house and then you just outsource the production, is a much better choice than someone who just picks something from a catalog and puts it on their website.

21:07
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, so it is important to, I think, to know what kind of moral values companies have. Or whenever it is possible to do this kind of research just because of that. So that it's not something like white label stuff and it is not just a beautiful name and then amazing marketing. And then we potentially can go into harming bodies as well or not? Should we go so far? Or is just “Uh, it's better to avoid.”

21:48
Jerry Sever:
I think that it can be both. So worst case, obviously yes, you can end up with some ingredients, not active ingredients, but you know stuff like fillers, excipients, colors, flavors that you probably don't want to be taking. Best case you may have active ingredients that are not the best when it comes to bioavailability, and maybe they're not even provided in amounts that do anything for the body.

22:21
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, and then we come back to blood work and really figuring out what is the best thing for you. And I think that this is the best thing to do with a healthcare provider who has an extensive knowledge about supplements as well. Because not every healthcare provider AKA let's say a medical doctor has this kind of knowledge. So it is important. And then also to take supplements in the amount that it's necessary to actually make some kind of change in your health, in your body. Right?
So about production and about those products. So let's talk about ingredients and is it important how everything is made and where the ingredients are coming from?

23:10
Jerry Sever:
Yes, to some extent definitely. There are places around the world where it's much easier to bend the rules or the rules don't exist. You know there aren't quality assurance protocols like good manufacturing practices. And again, when it comes to white labeling, when it comes to brands that are just built up on Instagram, or Amazon is another great example, right? You can have amazing marketing and you can be sourcing your products from the cheapest possible provider. And it's just gonna be stuff that really no one should be taking. Right? So when it comes to looking at where things are produced, it is probably safer to stick to United States, Canada, Europe, you know places where you can be sure that… Well, you can be more sure that rules are being followed and not bent. When it comes to ingredients…

24:22
Dr. Maya Novak:
In comparison to where? I know that we don't want to go into bad talking about some but what might be a good idea to check “made in where”, to avoid?

24:35
Jerry Sever:
Well because everyone is probably thinking of it, China is absolutely with many things one of the largest providers, but it's also an example of where this may not hold true. Because while you probably shouldn't be using supplements that were made in China and then just branded in the States, and sold them on Amazon. When it comes to ingredients, like just the ingredients that are put into supplements, the supply chains for most products are global these days. So it's really, really hard if not impossible to find a brand or to run a brand that would be sourcing everything from, you know, either locally or from just a select few places and not have to rely on sourcing those ingredients from halfway across the world. But when it comes to ingredients, things are actually a little better because if the supplement brand is following all of those quality assurance protocols, they are going to be checking the documentation when they are ordering the ingredients, they're going to be testing them when they come in, and then they're going to be testing the finished products. So with that you can be much more certain that you are getting exactly what you're paying for and you are not getting any of the bad stuff that can actually find its way into products.

26:10
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. And this is something that is absolutely not connected but because you were talking about China and getting supplements that way, I do remember… You know, recently we moved. And we have 2 cats and one of the cats is really anxious. So our vet suggested, I mean we did a really extensive plan how we're going to move cats so they are going to be fine, and one of the things that also really helped in that plan – I mean this is for those listeners who have cats and potentially anxious cats – we got them collars with pheromones. The brand is Sentry what we’ve used. And you know the price is not super low, it's not really expensive, but you know it is a bit of an expense. So just the previous week I was checking some China website where you can buy all sorts of you know stuff and I found a very similar collars. So the price was almost 10 times lower, and just for a tiny amount of time I was thinking “Should we order these collars from there?” And then we decide not to do that exactly for that. Because you cannot be completely sure, plus Sentry… I mean we also went and checked their patent and all of this stuff. So it might be just that copying stuff but you can never know what you're going to get. So we decided not to potentially, you know, test with our cats: “Are they going to be fine? Are they not going to be fine?” And even though this is really not connected to supplements, in a way it is kind of this “Should I get something because it's potentially cheaper or should I be completely sure what I'm getting with also experiences from other people?”

28:13
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, and also just to stay on the topic of China just a little bit longer, because I want to be clear that I don't want to be bad mouthing them because they are a very large part of the global supply chain. But recently, you know that we just brought out a creatine supplement. And when I was researching creatine and looking into different supplements, at one point, I bought some creatine gummies that were made in China. Just to test them. And I was taking them personally because I'm going to use myself as a guinea pig occasionally. But I also sent some of those gummies for testing just to compare them to another brand that is made in the United States. And creatine gummies that were made in China had undetectable levels of creatine. So I was basically just eating candy.

