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Welcome FAQ

On-line dietary and nutritional supplements

Do you have a question about a Supersmart supplement? Or a query about an order? Before you contact our customer service, why not see if the answer you’re looking for is included in this list of frequently-asked questions!

About our supplements

  1. Are Supersmart’s products really more expensive than those of other companies?
  2. Why are the product descriptions and information so difficult to read?
  3. Where are your products manufactured and dispatched from?
  4. Do your products contain allergens?
  5. What will I find at Supersmart.com that I won’t find elsewhere?
  6. What won’t I find at Supersmart?
  7. Why do your supplements contain excipients? Are any of them harmful?
  8. Do your capsules contain gelatine?
  9. How do you select your dietary supplements?
  10. Is it ok to break open the capsules? Crush the tablets? Pierce the softgels?
  11. My usual supplement now has a different label – does that mean the dose has changed too?

About your order

  1. How long before my order is dispatched?
  2. What are the shipping costs?
  3. I’ve forgotten my password. What can I do?
  4. I haven’t received the product I ordered. What can I do?
  5. How do I use a discount code?
  6. I’m not satisfied with the product I purchased – can I have a refund?
  7. Why is my invoice not included in the package?
  8. How is the package size calculated?

Questions on our dietary supplements

1. Are Supersmart’s products really more expensive than those of other companies?

In health more than any other sector, the ‘cheapest’ inevitably ends up costing more. Poor quality supplements may be less expensive but in the long run, your health will pay the price.

When we develop a product, neither the cost price nor the retail price comes into the equation: we use only the very best raw materials, patented ingredients, forms and dosages validated by the scientific literature, and delivery systems that guarantee optimal preservation and bioavailability of the supplement’s contents. This commitment to excellence doesn’t come cheap, but it’s a price worth paying for maximising the benefits reported by clinical studies.

We apply profit margins in line with industry standards – no more, no less – and in no way manipulate the retail price. If a Supersmart.com product sometimes appears more expensive than a similar European product, it is only because of our superior quality criteria. Having said that, we readily admit that equivalent nutritional supplements cost more in Europe than in the United States. The US supplementation market is the largest in the world and the tax and regulation situation for American companies is considerably more favourable – hence their lower prices.

Three reasons for the prices of our supplements:

  1. Supplements that contain patented ingredients, such as Mirtoselect® (Eye Pressure Control), ZeroPollution® and Go-Less® (Complete Uricare) tend to cost a little more as the companies that make them have invested in research to ensure their ingredients are more effective than others. So while you might pay a little more, you can be sure you’re buying a supplement with scientifically-demonstrated efficacy and safety.
  2. The source of the raw material can also affect the price. Marine-source glucosamine (Joint Support Formula) for example, costs a lot more than the bovine-source alternative but the latter has in the past raised important concerns in terms of mad cow disease. The same applies to forms of vitamins and minerals: calcium carbonate is very inexpensive but numerous studies have shown that other forms (such as calcium orotate) are much better absorbed by the body. Similarly, some cheap synthetic vitamins are suspected of aggravating health problems and producing the opposite effect of that intended!
  3. The way in which a supplement is manufactured can also influence the price: tablets tend to cost less than capsules, but they’re more difficult to digest. Conversely, the gastro-resistant and extended-release capsules we use for our probiotics are more expensive because they benefit from cutting-edge technology which guarantees maximum efficacy. Freeze-drying plant extracts, which preserves their nutritional value much better than drum-drying, can also be more expensive, as can the organic ingredients we use whenever possible (Organic acacia, Organic Royal Jelly, Organic MycoComplex…).

Despite this unwavering commitment to excellence, we at Supersmart actually managed to lower our prices in 2018 and are proud to offer unprecedented value-for-money. This has been possible due to growing consumer demand (which has expanded the accessibility of high-quality products) and increasingly advanced logistics. In the current economic climate, this is a welcome development: while few of us are prepared to sacrifice our health by opting for the cheapest product, we’re nonetheless keen to pay the lowest price possible for a top quality supplement.

To this end, we’d recommend regularly checking out the Promotions section of our website to find certain supplements at discounted prices.

2. Why are the product descriptions and information sometimes so difficult to read?

Clear, transparent and documented information is the key to making educated choices. There are so many schools of thought and fanciful theories on nutrition-related matters that we have always made scientific information an absolute priority. But this no easy task. Nutrition and biochemistry are complex subjects which are difficult to communicate in lay language without compromising on scientific rigour. It’s why so few health professionals attempt it, forcing consumers interested in nutrition to search almost surreptitiously for information themselves.

A few years ago, we nevertheless decided to make our product descriptions more ‘user-friendly’, adding illustrations and scientific references, with clearer, well-spaced paragraphs and practical advice. All designed to make the physiological mechanisms involved easier to understand and support your supplementation regime as effectively as possible.

If, despite our efforts, you still have trouble understanding some of our descriptions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will be happy to explain them to you. Simply go to our Contact page.

3. Where are your products manufactured and dispatched from?

We make around 60% of our products in the United States and 40% in Europe. Despite the unfavourable exchange rate, the American market remains by far and away the global benchmark for nutritional supplementation and we develop many products there that we simply wouldn’t be able to in Europe. Our main distribution centre is in the Netherlands, with a second centre in the US. Our administration and customer services have been located in Luxembourg for more than 15 years. This set-up is admittedly rather complex but it gives us flexibility, resilience and reliability.

4. Do your products contain allergens?

The most common dietary allergies involve foods that feature widely in our diet, such as eggs, milk, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts…), shellfish, peanuts, celery, etc. These are all included on an EU regulations list of common allergens, and we are committed to alerting customers when they are present in our supplements.

As we are keen to offer you natural-source ingredients, some of our supplements unsurprisingly contain ingredients included on this list. Our krill oil supplement obviously contains shellfish, just as our excellent supplement Celery 3nb contains celery seeds. That’s precisely why they’re so popular.

Rest assured, however, that you’ll never find any synthetic allergens in our excipients.

5. What will I find at Supersmart.com that I won’t find elsewhere?

Since we first entered the European supplementation market 28 years ago, we at Supersmart have placed innovation and excellence at the heart of our operations. Over the years, this fundamental principle has allowed us to sustain an exceptionally diverse catalogue of supplements. You’ll find:

6. What won’t you find at Supersmart?

At Supersmart, you’ll never find:

7. Why do your supplements contain excipients? Are any of them harmful?

Unlike the excipients added to processed foods, those used in medicines and dietary supplements are needed:

The use of excipients is therefore key to producing an effective dietary supplement. But it would obviously be crazy to use toxic excipients in a product designed to improve human health! That’s why we guarantee that our supplements contain no ‘excipients with recognised harmful effects’ as defined by European regulations.

Although none of the following excipients have been identified as toxic by scientific studies, we have nonetheless decided to replace microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate and all other synthetic excipients with natural ones: acacia gum, rice flour and rice bran. These do not appear on the European list of excipients with harmful effects: they are considered safe for human health. Thus it’s primarily for ecological and ethical reasons that we have taken this step, as well as to satisfy those customers keen to see more totally natural excipients in our products (‘Clean Label’). This gradual replacement process should be completed sometime in 2020. More than 300 Supersmart products now contain excipients that are 100% natural.

If you have any comments to make on this subject or wish to make a suggestion as to how we can improve the quality of our products, please visit Contact.

8. Is gelatine used in the manufacture of your capsules?

Most capsules are made from a compound called hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), ‘recognised as safe’ for food use by the FDA and the European Union (1). Though its name sounds somewhat unnatural, it actually comes from plant cellulose, and no chemical additives or animal-source products are used in its processing (thermogelation).

