Major investigations by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have shown that many supplement companies misrepresent the power or utility of their products. If you are considering adding a supplement to your diet, this is exactly the reason why you should learn and study for yourself whether a supplement is legitimate. Here are a few ways you can be sure.
1. Check the product source
Studies continue to show that contamination is a problem across the supplement industry, from weight loss supplements to muscle building supplements. In order to avoid contamination, look at the source of the supplement. It should have information on the company website. Be wary of supplements that make health claims that aren’t supported by research. You’ll want to know about the company selling the product as well and should check to see if the company has a good reputation.
2. Consider all possible supplement effects
Some supplements can have side effects that are more detrimental to your health. For instance, many bodybuilding or weight loss supplements can have unintended or dangerous side effects, in addition to basic questions about product purity. Look for adverse effects on the label of the supplement. Research through forums as well as the product source’s information page to see what potential side effects could be present.
3. Use Google Scholar
With so much misinformation present on social media and different parts of the internet, it’s important to have a source where strong scientific research can be accessed by the general public. Regardless of what level of researcher someone is, Google Scholar is a valuable resource where people can get the facts and access real scientific work. Researching supplement information in Google Scholar can give you access to important research that looks at product efficacy. This will help you understand more of what’s going on behind the scenes.
4. Consider what your body needs naturally
Different supplements work for different needs. For instance, if you’re dealing with some gastrointestinal issues, you would want to look into probiotics. They’ve been tested and proven to improve your health. If a probiotic is rich in microbes from the genus Lactobacillus, you’ll see that these kinds of bacteria are naturally found in the gut microbiome and can have a very positive overall effect on gut health. Looking at each component can help you research how a supplement might help you.
5. Consult a physician
Ask a doctor about the possible risks of certain supplements. Some good questions to ask are: Why is this supplement recommended? How effective is the product? How do I take them? It’s especially useful if the doctor knows your medical history, as your doctor can recommend supplements that are best for your body. Also ask yourself if you can afford to purchase supplements, as they can get be fairly expensive.
6. Check the FDA or NIH
The National Institute of Health reminds consumers that not all supplement products are evaluated by the FDA before their release. It’s critical that you look into the product testing or background to understand possible risks associated with use. There are a lot of sketchy supplements out there, and the FDA or NIH can help you get a better idea of what’s going on with your supplement.
When it comes to heart health or cancer risk, there are a lot of supplements out there that promise beyond what they can deliver. You may not need as many supplements as certain marketing techniques may lead you to believe. Research the source product, see if it’s been evaluated by the NIH or FDA, and consult a doctor. It’s critical to be able to evaluate the real effects of a product and understand its implications for health.
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