29:09
Dr. Maya Novak:
[laughs] Well this is, you know, a good story but it could be…

29:15
Jerry Sever:
I mean I did not test them for other stuff. So…

29:20
Dr. Maya Novak:
That's true.

29:21
Jerry Sever:
But that's just an example of how you can buy something that has 0 active ingredients even though they're listed on the label. But then on the other hand, we do, as you know, we do a sort of vegan multivitamin that is built around omega-3s, DHA and EPA, and we get those omega-3s from algae oil. And our algae oil comes from China. But that one we have a relationship with the supplier, we know them very well, we know the kind of research that goes into their products. We know their facility. We know the testing procedures they do, and even though that ingredient comes from China I trust them completely because it's tested at multiple points and there are zero issues with that.

30:13
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, so in the same way we can potentially also say if it's made in China it's not necessary that it's bad but also if it's made in Europe, Canada, US, it might not be also 100% safe.

30:28
Jerry Sever:
Absolutely, yeah.

30:29
Dr. Maya Novak:
You have to check, you have to be sure. So you mentioned quite a few times testing. So let's talk about third-party testing. What it is and why is it important, and is it important?

30:49
Dr. Maya Novak:
We'll continue in just a moment. I wanted to quickly jump in for two things. First, thank you for tuning in. And second, I’m sure you have at least one friend, colleague, or family member who would very much appreciate this episode. So share it with them and help us spread the word. Now let’s continue…

30:15
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, so third third-party testing as the name tells you is basically testing that is not done by an in-house lab – which might, worst case again, just falsify the results – but actually sent out to an independent laboratory and tested there. In third party testing, in testing along different points in the production is really important because when you're sourcing the ingredients, you want to know that you are actually getting what you're paying for. So for example, when you buy the ingredient, you would receive what's called a COA, a certificate of analysis from the manufacturer, from the supplier of that ingredient. But you would also test it to make sure that what is listed on that certificate actually matches what you received. And then ideally, after you use that ingredient to create your product, you would send that product out for testing to an independent lab, so third-party testing, and you would verify that… So you use that product, you have a label claim that product is listed on the label. It should provide this much of a certain vitamin, certain nutrient, and you send it to a lab to verify that the finished product will actually provide the amount that you put on the label. So that's why third party testing and testing at multiple points is really important. As well as being transparent about it. And maybe that goes back to one of my pet peeves, which is that very few companies are actually transparent enough to be publishing the results of their tests, for their products. And I'm quite proud that with Complement we do that. So we test the ingredients, we have our contract manufacturers testing the ingredients as they come in, as the products are finished, but then we also test them with independent labs and those tests we publish on our website. So when you buy something from us, you can check on the website by the lot number and you can see what amounts of which ingredients are present. And you're usually going to see that the ingredients are present in amounts of say 5 to 20% over what is listed on the label.

33:49
Dr. Maya Novak:
But not to be dangerous, right?

33:52
Jerry Sever:
No! So that's what called an overage. You basically you always want to be a bit over the amount because you cannot control the production that precisely. There's always going to be slight changes when the formula is blended, but also as the product ages, it is going to be losing its potency a little bit. So you would start higher, you would go 10 or 20% over what's listed on the label and by the time that the product reaches its best by date, it doesn't go bad as people think, it's not like I don't know an apple that will just spoil or…

34:37
Dr. Maya Novak:
[chuckles] Like, sorry I just remembered. You know, like with Himalayan salt. Best by yeah 20XX.

34:46
Jerry Sever:
It's salt.

34:47
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, it's salt.

34:48
Jerry Sever:
But the best by date on the supplement usually tells you up to what point the label specifications will hold. Because after that point the supplement won't be bad but it might have lost so much potency that you're not going to be getting the dose that's listed.

35:06
Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay, so if you have a supplement that is not a drug per se for any kind of illness. But if you have a supplement and you went over a month or 2 so it is still safe to use them. But also does it lower the amount so quickly that even after a month or 2 it's already “Eee”?

35:34
Jerry Sever:
I mean it's not going to, you know, hold steady until the best buy date and then just drop off a cliff. Definitely not. I also think that for legal reasons I'm not going to say that people should be taking supplements that are expired.

35:50
Dr. Maya Novak:
Fair.

35:50
Jerry Sever:
I'll just say that personally I have no issues with taking supplements, especially our supplements because I know exactly what went in them. Yeah, that are past their best by date.

36:04
Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay, fair, good. Now let's talk about potentially some of the ingredients that might not be such a good idea to have in your supplements. Because, yes, we are talking about that active ingredient that we do need to take, whatever that is, but then we also have quite a few fillers or, I mean you know this better, that goes in and some of them might not be such a good idea to take. Do you have any insight into that or how would you answer this question?

