The New York Times published an article earlier this year explaining how the New York State Attorney General in the U.S. accused major retailers of fraudulently labeling several of their supplements. These supplements included gigko biloba, ginseng, valerian root, St. John’s wort, and more.
It was also discovered that some stores were not even including the additives on the ingredient list of the supplements. That sort of practice is very concerning, particularly because so many people take supplements regularly to ensure they are getting all they need from their diets.
Over 50% of adults in the United States take supplements, and almost one third of the population in Australia and the United Kingdom do. Over time, our diets and bodies change, and it is often necessary to take a supplemental form of the vitamins and minerals we can’t get from food in order for us to work at our highest levels.
Making Sense of the Confusing Shelves
Supplements themselves can be very confusing at first. There are shelves and shelves at retail stores that stock nutritional products that are overloaded with every vitamin in the alphabet, from Vitamin A to Zinc.
Many of us feel overwhelmed just looking at the supplement section! The products have different doses, formulations, and percentages on their labels.
Helpful Tips to Navigate Supplements
The first and most important tip we have to offer is to make your best attempt to get enough nutrients from your diet before relying on supplements. We know that is not always possible, so here are some easy to follow tips to help you navigate the seemingly overwhelming world of supplements:
- Checking the reputation of the brand manufacturer, their suppliers, and their record of quality is helpful, but what is most important is what is actually in the supplement.
- Buy drugs at drug shops and health foods at health food stores.
- Do your own research. To receive the optimal benefits from supplements, there are specific dosages for specific people, at specific frequencies and durations.
- Take care when reading the labels. Choose a supplement based on what you’ve found in your research and not just what the label advertises.
- If you’re looking for specific nutrients, add the phrases “most bio available” or “most absorbable form” to your search.
- Reach out to a natural health care practitioner who can make the best recommendations for you.
Don’t forget to give us a call! When it comes to you reaching optimal health, we can help!