strat investigates

What’s in These Supplements That Famous People Can’t Live Without?

Photo: 8Greens and Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C

Here’s a question: Which two specific supplements get name-checked time and again by celebrities who talk to the Strategist? 8Greens, which counts models Brooke Shields and Molly Sims, as well as Pachinko author Min Jin Lee, as fans, and Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, which is taken religiously by the likes of designer Jenni Kayne, poet Cleo Wade, photographer and TV host Amanda de Cadenet, and Pressed Juicery CEO Hayden Slater.

We spoke with a small panel — naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib, whose clients include Sienna Miller and Penélope Cruz; Miriam Jacobson, a functional medicine dietitian; and Dr. Alka Gupta, co-director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing program at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian — to find out what’s actually in 8Greens that helps Brooke Shields “actually have more energy” and determine if there’s something special in Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C that helps Jenni Kayne “glow from the inside out.”

8Greens

8Greens is a fizzy, dissolving tablet containing spinach, wheatgrass, kale, spirulina, aloe vera, blue-green algae, chlorella, and barley grass. It launched in 2015 and was founded by a former model, Dawn Russell, who came up with the idea of 8Greens after a battle with cancer. Each tablet purportedly contains as much vitamin C as six oranges, as much vitamin B as 15 cups of broccoli, as much vitamin B12 as seven cups of milk, and as much vitamin B6 as six cups of spinach.

8Greens claims a bunch of things: detoxifying organs, oxygenating the body, promoting collagen, alkalizing and balancing the body’s pH level. Jacobson notes that “in terms of any detoxifying qualities, the inclusion of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants — like 8Greens’s algae — spinach, and spirulina is great for your liver. And animal studies have shown that chlorophyll helps to metabolize toxins in the liver and helps with their excretion via the gut, and also increases red-blood-cell production.” All of those effects can contribute to a general feeling of well-being, including increased energy. While the experts stop short of saying that 8Greens can replace vegetables entirely, they don’t think it’s snake oil, either. Proclaiming that the tablet can encourage organ functioning is a bit of a general claim, though Jacobson says that antioxidants like the ones found in the fizzy discs “can help with organ function.”

8Greens
$14 at Neiman Marcus

Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C

LivOn Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C’s liquid single-serve packets each contain 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 1,000 milligrams of essential phospholipids, which co-founder Les Nachman created after finding two doctors — a virologist/epidemiologist and a cardiologist — whose unconventional treatment plan included large, three-times-a-week doses of intravenously injected vitamin C. It was highly effective, but inconvenient and exhausting. So, he sought out another form of vitamin C.

Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, which is basically vitamin C bound in a layer of fat to enhance absorption, took two years to create. “The way we absorb vitamins and minerals depends on a lot of factors, including how we take them in,” says Gupta, with absorption levels depending on whether the ingestion mode is orally through food, orally through a capsule, or intravenously. “By encasing a medication or a nutrient in liposomes, we alter the way it is released, absorbed, distributed, used, and eliminated,” Gupta explains.

Fatty Vitamin C might not sound groundbreaking, but naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib is enthusiastic. “As soon as you take vitamin C, it gets destroyed in the gut because the stomach is very acidic,” Talib says, “so this absorbs better and delivers into the cells: Cell membranes are made up of phospholipids, so when vitamin C embeds in phospholipids, it’s going to enter the cells at a higher rate.” Even if you take vitamin C in the form of Airborne or Emergen-C, Lypo-Spheric actually gets where it needs to go. “Lots of times, vitamin C doesn’t get absorbed into the bloodstream, and even if it does get into the cells, half of it is wasted by your body [in the gut].” The human body doesn’t produce vitamin C on its own, so Talib says that it’s worth taking this daily, upping the dose if a cold is coming on. It’s also good for gum health and muscle repair; Talib started taking it herself a few months ago.

Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C
$33 at Amazon

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What’s in These Supplements That Famous People Love?