I often get questions about how to choose quality and effective supplements. When it comes to choosing supplements, quality is not a mere luxury; it's a necessity. Quality concerns can range from bacterial contamination, heavy metal exposure, pesticides, higher or lower amounts of the supplement itself compared to what is listed on the label, and even undisclosed ingredients like prescription medications.
Here are some quick tips to help you make informed choices:
Look for Third-Party Testing: Trustworthy brands invest in third-party testing, ensuring their products meet quality standards. Look for certifications like USP, NSF, IFOS (for fish oils), Consumer Lab, and Informed Choice on the label.
Competitive Athletes Consider NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport: Athletes may find additional peace of mind with these certifications. NSF for Sport screens for at least 290 banned substances while Informed Sport screens for at least 250 which are banned by many major competitive athletic organizations.
Caution with Claims: Label claims must follow FDA guidelines. This does not mean that labels must be approved before selling. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does monitor for false and misleading claims, however with a saturated market it can be hard to catch the large number of companies making such claims.
The Amazon Dilemma
Now, let's talk about the elephant in the room – buying supplements on Amazon. Consider the following when making purchases from websites that allow third-party sellers:
Counterfeit Products: Amazon's vast marketplace can make it difficult to ensure product authenticity. A couple things to look for so you can purchase online with confidence:
Who on Amazon is selling the product? Confirm that the supplement is being sold by the original manufacturer. Usually that will be indicated by the “Store” name. 3rd party seller information can be found under “Sold by.” Be careful not to rely on the “Brand” listing as this will not tell you who is selling the product.
Does the supplement manufacturer disclose if they sell directly through Amazon? If it’s hard to tell, try reaching out to the company directly to confirm. There are many companies that sell online directly through Amazon and Walmart.
Supplements are sometimes necessary in the case of nutritional deficiencies. Even in the absence of a deficiency, supplements can support quality of life so it can be helpful to know that you are getting something that meets your needs.
Want to know if you are taking the right supplement for the effect you are hoping to achieve or maybe you'd like a review of brand choices or want to learn more able dosing and timing supplements properly? I'm happy to help! Schedule a visit with Nikki to learn more.
This blog is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation.