FDA forced recalls, they’re common in the supplement world.
For instance, Sundial Herbal Products recently underwent a mandatory recall of all their products. Why? Sundial supplements claimed to be able to cure cancer, diabetes, and other major illnesses. However, the claims were completely false. Sadly, countless consumers put off seeing a doctor because they thought Sun Dial’s products were all they needed.
If you’re considering using supplements to enhance your fitness routine then this article’s for you. We’ll review the top tips for choosing dietary supplements from reputable suppliers. From third-party lab tests to reliable reviews, we’ll show you everything you need to know to make a wise purchase.
Read on to learn how to buy supplements, the right way.
- Talk to Your Doctor
Before you start choosing dietary supplements online, you should schedule a visit with your primary healthcare provider. Let your doctor know that you’re considering using supplements, and ask if they have any medical advice. Your doctor may have alternative options to using supplements, that could help you reach your health goal faster.
Next, find out if any of the medications you’re currently taking are at risk of interfering with common supplement ingredients. Lastly, you’ll want to avoid overloading your system, by taking a supplement that has a vitamin your body already has enough of.
For instance, nerve damage, hair loss, cramps, and fatigue, are all common side effects when you take too much vitamin c or selenium. Instead of overloading your body, have your doctor order a blood test so you know exactly what your vitamin levels are.
- Define Short-Term and Long-Term Fitness Goals
After visiting with your doctor, the next step is to get specific about your health goals. Are you looking to build muscle? How about losing weight? Do you need a supplement to boost your energy levels? The more specific you can be about your fitness goals, the easier it’ll be for you to find the perfect product.
Set Realistic Timelines
Once you know what your fitness goals are, take a moment to set realistic timelines. You may have to do a little bit of research to find out how long it normally takes people to reach your specific goal.
For instance, let’s say you’re looking to lose weight. After a bit of research, you’ll see that experts suggest losing 1-2 pounds a week is a safe amount.
- Watch Out for Fake Claims
Researching your fitness goals will make it easy for you to spot fake claims. For instance, if a supplement promises to help you lose 1-2 pounds overnight, you’ll know they’re lying.
If the supplement is capable of helping you shed weight that quickly, you can guarantee it’s at the cost of your overall wellbeing. Instead, you’ll want to focus on buying supplements for diets, that promote fat burning, without making false claims.
Here are a few more fake claims to watch out for:
- Promise to cure or prevent cancer
- Claim to prevent or cure COVID
- Ability to fight off Alzheimer’s
All of the claims on the list above are flat out lies. If a supplement is making promises that you don’t think add up, report it to the FDA immediately.
Free Trial or Identity Theft?
Lastly, watch out for companies that offer a “free trial”. If the supplement’s a good one, the company isn’t going to be giving it away for free. Unfortunately, “free trials”, are usually a scam in one way or another.
First, it’s possible the product your buying is so ineffective, they can afford to give it away. Another possible scam can happen when the company requires you to pay a “small shipping fee”. However, after getting your credit card info and shipping address, the scammers charge you for bulk orders of the supplement you were supposed to get for free.
- Be Wary of Misleading Terms
Research is underway? Not okay.
Watch out for labels on products that claim they’re currently undergoing research. When a company states that the research is pending, or underway, it’s a nice way of saying they don’t know as much as they should about their product. You could wind up taking a supplement, only to later find out that it’s either ineffective or harmful.
Natural Isn’t Natural
Next, be wary of supplement companies that use the term, “all-natural” or “natural ingredients”. The FDA and USDA, haven’t created a firm legal definition for the word natural. That means supplement companies can decide what they consider to be natural or not. As a result, the word natural is meaningless and doesn’t tell you anything helpful about the supplement.
When you see words like, “immunity blend”, or “supports the immune system”, it makes you feel good about the supplement you’re buying. The truth is that supplement companies can state their product boosts immunity, as long as it contains specific vitamins. However, it doesn’t mean that the company has tested their product’s effectiveness at boosting your immunity.
The herbal supplement Airborne’s a great example of a company making false claims. Airborne originally claimed their product could fight off colds, even though there wasn’t any proof their supplement could fulfill this promise. The company eventually agreed to pay a $23.3 million class-action lawsuit, and changed the wording to “boosts immunity” rather than “fights off colds”.
- USA Based Productions
Next, one of the safest ways to buy supplements online is by only purchasing from companies that produce their products in the United States. For instance, you can find sarms for sale at Chemyo, and all of their solutions are made in a clean facility in America.
When you buy from a USA-based facility, you can rest assured that their manufacturing practices are held to FDA standards. FDA standards hold companies to high cleaning standards, as well as strict batch testing requirements. Another reason to buy from USA-based facilities is the legal side of things.
