There are countless supplements available both online and lining drugstore shelves, all of which are said to help maintain optimal health. Whether promoted to increase immunity, encourage energy, support healthy skin, or offer all the nutrients you need in the convenience of one, easy-to-take multivitamin, there are plenty of positive health claims when it comes to supplements.
Supplements shouldn’t be considered magic capsules that can catapult you to perfect health, but some can be extremely beneficial when combined with a healthy diet and plenty of regular exercise.
Beware Before You Buy: Not All Supplements Are Created Equal
If you’re interested in taking supplements to support your overall wellbeing, it’s vital you know that not all supplements are created equal. While there are plenty of legit companies that sell quality supplements, there are also companies offering supplements that may contain contaminants, fillers, and ingredients that aren’t listed on the product label.
And just like with CBD, there's little federal regulation and oversight where supplements are concerned. This means that supplements aren’t required to go through clinical studies to prove they’re safe, pure, or effective before being sold on the market.
So how do you spot a quality supplement you can trust? If you’re looking for a high quality and effective product, there are a few things you should know before buying any supplement. Check it out.
Top Things To Look For Before Buying Any Supplement
1. Where A Supplement Was Manufactured
Always look for supplements that are crafted in and contain ingredients sourced from the US, the EU, or other places with high growing and manufacturing standards. Avoid any supplements made in China, as there is little regulation and thus supplements are more likely to have inaccurate labels or contain contaminants.
2. Look For Third-Party Testing
Because there’s less regulation regarding supplements than there are for OTC drugs, manufacturers can sometimes get away with inaccurate claims.
This has led to countless products that don’t contain the ingredients listed on the label. The best way to ensure your supplements are really what they say they are and don’t contain any potentially harmful ingredients is by looking for third-party verification.
While you're not going to find a QR code linking to lab results on most supplement boxes, you can look for brands labeled with the NSF International, US Pharmacopeia, Consumer Lab, or Underwriters Laboratory seal. These third-party organizations offer supplement testing to ensure a product contains exactly what it says.
When you take a supplement, you want to ensure that as much of the active ingredients as possible are absorbed by the body. This is referred to as bioavailability, and when it comes to supplements it’s a very big deal. When searching for supplements, you’ll want to ensure you’re receiving the purest, most absorbable form. For example, Joy Organics’ CBD softgels are produced with a process known as nanotechnology that breaks down CBD molecules to smaller particles so they are more easily absorbed by the body.
Similar techniques are used across the vitamin and supplement industry. For instance, with some omega 3 fish oil supplements derived from krill, the fats are encased with phospholipids, which enhances absorption.
How do you spot more absorbable products? When the option is available, choose water soluble products over oil-based ones. Do some research on which delivery method (tincture, softgel, veggie capsule, etc.) and which type of product is most effective for your desired effect. Also, look for terms like “maximum absorption,” "high bioavailability," and “nano-emulsified.”
With every supplement, the variables that affect absorption differ. But a quick Google search should yield results that can send you in the right direction.
4. Choose Organic When You Can
There are several quality supplement companies that might not offer third-party testing. To ensure these supplements are safe, look for those produced with organically-grown ingredients, or even better, look for that USDA badge. While not all ingredients can be sourced organically, with a bit of research, you can find which companies you can trust are those that are transparent in all their practices.
Final Thoughts: What You Should Know Before Buying Supplements
Supplements can be a true boon for supporting optimal health and increased wellness, but only if you’re taking a high-quality supplement. With countless inferior supplements crowding supermarket shelves, it’s imperative to know what to look for before making a purchase.
Knowing where your supplements were sourced, choosing supplements manufactured in the U.S., and insisting on third-party testing are huge. Don’t forget to look for supplements that offer the highest bioavailability possible, so your body absorbs as much of the active ingredient as possible. Doing your due diligence when it comes to supplement shopping will ensure you’re receiving the purest, highest-quality products possible that actually work as they’re intended to.