Dietary supplements are very popular, and that is why you can easily find them at grocery stores, drugstores, etc. A range of those products is really wide, including single nutrients, multivitamins, fiber, fatty acids, minerals, extracts, protein powders antioxidants, weight loss aids, energy drinks and others. So how to choose the right dietary supplement? It is manufacturer’s responsibility to supply safe products, and the FDA will only get involved if a certain problem occurs. Below you will find five useful tips on how to choose dietary supplements.
#1. You need to have a clear idea of what you need
The main purpose of dietary supplements is to ensure the needed intake of certain nutrients. Also, specific supplements can be used for treatment of certain health problems. For instance, vitamin D and calcium are helpful for osteoporosis, and iron can be used for anemia. Your healthcare provider will recommend the supplements and dosages.
If you believe that you need to take certain supplements, you should consult a healthcare provider. Do not diagnose a health problem yourself based on books or online sources. If you want to use supplements to prevent illnesses, you should know that a range of studies has not found supplements to be effective this way.
#2. Improve your label reading skills
Labels usually have an eye-catching design to attract your attention. Manufacturers have to follow certain rules regarding health claims, but in reality you may read their claims that are not true. That is why you should not believe everything written on a label. Probably, the more benefits are listed, the greater are the chances that they are false. You can not only waste your money on such products, but also encounter serious health problems.
You should not trust the claims published on the label, but you can check the ingredients and the Supplement Facts chart. This is the only right way to understand what you are really going to buy. It is also important to check if there are the name and contact information of the manufacturer.
#3. Avoid high doses and extra ingredients
For instance, you just want to purchase a bottle of vitamin C, but when you look at goods at a store, you will see a plenty of products with vitamin С and something else. You may think that it is a good idea to have additional benefits, but extra ingredients increase the risk of side effects. That is why you should purchase just a bottle of vitamin C that you really need. You should not buy more than you wanted initially.
Another thing you should pay your attention to is dosage. You should not take supplements in higher dosage than recommended on the label. Dietary supplements are considered to be safe, but if you take too much of them, you may experience severe health problems.
#4. Choose a well-known brand
You should choose brands of dietary supplements that have been around for years. Good brands care for their reputation, and that is why the chances to purchase a low-quality product from them are lower. If you are not sure what to choose, you should ask someone for advice. It is also recommended to find the needed information before you actually go to the store. If you find a product that you have doubts about, do not buy it until you find the needed information about it.
Also, you should pay your attention to the goods certified by The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, ConsumerLabs or NSF International. Although these organizations cannot guarantee the safety or effectiveness of the product, they confirm that it has undergone testing for quality.
#5. How to buy supplements online safely
It is very convenient to purchase products on the Internet for many reasons. You will find a plenty of websites offering supplements, but it is important to make sure that you are dealing with a reliable vendor. Do not buy products that promise miraculous results, such as quick weight loss, cures for diseases, outstanding sexual performance, etc. You want to find a website with real information about the products. Also, you should make sure that you can easily contact their customer support.
Finally, do not buy products without consulting your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have certain health problems, use other medications, or if you are going to have surgery.