The Wall Street Journal released an article that brought to light concerns surrounding the supplement industry. I personally 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 around a study that found two illegal and two unknown substances 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 is an issue for all all supplements even for the ones that stamp, "all natural", or Organic on the label.
Supplements can effectively be used to fill nutritional gaps so here are 3 tips that can help you eliminate chances of problems from negligent supplement companies:
Quality and Freshness of Product Matters
Stay away from companies that promise miracles on their website, in catalogues, in commercials or advertisements, or in in‐store promotions. Examples would be promises to make you smarter or thinner, to keep you young, to increase or decrease the size of various body parts, and so forth, should raise a red flag. Manipulation of statistics or intentionally distorting research findings in an attempt to mislead you is pure unethical and powered by marketing and typically not backed by real science.
Lastly, look for misspelling of terms; confusion of milligrams, grams, and micrograms; and omission on labels of important or required information are clear indicators of the manufacturer’s ignorance and negligence.
Confirm Ingredients that are Listed on the Container
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 search on 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 the ingredients consistent with those stated on the label; that the supplement has been 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.)
Demand and Expect Product Accountability
Want to know how easy it is to obtain information about the product? Before purchase look for a phone number on the label so you can call with questions or to report side effects. On websites, look for a domestic address and phone number, in addition to an email contact. What type of response do you get from a knowledgeable company, or is the only person available someone who reads a scripted response?
If you’re 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 be asked about supplements is always a great tool as well. If you have any questions or are ready to simply start a new health journey that separates yourself away from average doer and consumer, Book your fitness consultation now!
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