The vast majority of supplements on the market today are not what the label states they are. Shocking, I know right. Let's step back and start from the beginning.
Let's look at what a supplement can be defined as; vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, or any dietary supplement.
Now here is where this topic gets interesting. There is no oversight when it comes to supplements? Yep, you read that right.
The FDA doesn't govern this market. No regulatory supervision. No random tests being done to ensure the products are labeled properly. Don't get me started on advertising or marketing practices. No researching of the manufacturing facilities.
It is no wonder that supplements are not only being counterfeited but also have harmful additives in them. Did you even know that there is such a thing as counterfeit supplements?
I mean, after all, it is only a billion-dollar industry. Why not prey upon unsuspecting individuals. Supplements do not have to undergo approval processes as prescription drugs do. So with that being mentioned how do we know which supplements are good and which are bad? Hang in there we will get to that.
A huge increase in recent years and herbal supplements like turmeric are on the rise also. As people start turning back to a more natural way to treat or heal themselves the increase to manipulate products for a dollar also rises.
In addition, I may add that some people choose this route to try and save money, not because they actually believe in supplements. Have you been to the pharmacy lately?
Between doctor visits, insurance companies, and drug companies, people can not afford the medicine being prescribed. So in steps the natural supplement approach.
A huge misconception is, first, if this supplement is natural from Earth it must be safe. Second, we as consumers do not realize there is little oversight on these products. Therefore we blindly trust. Third, we are unaware that companies will still to this day mislead us to make a dollar. Four, there are always people out there cheating the system and cutting a corner to make a buck.
So now how do you know if you are buying real supplements or just a capsule filled with fillers? Or worse a capsule filled with harmful chemicals.
First, stop buying from big box stores and Amazon. Even if either place carries the same brand you have investigated. There is no guarantee the supplements are the same quality.
My number one suggestion is to know who you are buying from. When you buy from a big box store, (Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon) there is no chain to follow back. When you buy supplements directly from the supplier, there is no opportunity to swap, alter, or manipulate the products.
Therefore the company you are buying from should be doing testing on their own but also submit products to a third-party for verification. I don't mean the literal company, like Walgreens, Walmart, Target or any other big box store. But the brand of the supplements you are buying. (Nature Made, Nature Bounty, Sundown, store brands) You can do a quick google search and see what pops up. A huge red flag would be all positive, five-star reviews. If all the information looks good from there, then I would reach out and call or email the company. Ask the customer representative about the testing they do to ensure they only produce high-quality products. Request some written information about the lab they use, where it is located, and what certification do they hold. Do the employee actually doctors, scientists, and pharmacists? Ask where they purchase their materials from. Ask how they ship their products, is there an opportunity to manipulate the product or does that manufacturer control the whole process? If that company cannot provide you with this information or forward you to a person who can. You probably should not buy this brand.
Now, you may run into someone who wants to give you a hard time about trade secrets and such. Just remind them you are verifying the quality of the products and their standards. You may not get all this information you asked for but they should be able to provide you with some.
We all know that we should get the vast majority of our nutrients from foods. However, with the increasing population, poor farming practices, overuse of synthetic chemicals our food supply is not what it was at one time. Therefore we need to supplement our food with vitamins and minerals in order for most of us to get truly balanced nutrition. Be sure you are actually supplementing with high-quality nutrients and not miscellaneous fillers. The main objective is for our body to be in sync and function at our fullest potential. Not to add more burden to your overloaded bodies.