36:41
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, so if you look online you can find long lists of things that shouldn't be in your supplements. And some of them are actually quite harmless and then some of them are not. So I'm just going to mention a few that you should probably really, really avoid. Things like titanium dioxide…

37:06
Dr. Maya Novak:
… which goes into sunscreens.

37:09
Jerry Sever:
Yes, it goes into sunscreen. But it also goes into a lot of pills to make them really, really bright white.

37:19
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, so did they look beautiful.

37:21
Jerry Sever:
They look beautiful, right? So titanium dioxide it can affect your lungs, it can affect your immune system, and it just doesn't do anything good for the body. So that that is one ingredient that you should probably be avoiding. Now the other one is magnesium silicate which is an anti-caking agent but that is literally talc powder, right? It's kind of like baby powder.

37:51
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah.

37:52
Jerry Sever:
It is not approved for food use. It goes into supplements in small amounts because that is about but similar to titanium dioxide, it can cause a range of health issues and it's just completely unnecessary. Now on the other hand, you've got things like magnesium stearate which is often listed as an unneeded ingredient. That one is more on the harmless end. It's just used to make production run around a little smoother. Some people avoid it, for me personally I have no issues with it. So that's what's important to understand that some things are truly bad and some things are just not necessary but they also won't hurt you. And then a third, very good example of things that you probably should be avoiding and probably are avoiding are any sort of artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners. Because truly why would you want your supplements to be a really, really beautiful color. I mean you're not taking them because they look nice and as I mentioned at the beginning if you're taking something that has a flavor of a peanut butter cup...

39:20
Dr. Maya Novak:
But here's the thing you are saying why should you be taking something that just looks good. But we have here a group of people – children – that are very “Oh, it's bright red, bright orange. It tastes like this, it tastes like that,” and then also parents they want to do good by their children. So of course if a child, if it's necessary to take some sort of supplements, of course, it's easier to give a child something's beautiful…

39:53
Jerry Sever:
… You’re gonna take a supplement that looks like a dinosaur, right?

39:55
Dr. Maya Novak:
[chuckles] Yes. So here it is important to know why should you take, why should you have all of these things or not to have them.

48:03
Jerry Sever:
Yeah. I mean if you're bringing up children, in artificial colors, there is research showing that artificial colorants at least some of them may be linked to behavior changes in kids. And that's something that's only now coming out but a lot of these reds and blues that are often used in both in food and in supplements are now shown to be affecting kids' behavior. So if you have kids, if you are choosing supplements for your children or yourself, I mean if you need to take a dinosaurs shaped supplement then by all means go ahead. And if you need it to look nice then best thing you can do is to look for something that uses natural or better yet organic natural colors like fruit juice, for example, that can be used instead of red for.

41:08
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, well for me, since you were talking about all these stuff that is inside and potentially is harmful and really unnecessary, well first of all I think it's fair that we go back to when we started talking – it is really a good idea to talk with a health professional who has an extensive knowledge about all of this stuff. Maybe also more like a holistic view of how the body reacts, and what is good, and what might not be good. So here we're giving you just some insights to get you going. Now from my point of view, when I am choosing supplements for myself I am the kind of person that I do prefer to have just 1 ingredient inside. So I'm not a huge fan of let's say multivitamins just because the amounts are really small and to make some sort of change for my body, for myself, yeah I'm not for that. But then when I am checking ingredients in these kind of supplements, a lot of this time it's one active ingredient and then you have 10 others that are really unnecessary. So for me, the less ingredients there is, the safer I also feel.

42:31
Jerry Sever:
Mhm. So I absolutely agree with that – the fewer extra ingredients that you can have in the supplement the better. And you know related to that, there are some formats that just lend themselves better to this. For example, if you're taking powder filled capsules, obviously you have the capsule itself which if we're talking plant-based then it's usually cellulose. And you might have something like magnesium stearate in it or rice flour, both of which are pretty harmless, but then everything else will just be the active ingredients. And on the other hand, if you're taking a gummy, not to say that there aren't clean labeled gummies out there, but if you're taking something like a gummy, then you definitely need to make the gummy stick together. So there’s gonna be more ingredients that go into that. And same goes for liquid supplements, which can also be a very good idea for kids. But because they go by the spoonful, you also want them to taste nice. You want to have nice texture, flavor, color, and so the list of extra ingredients just gets longer.

