Taking health supplements? You sure are 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:
Examine the label.
Reviewing the label always the first thing to do because it’s your clue to what’s inside. It gives you a picture of what the quality of the supplement is like.
Check for certification.
First and foremost, see if you can find any “USP”or United States Pharmacopeia written somewhere. Under this, look for “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.
Look at 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 of course, while the cheapest isn’t always the best you can find, neither is the priciest.
Find out the other ingredients.
A good health supplement product will not have more than five things listed as ingredients. If there’s more, be careful. As well, avoid anything with artificial flavors, colors, added sugars and dyes.
Watch out for potential allergens.
A lot of people are allergic to peanuts, seafood, wheat, dairy and other types of food. On the label of a high quality supplement, there will be a list of allergens it is free from.
Choose your source.
Aside from inspecting the product itself, you should also choose a good source when buying it. For instance, before purchasing online, be sure to check on the website’s background before actually paying for anything. Read reviews but stick to independent third-party websites to ensure credibility. When buying offline, find a store that is likely to sell the freshest authentic stocks. 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.
Finally, spend time knowing about the different products available to you, and where you can get them best. Do compare prices, but don’t choose strictly on cost.