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Knowing Where Your Supplements Come From

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Walking into a health food store can be intimidating for a variety of reasons, especially if you are new to “natural health”. The number of different varieties of supplements can be overwhelming if you are not well versed in what certain supplements are used for.  Knowing where your supplements come from is also an important aspect when shopping.

Unfortunately, added to the stress of this, according to some research, now you have to worry not only about what you buy, but whether what you buy actually has what the label says it has inside! A study released earlier this year found that supplements tested from four big box retailers contained little or no trace of the advertised ingredients. Instead, they typically only contained filler products.

Needless to say, to hear this is quite a blow to the credibility of the supplement industry, an industry which already suffers from lack thereof. The supplement industry is not regulated in the same ways the pharmaceutical industry is. For that and other reasons, natural health remedies have always come under fire from the mainstream medical community for being ineffective.

This has not always been without reason. There have been plenty of quacks, snake oil salesmen and charlatans who are always quick to make a buck on supplements that end up proving ineffective, or whose effects may be wildly overstated. Much of the pseudo-science quickly gets debunked. With the advent of the internet, even despite all the misinformation available, it is easy to find good, scientific information on supplements that do work and avoid those that are over-hyped. Regardless, the stigma of supplements as ineffective remains with many doctors and medical professionals.

Supplements are fundamentally different from pharmaceutical grade medicine. Pharmaceutical grade medicines are powerful chemicals that can overpower your body chemistry, or kill pathogenic organisms. And while sometimes they are necessary, they can be deadly when used improperly. Supplements, instead, allow your body to maximize its natural abilities or provide support to your body’s systems. Supplemental effectiveness, however, cannot override bad lifestyle choices, such as diet, sedentariness, or lack of sleep. Conversely, supplements’ effects are compounded when used in tandem with proper diet, exercise and rest.

That said, you still have to be sure that what you are buying is what you are getting.

Walking into a a big box retailer and buying the first thing you see may not be the best way to shop for supplements; if you’ve experienced less than stellar results with supplements, you may simply be buying supplements that do not contain what they say they contain. Do research on the companies whose supplements you buy. Ask companies about their methods or where they source their ingredients. Ask for independent lab results verifying the contents of their supplements. Many purveyors will be happy to provide you that information, because they stand by their products. If they are reticent to provide that information, look elsewhere for your supplements.  Knowing a small bit of where your supplements come from can help your decision making process in the future.

A Note on Sponsors of KTC: All of the sponsors of Know the Cause are vetted so that we can ensure you are always getting the highest quality supplements available. The sponsors of this site and show must meet certain standards of quality and maintain a level of integrity as a company in order to sponsor or advertise with Know the Cause; we do this so that our viewers and readers can rest assured that they are getting what they buy and that what they buy is effective.

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