Taking health supplements? One thing’s for sure: you’re not alone. About a third of children and two-thirds of adults take at least one vitamin and mineral product every single day. But fact is, not all health supplements are as trustworthy as you’d wish they were. Some don’t contain the ingredients listed on their labels, while other do contain the ingredients but in lower, less significant amounts. The short of it is, you have to put a lot of care into choosing which supplements to take.
The following are tips that can help you choose a good health supplement product:
Review the label.
Reviewing the label always the first thing to do because it’s your clue to what’s inside. It offers you a picture of the supplement’s quality.
Look for certification
First, look for the acronoym, USP, which stands for United States Pharmacopeia. Below this, you’re supposed to find “GNP” or Good Manufacturing Practices. If a product is both USP and GNP-certified, it means that it has satisfied FDA regulations and has been tested bottle to bottle for consistency.
Check the price.
Cost and quality are often correlated, although still, that doesn’t make the cheapest the best. Certification obviously costs companies money, and there are supplement manufacturers that would not want to make such an investment. One of the reasons a higher-quality product is more expensive is that it spends more money on quality control processes. But again, while the cheapest isn’t the best, neither is the most expensive.
See what other ingredients are included.
A good health supplement product will not have more than five things listed as ingredients. If you see more, be wary. Also stay away from artificial flavors, added sugars, dyes and colors.
Check for potential allergens.
A lot of people are allergic to peanuts, seafood, wheat, dairy and other types of food. A high quality supplement’s label will include a list of allergens that are not found in the product.
Choose your source.
Besides inspecting the product itself, it’s also important to choose a good source. For example, if you’re buying online, make sure to research the background of the website before you actually place an order. Read customer reviews, but stick to reputable third-party consumer websites for credibility. If you’re buying offline, choose a store that is likely to stock fresh and guaranteed authentic products. There might be a difference between a product bought from a well-known health shop, and one from a quaint furniture shop that also sells health supplements on the side.
Lastly, do spend time researching on the various products available to you, as well where you can get them best. It’s always good to compare prices, but don’t choose a product on price alone.