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Preparation before buying dietary supplements

6 SAFETY TIPS BEFORE YOU BUY A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT

Statistics suggest that about 65% of People struggle to get sufficient vitamins from their diets alone. Taking supplements have proved to be a great help to human health. This is because dietary supplements help to add nutrients or other compounds to the body.

Today, Consumers use dietary supplements for diffident reasons, including supplementing a poor diet and improving or maintaining general health. Older adults take supplements to support their organ performance, such as calcium for skeletal health or fish oil for heart health. Younger adults tend to take supplements for shorter-term benefits, like increasing their energy or boosting immunity.

Dietary supplements are intended for ingestion either as a capsule, tablet, powder, liquid or even gummy. As a non-prescriptive drug, nutritional supplements are available at the grocery, pharmacy and online store. However, with the many product brands in the market, it is often hard to make the smartest decision as a buyer.

This piece recommends smart steps to help you make the best selections when next you shop for your dietary supplements. It is also important you undertake these tips to avoid supplements that contain harmful fillers or dangerous ingredients.

1. Discover If You Really Need The Supplement

Before you take any drug, you have to know if you need them. The first step in doing so is by avoiding self-diagnosis. If you experience any symptoms, avoid drug abuse by visiting a health care provider for proper medical examination.

Also, know the position of scientific evidence before you opt for a supplement. For instance, glucosamine sulfate may be recommended to you for joint relief, but does it really work?

Can vitamin C increase immunity, or is fish oil good for my baby’s development? Google is your best friend. You can always run a background check on a supplement over the internet with few minutes to spare. Always pay attention to reports concerning the supplement efficacy, dosage and possible side effects. 

2. Always Choose A Known Brand

At this stage, you must have truly discovered that you need a supplement. E.g. Calcium, Vitamin A or Collagen Supplement. The next step is getting it from a trusted manufacturer. Preferably, always select a product from a popular brand. That is brands with a household name. Popular brands usually have recognized stores or hire big-wig marketers for their products. This tip is important because popular brands presumably have experience and will do anything possible to protect their hard-fought reputation.

3. Do Your Research On The Brand

This tip is vital, especially when there are two or more reputable brands to choose for your supplement product. Let your research determine your pick. You can research your brand by visiting the company website. Please have a glance at the information provided therein, especially their product safety or quality. Look out for good markers such as quality certifications or details of the manufacturing process. You can also go further to scout for reviews of previous consumers about the brand.  

4. Be a Label Investigator

Right now, you have chosen your brand, but before you pay for the supplement product, have a rigorous read on the label. A good brand should have a comprehensive label contain information about the form of vitamin or mineral you are getting and the dose per individual tablet. There are quite some more things you should look out for. They include:

  • The Product’s Ingredients: This will determine if the product is natural or synthetic, animal or plant-based, and provide info on any added ingredients you might or might not need. Also double-check to ensure that the product does not use any of the harmful ingredient listed in the FDA’s list of harmful supplement ingredients.  
  • Quality Seals or Third-Party Certifications: Certification badges are a good indicator of quality and product safety. For instance, most of Jamieson products have the TRU-ID® certification logo. The badge indicates that the plant-based ingredients in that product have been sufficiently tested for quality and purity. Some other top logos to look out for are those of NSF International, ConsumerLab and United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

5. Check for Reviews about the Product

Most times, it is advisable to look beyond the information on a product label. For the sake of safety and the benefit of the doubt, do a little research on the product you intend to buy. Read through the experience of previous buyers who have used the product. At this stage, it is best to search for reviews by third-party dietary supplement certification organizations and services. Their report contains reliable information about a product’s potency, quality and purity. For example, ConsumerLab.com is a top third-party supplement analyzer. Their review helps you to compare similar products and come to a fair understanding of what the product does.  

6. Speak To A Qualified Medical Practitioner

Do not take a health risk. If you have any doubt in the steps listed above, please discuss your question with a health care provider.

More importantly, if you fall into any of the below-listed categories, please ensure you speak with a health care provider before taking a dietary supplement. Doing this will ensure the product is safe for you to avoid any negative interactions/complications.

  • Pregnant woman
  • Breastfeeding mother
  • Persons with allergy
  • Persons on existing medication.
Michael Yeung
Author: Michael Yeung

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