Even though HPMC has never been associated in any scientific studies with adverse health effects (2), nor even potential allergens, attempts to discredit it are currently being made by certain dubious information sources. Its reputation has been unfairly tarnished by the presence on the market of very poor quality supplements that may contain heavy metals, traces of solvents or mould. But the presence of these undesirable elements has absolutely nothing to do with HPMC: rather, it’s the result of certain companies failing to comply with manufacturing standards. At Supersmart, we rely on heavyweights in the field of HPMC capsule manufacture such as Capsugel for our VCaps™ and DRcaps™, who make all the results of tests conducted on their capsule ranges available to their clients. As a result, we can see that standards of quality and safety established by health authorities are being observed on a daily basis, and that their capsules are completely safe for use in humans.

Around a third of our capsules are made from pullulan, another plant-source polysaccharide compound, produced from starch by the non-toxic fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. It too is ‘recognised as safe’ by the FDA and EU. HPMC and pullulan are both plant-source polymers and are excellent alternatives to animal-source gelatine. They are both non-harmful to the body, non-allergenic, non-pathogenic and non-carcinogenic. Pullulan has two unique advantages: it is less permeable to oxygen (which is why it’s used to preserve more fragile ingredients) and it’s easier to produce. It is, however, less stable and more vulnerable to rupture when subjected to significant changes in humidity,

Very occasionally, our capsules do contain gelatine in which case it is specified in the product description, composition list and label. The choice of capsule material depends on a number of constraints dictated by the substances contained in the capsule and their method of delivery.

9. How do you select your dietary supplements?

Our choices are primarily motivated by the results of research though we also draw on natural and traditional medicines, which are currently booming. Once discredited, they are now seen as pioneering and are being considered more and more by the scientific community. Research is not just highlighting the mechanisms of action of the various medicinal plants that make up their pharmacopoeia, it is validating the foundations behind them. Thus recent research has shown that traditional systems of medicine were right when they supported the idea of a strong and complex relationship between mind and body: there is an indisputable link between our state of mind and the secretion of various substances (hormones, proteins, neurotransmitters) that affect our long-term health. And this link is sufficiently strong that stress and depression are associated with a significantly-increased risk of cancer.

Wherever possible, we select supplements with both scientific and empiric validation. For example, our introduction of the first psychobiotic aimed at mood disorders (Lactoxira) draws on both the traditional association with vitality of fermented foods such as kefir, shoju or garum, as well as the very latest studies showing the amazing communication that takes place between gut bacteria and the brain. For our supplement Complete Uricare, we select natural products traditionally used to improve urinary problems, but we only include those that have been validated by science.

In all cases, we strive to offer the most effective product, by choosing the very best raw materials, carefully considering the method of delivery, dosage and form, and doing everything possible to increase its bioavailability in the body. All these different elements of supplement development are coordinated by Dr. Nahon, a pharmacist specialising in nutrition.

10. Is it ok to break open the capsules? Crush the tablets? Pierce the softgels?

As a general rule, breaking open a capsule or crushing a tablet does not cause any serious problems, though it’s not ideal. It usually means the active substances inside are released faster – increasing the risk of side effects – and that the body does not absorb the ingredients as efficiently.

In some cases, however, it is definitely not recommended:

Capsules are normally composed of two shells, one inside the other. If you wish to open them to reduce the dose of the substances inside, it’s better to buy empty capsules, divide the contents of one capsule between two empty capsules and then carefully re-seal them.

If you want to break a tablet into smaller pieces because it’s difficult to swallow, it’s best to use a knife to cut it more precisely. You can also use a pestle and mortar to crush it and then sprinkle the powder onto food.

You can’t ‘open’ a softgel (a capsule with an oily solvent),as it is made from a single piece. You can, however, pierce it carefully, and empty the contents into a drink or onto food, though the resulting taste might not be very pleasant! There’s also a risk that the active principles will be much less well-absorbed.

In all these cases, the active substances will be exposed to more light, humidity and oxygen, which means they will oxidise and decompose more quickly.

