If you're not taking health supplements regularly, you're in the minority. Almost 70% of American adults take some sort of supplement and for good reason. Supplements make for an excellent way to bridge dietary gaps that you may be experiencing from not eating the right foods.
Given how helpful supplements can be, the health supplements online marketplace has exploded with opportunists that are peddling bad, dangerous products. That presents a serious problem for buying beginners that are looking to stock their medicine cabinets.
How can one assess the various types of supplements on the market to ensure that what they're buying is safe to consume? Below, our team shares a handful of helpful tips that can aid you in filtering through options.
1. Know What Supplements You Need
Even if the supplements you buy are manufactured correctly, it doesn't mean you should be taking them. Plenty of people buy health supplements to add certain vitamins/nutrients to their diets that they're already getting enough of through food which creates health complications.
The best way to know which supplements your body needs is to talk to a doctor or nutritionist. They can run tests to determine where deficiencies exist.
2. Understand Conflicts
When you're taking a medication or getting surgery done, doctors will ask which medications you're taking. Questions like that are aimed at avoiding prescribing conflicting medications or asking you to get off of medications that may complicate upcoming procedures.
Believe it or not though, supplements you buy at your local Walmart can create the same sort of conflicts/complications. For example, if you're taking Omega-3's and get surgery done, your blood will be thinner which will increase your risk of excessive bleeding.
Know how everything you're taking interacts with one another and activities you're expecting to partake in. Again, a doctor or nutritionist can help with that assessment.
3. Look for Approvals on Labels
Health supplements online can make wild claims regarding their efficacy. The vast majority of these claims will not be backed by the FDA.
The FDA not approving a supplement doesn't mean that it's bad or that it doesn't work. Having FDA approval though can help you build your confidence in a product.
Another approval to look out for is USP approval. USP approval lets you know that a brand's manufacturing standards were assessed and approved by United States Pharmacopeia.
4. Go With Brands You Know
Popular supplement brands that advertise nationally and are featured widely in stores are easier to trust than niche supplement brands you've never heard of. That's because widely touted supplements have likely been rigorously tested before hitting the market and presently as people continue to consume the product and share their feedback.
Obscure supplement brands, while perhaps good and representative of a great deal, are less market-tested and present more of a risk to your safety.
5. Buy From Reputable, Domestic Sellers
We've seen people buy supplements time and again from international sellers only to get burned by low-quality products that don't conform to domestic safety standards. Do not roll the dice with international supplements, particularly from countries that are not Canada or England.
You can't vouch for other country's supplement manufacturing standards or accountability practices when it comes to punishing manufacturers for putting out faulty products. That inability to vouch raises the odds that you'll receive a dysfunctional or dangerous product.
6. Don't Assume It's Safe Because It Came From Amazon
Amazon is a brand most online consumers trust. Understand though that Amazon does not vouch for the quality of products that are distributed by 3rd party sellers on its platform.
Because of that, do not assume that just because a supplement is selling through the Amazon platform that it has passed any sort of quality standards.
An exception to this would be if you purchased Amazon Basics brand supplements or supplements from other recognizable brands on Amazon that are being sold by its original manufacturer rather than a third party.
7. Read Reviews
Online customer reviews are a great tool you can lean on to assess the quality of health supplements. Simply pop in the name of the supplement/brand you're thinking of buying online and see what you find.
As you assess customer reviews, be wary of reviews that are shared by a product's manufacturer. They have a vested interest in sharing only positive feedback which isn't going to give you an in-depth look into what you're likely to get.
8. Look Out for Red Flag Ingredients
Whether you're trying to buy supplements to feel more energized or to improve sexual performance, there are red flag ingredients that are commonly found in low-quality products you should be on the lookout for. These ingredients change over time and are tracked by the FDA.
You can find the full list of today's red flag ingredients here.
Buying Health Supplements Online Can Be Safe and Easy
After reading this post, we hope you're not turned off by the idea of buying health supplements online. Thousands of people online supplement shop and the vast majority of them get excellent products as a result.
All you have to do to enjoy the same results is exercise the guidelines we've shared with you and sprinkle in your common sense!
The world of health can be confusing. Our team aims to add clarity to the subject of health tips through our write-ups.
If you find yourself in need of more guidance, dive deeper into our content pool to continue fulfilling your need to know!