Q+A: Dr Libby Weaver on Building a Supplement Brand with Intent


Not all supplement brands are created equal. Read on for how Dr Libby, one of Australasia's leading nutritional biochemist, created a food-based supplement brand with a difference.

I first encountered Dr Libby Weaver as a university student studying nutrition. I attended one of her seminars and was immediately enthralled – she was an incredible nutrition communicator. Transforming complex biological concepts into easy-to-digest information is both science and art. Dr Libby, a 13-time best-selling author, excels at it.

As an internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist, with two decades of clinical practice under her belt, she skillfully integrates scientific principles with a human-centric perspective. This extends to Bio Blends, her food-based supplement brand, where products are only released if she’s entirely satisfied they’ll make a noticeable difference in someone’s symptoms or wellbeing.

After falling in love with Bio Blend’s Organic Daily Greens and Radiant Reds powder (easily the best tasting greens powder – and it feels like I’ve tried the lot!), I joined forces with Bio Blends as an ambassador.

With that said, it’s my pleasure to interview Dr Libby for the blog to chat about the journey of Bio Blends, from conception to now. Without further ado, let’s dive in…🎙️

What inspired you to become a nutritional biochemist and develop your own supplement range?

I originally studied Nutrition and Dietetics at University, but still had so many unanswered questions at the end of my study. I can see now that I was very interested in underlying biochemical processes, and how optimal nutrition can support the efficient functioning of the billions of biochemical reactions that occur every single second inside us (and that’s not an exaggeration!). I ended up doing a PhD and learnt more than I could have ever anticipated.

I developed Bio Blends because I believed there was a way to do supplementation better. To utilise what’s abundant in nature and make it easily available to people to incorporate into their everyday lives. I wish we could obtain all of the nutrition we need from our food, however, given that is no longer possible – due to soil nutrient losses, exposure to pollutants, and our constant, relentless stress hormone production – most people would benefit from supplementing with extra nutritional support. The reality is we just aren’t getting what we need from our food anymore, and beyond that we are also demanding more from our bodies than ever before. 

Bio Blends started when I couldn’t find a green powdered vegetable drink that I really liked, so I created what is now our Organic Daily Greens and Radiant Reds, which became our first product. I took this for years before we released it, usually when I travelled, but then started to use it every day as I noticed the difference in how I felt taking it regularly. The blend is designed to offer a potent dose of key nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals that the body needs to support detoxification and elimination pathways, immunity and great energy. 

Could you provide examples of how supplements can effectively bridge the gap between common dietary deficiencies and overall wellbeing? How do targeted solutions contribute to a more balanced and nutritious diet?

Supplements are frequently used to address dietary deficiencies and/or insufficiencies, whether that be vitamins, minerals, or even macronutrients in some cases. Some common dietary deficiencies, that are regularly and well-addressed by supplements, include zinc, iodine, selenium, folate and vitamin B12.

From a biochemical perspective, the consequence of being low in any of the above can have quite a marked impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Zinc for example, is closely linked to a robust immune response, good digestion, quality sleep, more efficient metabolism of alcohol, mental resilience, thyroid function, and healthy hair, skin and nails.

Addressing dietary deficiency through diet and/or supplementation is of the utmost importance for our overall wellbeing, as the consequences of deficiencies and insufficiencies are far reaching.

Beyond deficiencies though, Bio Blends products also supports what their name suggests. Liver Love, for example, targets the biochemical pathways involved in detoxification and enhances these. Many people today don’t eat enough of what helps their liver, alongside consuming too many things that take away from efficient detoxification. We feel so much better when our liver is humming, rather than struggling.

Could you explain the process of formulating your supplements based on your biochemical and nutrition knowledge, scientific research and clinical insights? For example, how do you ensure each blend is tailored to address specific health needs?

I work with my team on health concerns that I believe need to be addressed. This is often informed by my years in clinical practice, but also in the countless conversations I have with people at my events.

I then approach the concern by looking at the underlying biochemical process and what herbs, nutrients, foods and phytochemicals can provide the right combination to support the concern.

Then we get technical and work on sourcing the ingredients, scientific research, concentration and quality. It can take us a very long time to create a product, sometimes over a year depending on exactly what it is. In some instances, we’ve had to look at additional testing (beyond what is readily available in NZ laboratories) to ensure that our product does exactly what we say it does.