44:00
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah. So talking about all these flavors and organic stuff, let's go a bit deeper into. Is something that is certified organic supplement much better than a so-called ‘standard’ supplement?

44:17
Jerry Sever:
That really depends, right? So I mentioned…

44:25
Dr. Maya Novak:
What do you mean it really depends? Because I would say “Yeah, sure it's better.”

24:27
Jerry Sever:
Okay, yeah, obviously that's the common sense answer.

44:30
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

44:31
Jerry Sever:
It really depends because as I mentioned, there are colors and flavors where it's absolutely better if you're looking for organic. For example, a lot of supplements have natural flavors in them and you would think that something being natural flavor it means that it was derived from something natural. It can just mean that it contains the same substance as an apple or a lemon or an orange, but is not actually derived from a lemon or an apple or an orange.

45:10
Dr. Maya Novak:
So it's just like an imitation.

45:13
Jerry Sever:
It's the exact same thing but it did not come from an Apple. As opposed to organic natural flavors. And the only difference here is that it's organic natural not just natural. But being organic it had to have come from an apple, right? An apple had to grow on a tree and then the flavor was extracted from that apple.

45:40
Dr. Maya Novak:
So certified organic means that it's coming from nature. Just organic does it mean it also comes…?

45:47
Jerry Sever:
Well, organic.

45:48
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, organic.

45:49
Jerry Sever:
Organic when it comes to flavors. Organic natural means that it had to have started its life as an apple or something that grew out of the ground. Natural means it could have started as an apple or it just could have started as a chemical in the lab.

46:07
Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay, good to know.

46:09
Jerry Sever:
So that's one thing about organic. And then the other thing about organic is that there are some organic supplements out there that are pure gimmicks, right? And I'll give you an example. We’ll go right back to the beginning - B12. B12 is derived from bacteria.

46:27
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

46:27
Jerry Sever:
It cannot be organic by definition right? There's no way to certify B12 as organic. But you can get organic B12 supplements on the market by very well-known brands. The B12 that they use is not organic. It comes from bacteria same as every other B12 on the market. But because B12 is only taken in very, very small amounts, right? The supplement which is in liquid form may use organic glycerin as the carrier liquid and because the limit for organic ingredients is 98%... If you have 98% of organic glycerin and then 2% or less of the nutrient like B12 or something else, you can certify that product as organic. People will think they're taking organic B12 and that it's much better than standard B12. What they're taking is organic glycerin with the same B12 that is…

47:35
Dr. Maya Novak:
… in every other product.

47:37
Jerry Sever:
In every other product, exactly. So, you know, that's a little loophole when it comes to things being certified organic that the active ingredients in them. Some of them cannot be certified organic. Like if it does not grow, if there's not an organic certification process that could apply to it, the finished product can still be certified organic if 98% of the ingredients, which might be just the extras not the actives, are organic. But then on the other hand, something like protein powder. For that I would say that looking for certified organic is definitely much better than going with standard.

48:24
Dr. Maya Novak:
I remember… so that was twenty years ago, twenty plus years ago, when I was doing promotions for cosmetics. So that was one of my student jobs. I was in pharmacies and promoting cosmetics of a certain brand and I do remember already back then how it was with cosmetics. So you could put label on ‘Natural’ with less than 10% of ingredients being natural. The rest could be really synthetic stuff. And you could be labeling it as natural. And for me back then it was really an eye-opening experience like “Oh, my gosh.” So it really goes back to marketing and you can put on the label almost whatever you want based on what is allowed.

49:29
Jerry Sever:
Exactly. I mean organic certifications are still a lot stricter than just natural, but still you shouldn't be kidding yourself that you are taking an organic supplement if that supplement, if the active ingredient cannot be organic at all. You're just taking an organic product that contains a very regular non-organic supplement as the active ingredient.

49:56
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mhm. So I answered this question already… I would like to go slightly back and this is about how to choose a supplement. Should you choose a supplement that have many, let's just say many active ingredients, right? We're not going to be talking about those fillers and stuff. But many active ingredients or is it better to go with, for example, just on? What is your view on that?

50:23
Jerry Sever:
I lean more towards single ingredient products. Or as a lot of our products, Complement products are multi-ingredient products but limited. You mentioned multivitamins a little earlier. Multivitamins mostly have a long list of like 20 plus active ingredients in teeny-tiny amounts, in forms that are really just the cheapest that you can get. Right? So I would say that either single active ingredient products or products that may contain 2, 3, 5, or the most that we have is 8 active ingredients. But as few extra ingredients as possible. And you know what my supplement regime looks like. We both mostly take stuff where we are literally building our supplement stacks by combining different products with fewer ingredients in them.

51:39
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, because in my opinion, I mean for my body, for my health I rather take 5 different supplements, 5 different pills than just one that has absolutely less amount of an active ingredients that can actually make a difference in my body.

51:58
Jerry Sever:
That is the thing that also bothers me about to supplement industry. That yeah, you can obviously stick 10 ingredients into a product and promote that. But maybe 8 of them are going to be present in amounts that have absolutely no benefit or too little benefit.

52:20
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

52:20
Jerry Sever:
So that's where blood testing comes in. That's where also listening to your body comes in. So same as you, I do blood tests but I also when I experiment with new stuff I'm also very mindful of how it makes me feel, what changes I'm noticing.

52:44
Dr. Maya Novak:
And this is also really good that you don't… if you start with 0, that you don't go and jump into potentially 10 different supplements because then you cannot know what is happening.

52:54
Jerry Sever:
Yeah.

52:54
Dr. Maya Novak:
Because I can give my experience with… I don't recall which supplement but, for example, I was taking 2 different forms – not at the same time. But a pill form did not bother me at all. But then the form in liquid actually created a bit of an inflammation in my belly, in my intestines, which was just like being bloated. When I first experienced this, it was really like “Am I just before my period? What is happening, why am I so bloated? Did I gain weight?” Until I actually realized “Oh, it's because that form doesn't work for me.” So I stopped taking it and it took me four or five days for everything to get back to normal. But it is important, like you said, to tune into your body, to be mindful, to observe, to really, you know, that you are present. That it's not just popping pills without much thinking.

54:01
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, exactly.

54:02
Dr. Maya Novak:
So let's talk about all those cancer warnings.

54:10
Jerry Sever:
Oh. That’s a can of worms! [chuckles]

54:11
Dr. Maya Novak:
[chuckles] So what is this about? So those are the warnings that you can see sometimes on the labels. So is this something to be… if you see this kind of stuff on the label to be “Oh, my goodness, I'm not taking this,” or what? What is the in insight into this?

54:28
Jerry Sever:
Well, first of all when you see that warning on the label, it's always going to say that this product contains a certain substance known to the state of California to cause cancer, or you know reproductive harm…

54:43
Dr. Maya Novak:
Why are you talking about the state of California?

54:46
Jerry Sever:
Because this is a California issue, right? This is what is known as Proposition 65 which was actually started over thirty years ago, and the idea behind it wasn't really that... well, it was positive. It was related to clean water, first of all.

55:10
Dr. Maya Novak:
Which is important.

55:11
Jerry Sever:
Which is important, but also related to making sure that companies producing food items, supplement items, drinks are held accountable, and when they are using substandard ingredients, when they are including ingredients that may contain contaminants that cause cancer, heavy metals, that those contaminants are listed on the labels, right? So that was the idea. What's actually happened since then was that the great state of California, and I am not bitter here at all. If anyone listening to this is in the supplement space table, probably understand because it's just a huge pain. But the state of California set their allowable limits for things like heavy metals at one thousandth of the amount that has been shown to cause harm at continued exposure. So you measure at what point the substance, let's say lead, that is a big favorite of mine, ah, will still cause harm. So and then you go lower until there's no adverse effects. And then you divide that by 1000 and that is the limit that California set for heavy metals, for example. The issue is that all the other agencies in the United States, around the world, in Europe where they are very strict on this, the limits are like 10, 20 times higher than in California. And all of those agencies agree that these are still very, very safe and harmless limits. And what this means is that almost anything that you can create is going to contain some amounts of heavy metals, right?

57:19
Dr. Maya Novak:
So it's impossible to create something without heavy metals? That slightly scares me.

57:21
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, I know. I mean heavy metals are a scary word but heavy metals are also a fact of life. They're present everywhere in nature. Even if we don't talk pollution at all heavy metals are present everywhere. And even though they do accumulate in the body if you consume too much of them, the body is capable of processing and eliminating them to a certain extent, right? And the thing also is that, I'm going to keep using lead as an example here, Proposition 65 sets the limit for lead at 0.5 micrograms per serving or per day. An avocado can have 10 times that amount.

58:10
Dr. Maya Novak:
So stop eating avocados. [laughs]

58:11
Jerry Sever:
A glass of wine can have 10 times that amount. So if you're selling things in California you are always at the risk of having to include those warnings for products that can be completely harmless by all other definitions, except by the definition set by the state of California.

58:37
Dr. Maya Novak:
So you also have this kind of label on your supplements?

