How to Choose Good Dietary Supplements

Any shopper who walks into a grocery store, health food store, pharmacy or searches online is confronted with thousands of dietary supplements. How does a consumer know what to choose?

Listed below are some questions to ask when choosing good dietary supplements:

1. What information is printed on the label?

The label should indicate the names of the nutrients and the amounts contained, the forms used for the ingredients, and the number of tablets. The label should also provide you basic information about the company (address, contact information), recommended dosage, manufacturing dates, and expiration others.

2. How reliable is the supplement company?

There are several factors to check about the supplement manufacturer:

Is the supplement manufactured under good manufacturing practice, GMP?

Does the manufacturing process eliminate the risk of product contamination or incorrect labeling?

Were the supplements tested independently for purity and strength?

Does the manufacturer have good quality control?

Is information freely available on the company website or in the product literature?

Does the company have a customer service phone number or department and are they willing to answer questions?

3. How many products does the company offer?

It there is only one item, the company may not have a full range of supplements that can work together in a complementary fashion. They may also just produce one product to cash in on the current fad. If the company has a wide range of products, they probably have a lot of knowledge about combinations of supplements that work well together. Those companies are automatically copying the synergistic elements found in nature.

4. How is the supplement being delivered to the consumer?

Is the supplement in a pill, powder or liquid? Often a pill is too compressed to dissolve easily in the stomach and it passes through without being adequately digested. The label should state that the tablets meet the USP dissolution standards and so they will dissolve in the stomach. An even better choice is a supplement that is manufactured in a powder form that can be mixed with water. This kind of supplement is very easily absorbed in the small intestine.

5. How knowledgeable about the supplement are the workers at the store?

A store that sells quality supplements usually has staff that is knowledgeable about the products. They can guide customers toward the right products based on the customer’s needs. If the worker can not explain why one particular supplement is better than another or how they are different, then the manager should be consulted, the literature in the box perused, or the company website investigated.

The recommendations of friends or relatives can certainly provide some point of reference but the information provided by experts is more trustworthy. Anecdotal information cannot be verified or substantiated. Since each person body is different, the results might not be the same for each person.

Supplements are valuable and necessary additions to good nutrition and healthy living, but they should not be consumed on a whim or without full knowledge of their properties or effects. The purpose of dietary supplements is to enhance health. If the wrong supplements are chosen, they will not perform the way the customer wants them to. Possible ill effects could be suffered and money will certainly be wasted.


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