If you are reading this article then most likely you have had the opportunity or the need to buy supplements. It is very important to choose your supplements and vitamins with as much care as if you were choosing a major investment. In a way, that is exactly what you are doing when you are buying everyday vitamins. Buying inexpensive herbs, vitamins, minerals, and supplements may also result in getting poor quality which can actually harm your health instead of helping. With today’s Internet and marketing programs, it is hard to know which is the best supplements to buy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate herbal supplements as regular drugs or food. They regulate them by calling them dietary supplements. Manufacturers do not have to attain FDA approval before putting the supplement on the market. Once the supplement is on the market, it is the FDA’s responsibility for monitoring the product safely.
It is very important to read all the labels carefully to see exactly what nutrient forms are included in the supplement. It is important to always read what are the “other ingredients”. These ingredients usually appear at the bottom of the bottle. The ideal supplement to buy is one that only contains a vegetable capsule and not a paragraph of other words that are not easily spoken.
The FDA requires that certain information be on each label. By law, you should be able to see :
The name of the supplement.
The manufacturer or distributors name and address.
The number or dose amount in the bottle.
The serving size.
A complete list of active ingredients.
A complete list of other ingredients.
I personally sometimes wonder why some companies get away with expressing their ingredients as “Proprietary blend”. Thats like saying, “I have a secret and no one can know but this company.” In a sense, thats true. No one knows and the one person who should know is the one buying it.
Beware of what you buy from the Internet! There are professional patients or people who make claims that this one product cured them of their disease. By the name professional patient or people, I mean that they are paid to make statements that possibly are not true. Marketing comes in many forms.
If you are battling a disease or just trying to stay healthy, I would advise you to seek one of the many United States naturopathic doctors for advice. They have been trained in the difference from good quality supplements to the ones that are filled with binders and fillers. Binders and fillers are exactly what the word means. Some binders and fillers are very unhealthy. Naturopathic doctors have also been trained and are familiar with the best supplement companies.
-Dr Fredda Branyon