58:42
Jerry Sever:
On a couple of them, yes. And you know, just to be completely transparent, the limit for lead is 0.5 in California. We might have 0.6 or 0.8. That means that according to all other regulations that that product is completely safe when it comes to lead, unless we sell it in California, where if you sell this without a warning, you're going to get sued. And that's what also has been created by Proposition 65. This mass industry of law firms that only look for products that are over certain limits, and are not using these warnings. And then going after those companies in court. Which theoretically is the accountability that should have been accomplished.

59:38
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mhm.

59:38
Jerry Sever:
But it just means that a brand making products that cause no harm is now at risk of being sued in California because of this. So when you see those warnings on the product...

59:52
Dr. Maya Novak:
… don't be alarmed.

59:53
Jerry Sever:
Don't be too alarmed I would say. I mean if you live in California you're probably used to seeing them everywhere, right? I think that people in California are just blind to them by now because they're literally everywhere. But it also becomes even more important to use products from companies that are transparent about their testing, because then even if you see that warning, you can go and you can check what the amounts really are. And if they are above the Prop 65 limits but well below the limits set by the EPA or the FDA, then you know that you really have nothing to worry about.

1:00:33
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mhm. Well yeah transparency as in any type of relationship is important. So, of course, if someone is transparent and they put onto their website, or if you ask them and they send you all those tests, I mean it is a bit more, I see it as more trustworthy than someone who is like “Ah we cannot share this because xyz.”

1:00:58
Jerry Sever:
Mhm, yeah. And we had that experience just a few days ago.

1:01:01
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

1:01:02
Jerry Sever:
You’re taking a certain supplement that has…

1:01:08
Dr. Maya Novak:
B vitamins, yes. And so my body, how it reacts with niacin, which is B3, in one form I have flush, flushing reaction. And it is just annoying because it happens after 30 minutes or so and the skin becomes really red and a bit hot and itchy and it takes probably around 30, 40 minutes for the body to calm down. But it's interesting because I'm taking their supplement every single day and it happened just twice. So I'm not sure how this is actually possible. But yeah talking about being transparent, we sent…

1:01:57
Jerry Sever:
I sent them an email. I asked them to provide us with a COA for the batch that you're currently taking.

1:02:04
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes.

1:02:05
Jerry Sever:
And their reply was that they do not share this information.

1:02:08
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, which is a bit “Hmm.”

1:02:09
Jerry Sever:
It's not just a bit that's a red flag for me. Just professionally speaking, sure you can redact certain things if you don't want the customer to know where exactly your products were made because…

1:02:22
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, of course.

1:02:23
Jerry Sever:
Sometimes it just might be a competitor trying to figure out who makes your product so they can go out and copy you. But you should be able to provide the customer with the analysis of, you know “These are our specifications in the batch that you have. This is what's in it.”

1:02:43
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. Well I will have to make a decision now, right? Is this a red flag or are we going to be ping-ponging with them in regard to “If you want to redact any kind of information please do, but we would still like to see your tests and what they are, what they are showing.”

1:03:01
Jerry Sever:
They're not obligated to share it. It really comes down to voluntarily being transparent with the customer.

1:03:11
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. So now talking about this, what is the one thing that you wish people knew when it comes to choosing that right supplement?

1:03:22
Jerry Sever:
There's 2 things. I think we've touched on both of them. One, which you mentioned, when we were talking about single versus multi-ingredient supplements is really knowing how much of what ingredients has a benefit, right? And that comes to what I said right at the beginning – branding. You can have a huge brand promoting their product which contains 10 amazing ingredients. Which sound really good and they're all the rage right now. But those ingredients might be included in quantities that probably have little to no benefit. So the first thing that I really wish people knew was how much really makes a difference. And that's where testing comes in, that's where working with a health professional comes in. But that's also where knowing how to do your research comes in. And related to that, with AI being more present everywhere, there's a plugin for ChatGPT called ScholarGPT which analyzes scientific databases in research databases. So if you use ChatGPT you should have access to that. So you can talk to ScholarGPT and you just ask it, you know, if you're interested about a certain ingredient, ask it “Can you please list the studies showing what the beneficial amounts of this certain ingredient are?” And it's going to tell you. It might just tell you the RDA but it will go and look for those studies and list it for you. So it's a lot easier than…

1:05:12
Dr. Maya Novak:
… than just five years ago.

1:05:13
Jerry Sever:
Two years ago!

