What to Consider When Buying Health Supplements
Have you been taking health supplements? One thing’s for sure: you’re not alone. About a third of children and two-thirds of adults take at least one vitamin and mineral product every single day. But fact is, not all health supplements are as trustworthy as you’d wish they were. Some don’t contain the ingredients listed on their labels, while other do contain the ingredients but in lower, less significant amounts. In short, you have to be careful when choosing the supplements you take.
Here are five helpful tips you can keep in mind when buying a health supplement product:
Review the label.
Reading the label is always the first step, because it is your window to what’s inside. It gives you a picture of what the quality of the supplement is like.
Check for certification.
First off, look for “USP” or United States Pharmacopeia. Below this, you’re supposed to find “GNP” or Good Manufacturing Practices. If a product is both USP and GNP-certified, it means that it has satisfied FDA regulations and has been tested bottle to bottle for consistency.
Check the price.
Usually, cost and quality are directly proportional to each other, though the cheapest is still not automatically the best. Obviously, certification requires a good amount of money, and not all supplement makers want to make that investment. Among the reasons behind a high-quality product being higher in cost is that the company allots a bigger budget for quality control. But again, while the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best, neither is the highest-priced.
Find out the other ingredients.
Good quality health supplements don’ have more than five items on their ingredient list. If there’s more, be careful. Also stay away from artificial flavors, added sugars, dyes and colors.
Check for potential allergens.
Some common types of food that a lot of people are allergic to are seafood, peanuts, wheat and dairy. A high quality supplement’s label will include a list of allergens that are not found in the product.
Choose your source wisely.
Aside from the product itself, you should also take time to assess the quality of the source. For example, if you’re buying online, do some research on the website before placing your order. Read customer reviews, but stick to reputable third-party consumer websites for credibility. If you’re buying offline, choose a store that is likely to stock fresh and guaranteed authentic products. There can be a huge difference between a product purchased from a dedicated health shop and one from a convenience store.
Lastly, do spend time researching on the various products available to you, as well where you can get them best. Compare prices but never choose based on price alone.
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