3 Ways to Find Quality Supplements
Let’s be honest. The supplement industry is marred with controversy, false advertising, and skepticism. The fact that the industry contributes $121.6 billion to our economy, yet remains largely unregulated by the FDA, speaks volumes. This essentially means anyone can produce a supplement, and with creative and attractive marketing and entrepreneurship, begin to infiltrate households and bodies in order to make money.
This Fox News Report sums up the level of FDA involvement in supplements:
“in a general sense, dietary supplements fall under the purview of the FDA – where there are regulations that pertain to labeling and “claims.” However, when it comes to the measurement of safety and effectiveness – as prescription drugs must do – it is not the same. The FDA does not ensure potency, purity or biologic activity of the ingredients in dietary supplements. There is no registration or clearance by the FDA before a dietary supplement goes on the market.”
How do you know if you’re buying clean, high value and quality supplements?!
Your body is your temple, after all.
For many years, I’ve ingested supplements that were popular and recommended by nutrition websites or friends. Each appeared safe, with attractive packaging and enticing marketing efforts. All the while, without having a genuine way to identify if the supplement represents what the label claims, whether the ingredients are safe to ingest, and ultimately whether it will take me closer to my goals.
Below are 3 resources I always use before making an informed quality supplement purchase. The first two are comprised of trusted professionals who conduct independent research in laboratories to get to the bottom of the questions you need answered. Let them guide your decision-making, as opposed to blindly picking up something off the shelf with the best colors or supposed best “ratio of macronutrients.”
Will these recommendations occasionally contradict other sources of information out there? Certainly. But you’ll find that essentially EVERYWHERE in the nutrition and supplement world. The industry is in CONSTANT FLUX. What’s important is to stay on top of the current information as best as possible by doing your due diligence. You can rest easy knowing you’re making an informed decision, based off of current, independent studies rather than conjecture or what works anecdotally.
We do not personally work with any of the websites/companies below. Our mission is to spread information we recognize isn’t readily available, to increase your awareness and work toward more optimal comprehensive health.
1. Examine.com: Identify WHICH Supplements You Need
Founded in 2011, this is an independent analysis supplement website with its origins in frustration regarding a lack of unbiased information on supplements! Their goal from Day 1 has been to read the research, make sense of it, and put it online. That’s it.
Their team includes medical doctors, researchers, professors and pharmacists. And it’s all…FREE! You’ll learn an immense amount and dispel a plethora of rumors, just by reading through this site on occasion. There are hundreds of supplements and general nutrition concepts reviewed, waiting for you.
I recommend creating a document or spreadsheet with the supplement/nutritional concept in one column, followed by “outcome” and “why.” This allows you to review the recommendation in the future (yes or no), and understand WHY when someone tells you differently.
2. Labdoor.com: Identify WHICH BRAND of Quality Supplements You Need
Model: they secretly buy product samples from standard retail stores, test each product at an FDA-registered lab, and generate rankings by data analysis (rather than user reviews).
They uncover whether products have what the label actually claims, and if any harmful ingredients or contaminants are present. Shocking results are common.
What products do they grade?
3. Consult with a Trainer / Nutritionist / Dietician
Find a consultant within the health industry that uses science to make informed decisions. Notice how medical doctors aren’t on this list. Shocking to most, physicians receive a frightening lack of nutritional education during medical school. A 2006 study revealed medical students receive an average of only 23.9 hours of nutritional coursework…TOTAL! With a range of 2-70 hours! This is unfathomable considering prevention should be at the forefront. As a result, you’re better off consulting with a personal trainer, nutritionist or dietician regarding this information. Pick their brain and see what their stance is.
Remember though, it’s still one individual standpoint. Consider the source, corroborate the information, and make an informed decision. It’s great to consider multiple opinions but at the end of the day, you have to make a choice that impacts your life.
I work with clients one on one to guide choices and teach them how to integrate supplementation into their lives, alongside a consistent training and nutrition regime. If you’re interested in learning more, let’s work together.
Make decisions based on science – not what a half-naked person says on Instagram. I’m not condemning the act of being half-naked on Instagram…I’m challenging you to look further for information regarding what you’re putting in your body.
If you follow us on Instagram, we have a Supplement Spotlight series that highlights supplement science. Check us out at @fortodaysman!
Wishing you and your families a very fulfilling holiday season!