Let’s say you buy a supplement from a manufacturing company based out of another country. If you experience negative side effects, from the supplement, or never receive your supplement shipment, you won’t have any legal recourse. Since other countries don’t have to abide by the rules set forth by the FDA, they don’t have to answer to any type of liability claims or lawsuits.
- Health Conscious Ingredients To Look For
If you decide to go with a combination formula, you’ll want to know what ingredients are helpful. Here’s a shortlist of good ingredients found in some supplements:
- Vitamin B-12
Of course, vitamin D, calcium, and zinc are also helpful ingredients to include in either a combination or proprietary blend formula. Vitamin D is great at helping your body absorb more calcium, which does wonders for the health of your bones. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, you could start experiencing problems such as back pain, and bone and hair loss.
Magnesium is another wonderful supplement ingredient since this nutrient can help reduce stress. To get the full benefits magnesium has to offer, you have to consistently take it for a few months.
Look for Single Ingredient Products
Whenever possible, it’s best to buy single-ingredient supplements. When you buy single-ingredient supplements, it’s more likely you’ll be getting exactly what’s listed on the label. When you buy combination formulas, it’s more difficult for you to determine if you’re meeting your recommended daily intake for specific vitamins.
- Dangerous Fillers To Avoid
Now that you know the good ingredients to seek out, let’s talk about the ones you should avoid when choosing dietary supplements. It’s common for supplement companies to use additives and fillers, and not all of them are bad.
Fillers are used as flow agents, allowing the supplement to pass through the manufacturing machines, without clogging up the equipment. The filler also helps your supplements look and taste better.
However, you should avoid supplements that use these ingredients:
- Magnesium stearate
- Titanium dioxide
- Silicon dioxide
- Propylene glycol
- Stearic acid
- Microcrystalline cellulose
- Vegetable gum
Some of the fillers on the list above are unfavorable because they don’t offer any nutritional value. However, other fillers, like titanium dioxide, pose a threat to your health.
Titanium dioxide production is increasing, with over 5 million tons produced since 2005. A lot of supplement companies use titanium dioxide because of its ability to make supplements look white. However, research is unveiling potential connections between consuming titanium dioxide and health issues such as stomach cancer, and organ toxicity.
Additives To Steer Clear Of
What additives should you steer clear of? For starters, watch out for supplements that claim they use, “artificial flavors”. Both artificial, and natural flavors, usually come from unhealthy sources.
High-fructose corn syrup, flavor enhancers, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are all examples of flavor sources that won’t compliment your fitness regime. For instance, high fructose corn syrup can increase inflammation, and lead to problems like cancer and heart disease.
Next, watch out for supplements that use lead or mercury. Fish oils are notorious for containing trace amounts of mercury. To ensure you’re getting a safe product, only buy supplements that undergo third-party testing.
- Do They Have a Third Pary Verification?
The best supplement provider will have their products tested by a third party. The lab tests can verify the contents of the supplement, its purity, as well as testing for any foreign substances.
On top of undergoing third-party testing, the supplement company should also provide consumers with copies of the lab reports. We suggest looking for products that list their lab tests on the supplement label, as well as their website.
- Is the Website User Friendly?
What does the supplement companies website look like? Does the site look outdated, or is it user-friendly, with easy-to-navigate pages, and quality information?
If a supplement company’s website looks questionable, chances are their product’s not up to par. Instead, hold out for a website that can answer all of your questions, while also providing you with a way to contact the company.
Reputable supplement companies want to talk to their consumers and will make it easy to do so. It’s a big plus if the company also has an active social media account.
Browsing the site will also help you get exact prices for setting your dietary supplement budget. Finally, find out the company’s policy on deliveries. The best companies will be able to offer you a delivery guarantee.
- Read the Right Online Customer Reviews
It’s common to find customer testimonies on the supplement providers’ website. However, if you want an honest review, you’ll need to find out what people are saying about the product, off the website. Take the name of the supplement, and do a quick search for online customer reviews.
Read Recent Reviews
If you read a review from 2 years ago, it’s possible the supplement companies already changed their proprietary blend. As a result, you’ll essentially be reading reviews for a product that doesn’t exist anymore. However, if you filter your search to only includes results from the last year or 6 months, you’ll find relevant reviews.
Finally, when you’re reading the customer’s reviews, don’t let 1 or 2 bad experiences scare you away. Instead, look for trends in complaints. If you see the same complaint 5 or more times, it’s likely something you should be concerned about.
Start Choosing Dietary Supplements
Now you know how to start choosing dietary supplements, that won’t jeopardize your health! Every step you take towards improving your health is one you can be proud of!
Take the first step today by calling your doctor to schedule an appointment. Let your doctor know what your health goals are, and get their advice as to whether or not supplements will help you reach them.
Are you ready to learn more tips like these? Then read another one of our articles.