There are around 90,000 products for dietary supplements on the market, generating billions of dollars every year. According to a survey by Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), 68% or more of Americans consume dietary supplements.
Dietary supplements are pills, tablets, or capsules containing vitamins, herbs, minerals, or amino acids, but not all dietary supplements are made the same.
Myth 1: Supplements are held to the same standard as drugs
Generally, drugs are considered unsafe until proven otherwise, and vice versa for supplements. Vitamin based products are usually regulated as supplements, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dietary supplements tend to be treated more as a special food and don’t go through the same safety regulations that drugs do. However, they may receive registration of having a Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) by the NSF International body, ensuring that they’re produced according to the standards that prescriptions medicines adhere to.
Always buy supplements whose manufacturers follow the GMP guidelines.
Myth 2: Ingredient labels are always correct
According to a study, the quantities of melatonin were drastically different in supplements than what was stated on the labels. The actual quantities ranged from 83% less to 478% more than the declared concentration. Excess consumption of chemicals or minerals can be debilitating for your health.
Do thorough research before committing to a certain brand.
Myth 3: ‘Natural’ supplements always contain organic ingredients
Consumers tend to believe that supplements with ‘natural’ written on the label make it safer for consumption. The FDA doesn’t have an official definition for ‘natural’, and they consider it to be anything that doesn’t contain artificial or synthetic.
Call or email the manufacturer of your chosen supplements to find out what they mean by ‘natural’ and what the supplement really contains. If they’re hesitant about giving you that information, consider it a red flag.
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