1:05:14
Dr. Maya Novak:
… to get information that you're looking for. So it is really on the side of people who are taking, who wish to take something. You know, do your own research, ask the right questions, talk to multiple health providers if necessary. Because this is your health. I mean I always say to my clients and on this podcast and everywhere that I'm talking, you are the only one who is living with the consequences. So whatever you decide, you are the one who is linked with the consequences inside of your body. So do your own research and whatever you decide, you have to be 100 % because otherwise we come to then down the road victim mentality, pointing fingers “He said that, she said that. I did not know.” And, yes, it is important for all of us to do our own research. And then according to that to choose what we are, you know, feeling safe to use.

1:06:22
Jerry Sever:
Yeah. And related to that's the importance of COAs – certificates of analysis. Knowing that this is an integral part of the supplement industry of traceability from suppliers of ingredients to manufacturers to distributors. If you can get that it’s a lot better than a brand telling you that this is not information that…

1:06:51
Dr. Maya Novak:
… they're willing to share, yes. So I know that you said that you are not going to be promoting your brand and you did I think quite a good job in regard to that. But. I am absolutely positive that some people or a lot of listeners are now interested in knowing about Complement a bit more. So can you for those share some extra words where they can find you, what is this all about, why Complement?

1:07:20
Jerry Sever:
Yeah. So Complement and that's all Es no Is by the way, as something that complements you, makes you complete. You can find us at lovecomplement.com. As I mentioned, we primarily focus on complementing plant-centric diets. That does not mean that people who are omnivores cannot use our products. I think that anyone can benefit from them. But yeah, we have a range of products from very well thought out limited ingredient Multi to omega-3s sourced from algae not from fish. Because fish oil can be a bit critical when it comes to heavy metals, obviously. We have organic protein powders, we have a very, very good greens powder.

1:08:18
Dr. Maya Novak:
Delicious one!

1:08:19
Jerry Sever:
Without beating my chest, you know, probably the best greens powder that I've ever tasted. And I’m not just saying that because I was involved in developing it. Well we just launched a creatine powder. We’re soon gonna be launching a female specific supplement - also limited, well researched ingredients. And I think that one of the things that I'm most proud of about our company, about our brand is that we've stuck to that principle of transparency to sharing the test results with our customers for every batch that we bring out. To relying on science when we're developing our products even when it means that, you know, it's a little more difficult to source some ingredients, or we have to be really mindful of what goes in and maybe pay a little bit more for production. Because we use certain forms that are more readily available to the body than others. But also, and this is also a thing that I'm quite proud of, pretty much everything that we sell is packaged in compostable bags, which is a small thing but just that…

1:09:44
Dr. Maya Novak:
Good for the planet.

1:09:45
Jerry Sever:
Yeah! Good for the planet, and when it comes to people, we're also very proud to be providing thousands of meals per month to children in need around the world. So that's kind of our guiding principles that we stick to – the transparency, the based in science, good for the planet, and good for the people.

1:10:08
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, and this is, you know, how picky I am. I mean you know that, listeners probably not that much. But, you know, I do use quite a few of your products and I am the most happy about, and this is just my personal thing, that you have a separate just omega-3 capsules that I can take. Because here I'm going to go again into my health and what was happening years ago. So even though for example, my LDL levels and HDL levels they were quiet normal but all the time my LDL was slightly, slightly higher and my HDL was not as high as it should be. So I tried so many different things and then I started to take omega-3 supplements in relatively big quantities. Because I did test; do you remember which company? It's the one that your company also uses. Those tests to check the levels of omega-3 s and then after that I realized “Oh my goodness, I am pretty low on omega-3s in my body.” Even though I was, you know, doing all sorts of stuff with my diet. So I started taking omega-3s and it was amazing to see on my blood work. Because I am checking every 6 months I am checking the complete blood work from hormones to everything. It was really good to see how much that changed, how my HDL went up and how my LDL went down. And this was just with omega-3. So when you got… was it two years ago when you got just omega-3s capsules?

1:12:05
Jerry Sever:
Mhm.

1:12:05
Dr. Maya Novak:
I was so happy!

1:12:09
Jerry Sever:
The Omega Complex, yes. I'm actually very proud of that product because besides being just omega-3s, they're plant-sourced, obviously, just algae and ahiflower. It is also the highest omega-3 vegan product on the market right now.

1:12:27
Dr. Maya Novak:
And I'm super happy. So thank you.

1:12:29
Jerry Sever:
And the test that you mentioned, OmegaQuant is the company that provides them. And we also carry those tests. So that's not a full blood work test.

1:12:40
Dr. Maya Novak:
No, it's just omega-3s and there is also vitamin D you can check…

1:12:46
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, or vitamin B12. But for the omegas, it's just a fingerprint test that you can do at home. You send it in and then in about two-weeks time, you can check your omega 3 levels. And you know exactly whether the products you're taking are working.

