With all the conflicting and ever changing information out there about supplements , understanding which ones you might benefit from and then which companies you can trust to actually provide you with a safe formulary that is what truly what they say it is on the bottle can be a daunting endeavor. There are so many supplements lining up on the shelves in the markets, let alone on the web. Most of us know that in the United States supplements are not regulated like drugs so it is entirely up to us to make sure we are choosing safe products that actually contain what they say they do. There are many really high quality products available but unfortunately there are also a great deal of poor quality and even dangerous products out on the market.
Here are some really good questions to ask yourself before purchasing any given supplement:
1. Does the company perform testing on every batch of supplements for safety and quality assurance or do they do skip batch testing, quality assurance on only a percentage of the supplements they produce?
2. Is the supplement GMP certified? Look for assurance of Good Manufacturing Practices.
3. Does the company have a scientific and advisory staff? If so what are their credentials?
4. Is the product USP certified for disintegration time, strength, quality and purity?
5. Are the ingredients coming from the USA or are they imported and at much higher risk for metal contamination?
6. Are there as few as possible excipients ? (inactive ingredients that are there to fill space, taste better, bind) Professional and high quality brands tend to have as few extra ingredients as possible.
7. Does the company participate in third party independent assays by research groups such as Consumer Labs after production?
8. Does the company do regular safety studies and reviews?
9. Are products certified according to industry standards by NPA National Products Association or NSF National Safety Association?
The supplements with the worst safety records are those that are marketed for weight loss, ergonomic aids and sexual enhancement .
Highest quality products that are available through health care professionals include (but are not limited to) Metagenics, Thorne, Integrative Therapeutics, Douglas Labs, ProThera/Klaire Labs, Designs for Health, Xymogen, Orthomolecular Products, Neuroscience.
High Quality retail lines include Nordic Naturals, Natures Way, Enzymatic Therapy, Jarrow, Megafood, New Chapter, NOW, Carlson, Herb Pharm and Gaia Herbs.