There are a number of dietary supplement companies that are in business for one reason only, to make money. That’s not to say there aren’t some good products out there, but there is a cottage industry of just selling these type of items that don’t really have supplement companies the science or research behind them to back up their product claims. A quick internet search of a particular term such as “natural dietary supplements” or “herbal dietary supplements” will turn up millions of websites. So how do you know which ones are reputable and which are not? Here are some tips:
The US National Library of Medicine has done extensive research on dietary supplements. They’ve looked at hundreds of studies on all sorts of dietary supplement products. One of the most important things they’ve found is that the results of many studies on dietary supplements vary greatly. In other words, some studies show benefits, but other studies show no effects or none at all.
Another important thing to look for is the way the supplement is taken. When you take a vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, or other supplement, it will be broken down into smaller, more easily absorbable molecules. In order for those molecules to reach their target destinations, they need to be broken down. In short, if a supplement capsule doesn’t include a cohesive soft gel capsule, it’s a safe to consume capsule.
Look at the way the supplement is packaged. The packaging should include a complete labeling explanation, with complete ingredient and quantity information. In addition to the ingredients, the package should also clearly indicate when the supplement was created, when it was manufactured, and how long it’s been on the market. This information should be provided by all major nutritional supplements companies, regardless of whether they are large multi-national corporations or a small startup company.
Finally, look for nutrient dense hard gels and soft gels that do not add additional calories but rather provide the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that the supplement is supposed to provide. If a supplement is filled with a combination of different types of nutrients, then you are wasting your money. By using the proper combination of hard gels and soft gels, you can get the most nutritional supplements available in a convenient capsule form.
Finding a supplement that fits all of these criteria is not difficult, but it does require some time. Most dietary supplements do not have to meet the strict regulations that nutraceuticals do. If the supplement has not been thoroughly tested, or has not been regulated by the FDA, you might want to look elsewhere for your multivitamin. Luckily, there are many quality, natural, and safe private label supplements available.