1:13:02
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, and then you can also calculate how much omega-3s you should be taking to see the change. So yeah I did all of that a few years ago, a couple of years ago, and I am super happy. So thank you for that product.

1:13:14
Jerry Sever:
You're welcome.

1:13:15
Dr. Maya Novak:
And many others, as well. So I have one more question because I think that we're going to wrap this up, but this one is not connected to supplements. So let's go into life in general. So imagine that you are walking down the street and you see a very familiar figure in front of you. And then you realize that this is your younger self like 18 years ago. So you stop, you start chatting. Both of you know that this is your younger self and he knows that you are his older self. So my question here is what would you say to that 18 years younger self? What kind of advice would you give him? Not about the supplements, again. [laughs]

1:14:08
Jerry Sever:
So that's 24, huh? Oh, right. And it's not about supplements.

1:14:15
Dr. Maya Novak:
No, it’s not.

1:14:16
Jerry Sever:
It's not take these pills, not those pills. [chuckles]

1:14:18
Dr. Maya Novak:
No, no.

1:14:20
Jerry Sever:
Okay. Maybe go easier on the alcohol.

1:14:24
Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay…

1:14:25
Jerry Sever:
Because as you know I haven't had a drink and…

1:14:30
Dr. Maya Novak:
Since we’ve been together.

1:14:31
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, 14 years. This is not sobriety for me. I mean I know people who are Sober with a capital S and that's not a thing for myself. I was never that kind of drinker. But yeah, if I could talk to myself at 24, I’m not sure if I could convince myself to give up drinking but I would definitely, definitely…

1:15:00
Dr. Maya Novak:
[chuckles] 24-year-old stubborn Jerry.

1:15:03
Jerry Sever:
[chuckles] Yeah, advise myself to “Just give it a try and see how you feel when you're not hungover over the weekends and how better your mind works. And once you're done with that here are some supplements that you can take. It's gonna make you feel even better.”

1:15:18
Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay. Then I'm going to go slightly… I'm going to dig deeper. Okay? I'm going to go okay, alcohol. Absolutely I do agree. Okay, take those supplements, fine. What would you say to that younger self about relationships?

1:15:35
Jerry Sever:
That's a big one. What would I tell that younger self about relationship?

1:15:42
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, going into any kind of serious relationship.

1:15:48
Jerry Sever:
Don't be selfish but at the same time try not to forget about your own needs.

1:15:55
Dr. Maya Novak:
That's a good one. Well the reason why I'm asking this and I'm not going to completely reveal, but I think that in the future, near future… I mean we have been talking about writing a book together. Because it has been quite a journey for us, our relationship, and there are some stuff that I am positive that would help other people as well. So a good one, yeah. Don't be selfish and don't forget about your needs. So thank you for that.

1:16:24
Jerry Sever:
Sure.

1:16:25
Dr. Maya Novak:
Is there anything else that I haven't asked but you think it's important to say?

1:16:31
Jerry Sever:
I think that we've probably covered everything besides this that even though, you know, a brand makes supplements we aren't all knowledgeable. Some questions we do not have answers to. Because sometimes people will really come up with the most exotic, most detailed questions about supplements and unfortunately…

1:17:00
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh, you were talking about support, customer support?

1:17:04
Jerry Sever:
Oh, yes. Because I mentioned that I started in that when we started Complement. So I think that on a weekly basis, we still learn things from our customers that we just would not have thought of ourselves. And even though sometimes it's frustrating when people start asking about the most minute details, it's also a very interesting learning experience. But yeah, just when it comes to supplements, your brand should definitely be able to tell you about those essentials like the certificates of analysis, and what went in. But they might not have all of the answers for you and that's also good. And if they're good, they're going to admit that they don't know everything and they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

1:18:01
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. Well thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing this knowledge. It was eye-opening for me as well. I learned some new stuff even though I've been, you know, observing you every single day and what you do. So yeah, I'm very grateful for this conversation and I do hope that it has been extremely helpful for the listeners as well.

1:18:23
Jerry Sever:
Yeah, hope so too, and it's pleasure to be here again.

01:18:28
Dr. Maya Novak:
Well… as we said, I hope this episode, as many others, have been filled with interesting information that will help you and your loved ones on this journey of healing. If you haven’t done it yet, you know how it goes, right? Yes, subscribe to the podcast and I thank you in advance for sharing it.
To learn more about The Mindful Injury Recovery Method visit my website mayanovak.com and find my book Heal Beyond Expectations on Amazon.
Until next time – keep evolving, blooming, and healing.

Love and gratitude xx
Dr. Maya

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