Early this year, there was an investigation about the biggest retailers of supplements in New York and it was covered by The New York Times. It was found out that almost 80 percent of what is written on the label is not contained on the actual supplement. But as what the supplement industry criticized is that it is because of the method used by the investigating team in testing their supplements.
Supplements is covered with a lot of mysteries and hearsay (who can say if those are true or false?). And I think you should know these 8 fun facts about supplements before you try another OTC supplement.
# 1. Safety and Efficacy Testing is NOT a Requirement
Most of the supplements and vitamins sold in the market today are not tested with its safety and efficacy. Because there is no law that requires those products to be tested before it is allowed to be out in the market. This makes us wonder more if we are really taking a supplements that is truly safe and at the same time effective. I am not talking about all supplements here, but with this fact, it gives anyone the chance to make a new supplements and sell it the next day without even getting it tested. That is the reason why you will have food tasting first before you book the catering company. Then why does these supplements doesn’t get any necessary requirement?
#2. No Regulatory Definition
Another thing about supplements and vitamins is that they don’t have any regulation that says about what really it is all about. There is no definite definition of what vitamin nor is supplement. So you a multivitamin sold by a certain company is totally different from a multivitamin sold by another company.
#3. Two Different Thing
Supplements and vitamins are actually TWO DIFFERENT SUBSTANCES. Supplements pertains to anything taken by mouth that supplements our diet. While vitamins are actually of 13 kinds (vitamins A, C, D, E, K and 8 B vitamins). Vitamins are considered as dietary supplements but not all supplements are vitamins. As of today, there are over eighty thousands dietary supplements sold in the market of United States.
#4. Not made in USA
Most of the ingredients of the supplements and vitamins in the USA are not from United States. Even though these supplements and vitamins are manufactured within the states of America, the ingredients came from the neighboring countries or even from the other side of the map. Surprisingly, many ingredients of these products came from China considering that many Americans are dependent with supplements.
#5. No Definite Rating Scale
It is very difficult to say if a specific supplement is of good quality or not. Merely because of the fact that it very hard to look for any evidence and the fact stated in #1. Fortunately, there are websites that features variety of supplement products sold in the market. They test these products and share their results to the public. There are also independent programs in America that specifically works to test the supplements randomly and shares to everyone which supplement is the most effective and the safest.
#6. May contain actual prescription drug
Yes, it might happen. There might be supplements in the market today that includes actual prescription drug in the supplement even though they don’t put it on the label. The three supplements that this thing can highly can happen are sexual enhancement supplements, body building supplements, and weight loss supplements. There are Chinese supplements that works very well as a replacement for Viagra because it actually contains Viagra. So, you must be very careful about this one.
#7. Too much of something is BAD
Too much is always bad for our body. Even though these supplements can do well to us, too much of these will give bad results. Always check on the label the upper limit dosage and always talk to your doctor about these supplements you are taking. Most especially if you are taking any medicine. It might interact with the current medicine you are taking and might give you negative effects.
#8. Taking it without knowing
Food is the best source of vitamins and minerals. Without you knowing, you are taking those vitamins and minerals that you will be getting when you are taking those supplements. There are instances that you actually don’t need to take any supplements, especially if you are eating the right amount of food and the right kind of food. But there are also cases that supplements are really needed by our body. For example, to prevent birth defects, pregnant mothers should take folic acid supplements.