Many people have a misconception about the equality between health supplements. Usually the presume there is little difference between supplements, but that is far from the case. As the above article from natural news highlights, cheaper, synthetic, petroleum based supplements (in the case of the article synthetic astaxanthin), do not provide the same health benefits as natural grown. This can be seen easily in this other natural news article on Vitamin E.
The vitamin E article also conveys how studies can be misleading.
There are entrenched forces with immense vested interests in the nutrition market. Many natural products companies need to generate revenue, which tends to lead towards a lower quality product, sometimes with a less potent substance, or a synthetic alternative. Other times a substance will be mixed with cheap fillers like calcium carbonate to increase volume.
Then there are of course the pharmaceutical cartels whose bottom line can be effected by supplements. Whether vitamins and supplements benefit the health of individuals or not is not as important to the pharmaceutical companies as the belief that they work. The most important factor for all pharmaceutical interests is the belief by the consumer that vitamins and supplements do not work; in fact, they have a vested interest to promote that nothing but pharmaceutical drugs work.
Technically they don’t really need you to believe that their products work, or are safe. They simply need you to believe you have no other option. And in fact they have an entire entrenched, long-standing, establishment system, from advertisers and media outlets, to education, to the medical establishment, to support this idea, and diminish all others.