More than half of the U.S. population is on a multivitamin or other type of supplement. It's a >$27 billion industry! That's astounding! Unfortunately, a lot of the supplements aren't regulated by the FDA and may not contain what they claim on the ingredient label. A few years ago, GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart were accused of selling "bogus" herbals. For more information, see FDA List of Tainted products. Continue reading below for 5 tips on how to choose the best supplements.
First of all, why would anyone need a supplement in the first place? Ideally, food should be the first source of obtaining nutrients. However, there are many reasons that food isn't "cutting it", nutritionally speaking.
So, when choosing supplements, how do you know what you're getting and what to buy? Here are 5 recommendations when shopping for supplements:
1) Choose reputable companies with high quality ingredients. I recommend prescription grade supplements because they follow Good Manufacturer Practices (GMPs). There are a lot of choices out there, so if you want personalized recommendations, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a short consultation. If you order through my online dispensary, you get 10% off your first order using the coupon code HCPC865WELCOME. You'll need to register first; use the registration code MW865.
*Note: Be cautious buying supplements on Amazon, specifically from third party sellers. Make sure to check who the seller is to make sure it's a reputable company.
2) Check ingredient labels. Avoid additives and fillers. Choose the right kinds of vitamin/minerals for best absorption. Be wary of health claims on labels as they usually aren't regulated by the FDA.
3) Check location of manufacturer; choose U.S. made products whenever possible. It's also helpful to choose a company that manufactures their own supplements (vs third party).
4) Don't go for the cheapest option. Quality is very important when you need supplements to replenish nutrient deficiencies.
5) To search for specific supplements and their quality, check out a website like Consumer Lab ($39/year) which tests supplements.
A couple more tips:
Did this change your opinion about choosing supplements? Please comment below. Thank you for being a valuable reader!
Maria Walcott. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist "Extraordinaire" :) Nutrition "nerd". Essential oil educator. Love nature. Want to protect God's planet and help His people become their healthiest selves.