It’s not until my team and I are entirely satisfied that the product will make a noticeable difference to someone’s symptoms or how they feel, will we launch the product.

When it comes to quality, what steps do you take to ensure that your supplement ingredients meet the highest standards? How do you maintain consistent quality throughout the manufacturing process?

We only manufacture in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility. This is incredibly important for quality, as it ensures strict testing and quality control procedures. There is a process flow in place for handling all ingredients and finished products to ensure quality is preserved at every step. This also happens before manufacturing in the care and attention we pay to the selection and storage of our ingredients too.

We scour the world looking for the plants and herbs that meet our rigorous standards. They must be free from pesticide residues and heavy metals. They must have measurable and precise amounts of active ingredients. On top of this, we conduct stability testing regularly on each product to ensure these active ingredients remain high and available across the shelf life of the end-product.

We have tested how our products work in humans and, if blood tests don’t show favourable change, we go back to the drawing board. You can imagine how much time and money this has taken at times, so despite it being disappointing when something hasn’t worked, we are at the same time grateful to know – as we care deeply about ensuring efficacy. We want our customers to get bang for their buck.

Can you share a couple of unique aspects that set your supplement range apart, aside from the quality and meticulous ingredient sourcing?

I choose ingredients that work synergistically, so that we get a one plus one equals three effect.

For example, in Cycle Essentials, Paeonia and Licorice work together to help foster communication between the pituitary gland (located in the brain) and ovaries to help facilitate cyclical ovulation. After ovulation, we make progesterone which has benefits beyond fertility – it acts as a powerful anti-anxiety agent and diuretic and also has a significant impact on sleep quality. People share with us these effects from taking Cycle Essentials – they aren’t just theoretical. So even though by taking Cycle Essentials you’re supporting a healthy menstrual cycle, you also (typically) experience these additional benefits.

A synergistic effect of the ingredients in Liver Love is that it doesn’t just support natural detoxification processes, it also helps with bile production. So, we receive oodles of feedback about how much easier bowel motions are as a result of using Liver Love.

Another unique difference is that we exclusively use real plants and herbs rather than synthesised nutrients created in a lab.

In the pursuit of sourcing certified organic ingredients, are there any specific challenges you encounter? For example weather events, seasonal variations…

Yes absolutely, there have been times when our ingredients haven’t been available due to weather events or a poor growing season and some cases it’s meant we’ve run out of stock.

Having a range made from only natural ingredients provides challenges like that, but it’s worth it and we don’t compromise on quality – we will only put out the very best product.

What we focus on most specifically are the active compounds (“the actives”) in the ingredients, so we’re always monitoring these. This impacts where we source, who we source from and ingredient availability too.

The Organic Daily Greens and Radiant Reds is my favourite product. Can you explain the concept of food-based supplements and how they differ from traditional synthetic supplements? What advantages do food-based supplements offer in terms of absorption and utilisation by the body? 

It is well established that we simply cannot replicate the intricacies and incredible complexity of nature in a laboratory. This is why we’re strict on all of our supplements being entirely food-based – they are all made from plants.

Here, bioavailability is, in most cases, enhanced. For example, most vitamin C supplements are simply ascorbic acid made in a lab. Ours is food-based, which means that the other components that support the absorption and utilisation are also present.

I’m so glad you like Organic Daily Greens. The feedback we’ve had is that it helps many people to experience improved energy and reduced sugar cravings – both of which can have a significant ripple effect on quality of life.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to shoppers. How do you ensure that your supplement range aligns with environmentally conscious practices and contributes to a more sustainable future?

This is an important consideration in every step of what we do. From an end product perspective, we only use glass to ensure the optimal shelf life of the product and an easily recyclable packaging option for our consumers.

We pack in cardboard boxes, use paper labels and meticulously plan production runs to effectively use all ingredients, minimising or eliminating waste. 

We are also undertaking B-corp certification which reviews all aspects of sustainability across our business to ensure we’re doing what we can, where we can.

From a collaboration perspective, each year we partner with Trees that Count in New Zealand and Reforest Now in Australia to donate a portion of profit from our Christmas Sale to help plant more native trees. A conservative estimate is that we’ve helped to plant at least 1200 trees.

A big thank you to Dr Libby for sharing her deep insight. For more information on Bio Blends, head to their website. The imagery in this blog, aside from the picture of Dr Libby, is taken by Photographer Samantha Donaldson📷.

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