Categories Advice, Health, How To, Nutrition

Are your dietary supplements helping or hurting you?

When it comes to purchasing and consuming nutritional supplements, quality matters. 

Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. This means that commercial brand supplement companies are not being upheld to quality and safety standards like they should be. As a result, many commercial brand supplements can potentially put you at risk.

These risks include:

  • Supplements that contain harmful additives, fillers, or contaminants. One example would be protein powders that were found to contain lead.
  • Supplements that contain versions of nutrients that are poorly absorbed. There are different forms of different micronutrients. For example, B12 and magnesium. The cheaper forms are less absorbed and in the case of magnesium, can lead to cramping and diarrhea. Another example would be folic acid vs folate. Your body needs to convert folic acid to folate but some individuals are poor converters. In these cases, taking folic acid may actually make them feel worse instead of better.
  • Supplements that don’t contain what they say they do. Some may be lacking the amount of the nutrients that they claim, or possibly may not contain those nutrients at all.
  • Supplements that contain inaccurate labeling and contain potential allergens.

When purchasing supplements it’s important to know who to trust and what to look for. Here are my top recommendations:

  • Purchase professional grade supplements only. This will guarantee potency, safety and purity of the product. These companies also guarantee the latest science behind formulation and dosage.
  • Purchase directly through the manufacturer or a qualified healthcare practitioner. You will have a professional who can answer any questions that you have about the efficacy of the product, current research studies, clinical findings, and whether or not the supplement is right for you.
  • Look for companies that opt for third party testing. Third party testing ensures that supplements are clean, safe, and contain exactly what they say they do. Companies have to pay for this testing. Since supplements aren’t regulated and this testing isn’t mandated, many companies don’t opt to do it. Professional grade supplement companies pay for third party testing because they stand behind their products and have the safety of their consumers in mind. These supplements may cost a little more as a result, but it’s worth it to know you are purchasing a high quality product.
  • Pay attention to the expiration dates. I have heard stories of clients purchasing from consumer Internet sites like Amazon, only to receive expired products in the mail. There is also no guarantee that your product was stored properly. Think of a probiotic that must be refrigerated. When you buy from sites like Amazon, you have absolutely no way of knowing if that product was stored under the proper conditions. 
  • Know where your supplements are coming from. Supplements should be sold, shipped and tracked directly from where they are being made. A recent news article highlighted the dangers of counterfeit supplements being sold online and branded as professional supplements.
  • Look for the most bioavailable forms of nutrients. These are the forms of a nutrient that will replete deficiencies because your body will absorb it the most.
  • Avoid any products with unnecessary fillers, flavorings, or sugar alcohols that can actually make you feel worse instead of better. The exact opposite of what a supplement is designed to do.

In my practice, I suggest my clients purchase supplements through Wellevate.me. Wellevate only offers professional grade supplements. Safety and purity is guaranteed, the products are third party tested, and they are available directly from the manufacturer. By using Wellevate, you can purchase supplements that are recommended during your nutritional sessions with confidence, versus trying to find similar products in stores and not really knowing if the product is the same. To setup an account, click here

Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash