The Wall Street Journal released an article some time ago that brought light concerns surrounding the supplement industry. I advocate for the use of supplements in conjunction with a balanced, wholesome diet and fitness program/regime, and have found particular supplements to be a vital aid in my client's success, and as a responsible professional, I always try to play an active role in keeping my clients educated on the effects and uses of supplements. Truth in labeling is expected; however, it is not required of any supplement company to provide evidence until it becomes an issue for the FDA.
The article subjected highlighted a study that found two illegal and two unknown substances in commercially available products. Thankfully, I had never recommended, nevertheless heard of, any of these products, which was a huge relief. The question now lies, how, as a consumer/non-fitness professional, do you choose the right supplements? This concern is an issue for all supplements, even for those that stamp, all-natural, or organic on the label.
Supplements can effectively fill nutritional gaps, so here are three tips that can help you eliminate chances of problems from negligent supplement companies:
Lastly, look for the misspelling of terms; confusion of milligrams, grams, and micrograms; and omission on labels of essential or required information are clear indicators of the ignorance and negligence of the manufacturer.
Use resources that analyze and confirm supplement content, dose, and purity. ConsumerLab.com (www.consumerlab.com/) is one such service. Pharmaceutical researchers also report findings on supplement label accuracy; a PubMed (www.nlm.nih.gov/) can lead you to this information.
Look for the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) logo (USP verification mark) on supplement labels. The mark certifies that the USP has found ingredients consistent with those stated on the label. It also indicates that the supplement was manufactured in a safe, sanitary, controlled facility and that the product dissolves or disintegrates to release nutrients in the body. (However, the USP does not test the supplement efficacy.)
Want to know how easy it is to obtain information about the product? Before purchase, look for a phone number on the label to call with questions or report side effects. On websites, look for a domestic address and phone number, in addition to email contact. What type of response do you get from a knowledgeable company, or is the only person available to read a scripted response?
If you are shopping online but are uncertain the supplement is right for you, check the Web retailer’s return policy. A web retailer that also has a brick‐and‐mortar outlet near your locale may be preferable.
Lastly, having access to a professional so that important questions can get asked about supplements is always an excellent tool. If you have any questions or are ready to start a new health journey that separates yourself from the average doer and consumer, Book your fitness consultation now!