Ultimately we want to see, and will eventually see, all the great supplement companies not only get their Certified Organic stamp where applicable, but their non-GMO stamp as well. Keep in mind it takes time and money to acquire these certifications, so don’t panic if your favorite supplement that you can’t live without doesn’t have these labels yet.
Trust me, the great supplement companies probably care more about the issues of GMO and the environment than you do. Even though these labels gives the consumer assurance at first glance, they are not the end all to quality and purity.
Are supplements safe?
If you buy from a trusted source like we have posted about in the past, most likely they are already taking many steps like 3rd party raw material testing, in house raw material testing and verification, and batch testing final products. Certificates of analysis will be given to the consumer without hesitation as well. The companies that truly care about you, the planet, and their reputations, are making sure on a daily basis, that their products are safe and pure.
Beware of the media
Many times we hear reports in the media about supplements that get tested by outside agencies and they do not meet label claims, or show undesirable things like high heavy metal content. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Read the actual study yourself. (This includes scientific, university, hospital, and clinical trials.) If the report comes from mainstream media, and you hear it on the TV or radio, make sure before you make a judgment of the findings that you actually read the report yourself. We know the media likes to spin to create news and controversy and many times results are overblown or actually being misreported.
Who did the testing? What do you know about that supposed “lab” that is passing along the latest report? Is it really independent?
Look at the brands and exact products that are being reported on. Where do you buy that brand? At Costco or Wal-Mart? Or from your trusted mom and pop health food store down the street that has been in the supplement industry for decades or alike.
Still have a concern? Call the company. If you can’t get ahold of them, don’t like or trust their answer, don’t buy from them again. Their products may cover an end-cap at your favorite healthy store, but keep in mind marketing is involved even in health food stores, especially the bigger ones!
Realize this: Laws and regulations do exist that supplement companies are required to follow. The great companies go beyond what is required and follow regulation that FDA requires of drugs, or better yet, European standards and requirements that in many cases far surpass the US.
Beware of “Sports Supplements”
In a previous post we touched on the concept of a magic pill. Sports supplements certainly fall into this idea that by taking a supplement, you will be leaner, stronger, and better looking. Sports supplements are notoriously filled with stimulants and false claims. Lookout for pill bottles that are shiny, with bright colors that contain bright colored pills! You will find these in popular supplement stores geared to body builders and fitness enthusiasts, as well as marketed by direct sales/multi-level marketing companies. Most of the time these are filled with ingredients that are less about supporting your health, and more about forcing your body into unnatural states of existence that could throw your body out of balance and be dangerous.
There will probably always be products that pop up, usually finding their way into drug stores, supermarkets and gas stations that are junk, and give the rest of the supplement industry a bad name. Or, on the opposite end, some entity with a lot of money will produce a line of supplements and use most of their money on marketing the hype.
Either way, you need to become an educated consumer and a savvy shopper when it comes to your health. Don’t jump on the “vitamins don’t work and are not safe or regulated” bandwagon either, just look for the best of the best, and you can stay safe and healthy, and reap the health benefits.