All Supplements May Not Be Created Equally

Approximately 150 million Americans use dietary supplements. But how do you know you get what you are paying for? One way to make certain what is on the outside of the bottle is actually IN the bottle, is to make sure the product is third party tested.

Third party testing & certification is a quality control process where an independent organization reviews a product to see if it meets certain standards. Verifications differ slightly between agency, but all will test the supplement contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the amounts indicated. They will also test that harmful levels of contaminated such as heavy metals, mold, pesticides and bacteria are not present in their samples.

Here are a few to look for when purchasing supplements:

Consumer Labs

CL evaluates consumer products relating to health, wellness, and nutrition, including, Herbal Product, Vitamins, Minerals and Other Supplements as well as prescription Medications, Sports & Energy Products, Functional Foods, Foods & Beverages as well as Personal Care Products. www.consumerlabs.com

National Science Foundation

NSF tests and certifies a wide variety of products including food, drinking water treatment products and water filters, commercial foodservice equipment, bottled water and nutritional supplements. https://www.nsf.org

US Pharmacopeial Convention

USP not only verifies products such as supplements and medications but also sets national reference. https://www.usp.org/verification-services/dietary-supplements-verification-program

But the above seals certify product quality and amounts; they do not evaluate product integrity.  So before you start shopping for supplement solutions for what ails you, run it past your Physician and Registered Dietitian first. Health professionals will look at your current medications for interactions and review the health claims and current scientific research, to see if the supplement can provide you potential benefits.

But remember to get most of your nutrients from FOOD FIRST!!  No one supplement should replace a health diet full of nutrients from a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and lean protein foods.