This information applies only to dietary supplements: you should never break open medicine capsules without first consulting a doctor.

11. My usual supplement now has a different label – does that mean the dose has changed too?

The way in which the information on labels is presented can change over time. If the label on your usual supplements has been modified, it does not necessarily mean the dosage has changed too.

By way of explanation, we no longer indicate on the label the amount provided by a single dose, but rather the amount provided by a daily dose (ie, the total amount taken in separate doses throughout the day).

A specific example?

Let’s say you’re taking a capsule containing 500mg of substance X, twice a day, every day. You are thus taking 500 mg x 2 = 1000 mg de substance X a day. It is this daily dose of 1000 mg that will appear on the label. For more information on a supplement’s composition, you can read the back of the label or the ‘Nutritional information’ section of the product page on our website.

So don’t worry: even though the label format might have changed, your supplement dose remains the same!

Questions about your order

1. How long will it take for my order to be dispatched?

Delivery times depend on the destination country.

For a ‘standard’ order:

Destination country

Average delivery time

Germany, Belgium, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom

2 to 6 days

Austria, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland

4 to 10 days

French overseas territories

10 to 15 days

Other countries

6 to 20 days


A parcel tracking number will be emailed to you to enable you to follow its progress. Orders paid for by debit card are prepared the same day when placed before 4pm (UTC+2), and the day after payment has been received when paid for by cheque or bank transfer.

For express orders, delivery times are 1 to 3 working days.

2. What are your shipping costs?

Standard delivery costs depend on the value of the order and the country of destination.


Orders worth up to €60

Orders worth €60 or more

Germany, Belgium, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland

€6

Free

French overseas territories and other countries

€15

15 €


Express delivery (1-3 working days) is available at a cost of €30 for the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom.

3. I’ve forgotten my password. What can I do?

Here’s how to reset your password:

You can now once again access your customer account!

4. I haven’t received the product I ordered. What can I do?

If one or more products does not correspond to what you ordered, send us a photo of the products received, and your order number. If the error is confirmed, we will immediately send you the products you ordered.

5. How do I use a discount code?

When confirming your order at the View Basket stage, enter your code in the box marked Promotional Code.

Please note: the discount code cannot be used with other ongoing promotional offers on our website or quantity discounts.

6. I’m not satisfied with the product I ordered. Can I have a refund?

Customer satisfaction is our number 1 priority. If, however, you change your mind, you can return the order in whole or in part within 14 days of receipt. We can only take back sealed, unopened products. Unless we are at fault, you are responsible for the return shipping costs. For more information, contact our customer service.

Our return address is:

SuperSmart SA
BP3015
L1030 Luxembourg
Grand Duché de Luxembourg

7. Why is my invoice not included in the package?

All your invoices can be accessed on line by clicking on ‘My Account’ and ‘Invoices’. You should have received an email attaching a PDF of your invoice. Like many other companies, we have decided to stop automatically issuing paper invoices for environmental reasons.

8. How is the package size calculated?

It’s all done automatically. A cartoning machine calculates the optimal size of each package according to the volume and number of boxes ordered. Creating custom packages in this way reduces the amount of cardboard required and removes the need for cushioning materials. It is environmentally-friendly and optimises our logistics efficacy, thus guaranteeing speedier delivery.

Occasionally, boxes can become badly-positioned on the conveyor belt, preventing the cartoning machine from making the right calculation, and generating a larger package than necessary. Though these instances are very rare, we nonetheless apologise for them.

References

  1. Burdock GA. Safety assessment of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose as a food ingredient. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Dec;45(12):2341-51. Epub 2007 Jul 26.
  2. M. Sherry Ku, and al. « Performance qualification of a New Hypromellose Capsule, Part 1. Comparative Evaluation of Physical, Mechanical and Processability Quality Attributes of Vcaps Plus, Quali-V and Gelatin Capsules ». International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 6 Nov 2009, (epub: 6 Nov 2009), ISSN: 183-3476.
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