Supplements can be an incredible addition to your life. Every day more and more research is done on numerous superfoods to see how and if they provide a benefit to our health. Many plants, like turmeric have had over 700 studies done to test the effectiveness of this incredible plant. Taking a supplement is often done out of a necessity. Maybe someone is not able to consume adequate recommended intakes due to an illness and so a multivitamin is recommended. Others are looking for natural ways to decrease inflammation throughout the body. Many others take supplements because they have a desire to eat better, but just can’t consume the 5-9 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily. The right supplements can do all of these things.
When choosing which supplements to take it is important to do your homework on them first. Look at the ingredient list that are put on the supplement and make sure you know why they are included. For example, many companies put caffeine or caffeinated green tea into numerous of their products. They want you to “feel good” even when taking something not designed for energy. So check the ingredient list so you know what you are taking.
Next, look into the company that you are purchasing from. Does the company take pride in who their manufacturers are? Is this stated on their label or website? Read up to be sure that the company is in good standing with the FDA and is also cGMP (current good manufacturing procedures) certified. Companies that go through the rigorous testing for both of these tests can be assure you that 100% of what they put on the label is what you are taking. When supplement companies lack in their quality ultimate it means wasted $ for the consumer and possible damage to your health
Why Research and Ingredients Matter
No one should ever take a supplement just because it’s the popular pill on the market. In the mid-90s a supplement called ephedra (or fen phen) was a popular weight loss pill. People were loving it because it gave them energy and helped them lose weight quickly. But ephedra was soon pulled by the FDA off stores shelves because it was causing insomnia, heart attacks, and even death. 15 people died from using the untested herbal supplement ephedrine.
Here are some guidelines for supplement research:
- Are there scientific studies that help prove the supplement is beneficial and/or safe?
- Does the supplement have negative interactions with prescriptions or other herbs you currently take?
- What does trusted sites in the medical community (Mayo Clinic, University of Maryland Medical Clinic, Drugs.com, etc) say is the safest recommended dosage for your age, gender and medical conditions?
- Can the supplement cause allergic reactions?
- What side effects can the supplement cause at what amounts?
Some Companies are Duping Consumers
Self research on supplements doesn’t end there. You also need to research the supplement company. In early 2015, the New York State attorney general’s office demanded that several popular herbal companies remove their products from the shelves. The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies. This came after testing found that many of the supplements contained houseplants, powdered rice and other ingredients that were not on the label, and also didn’t have any benefits proven by scientific research. How could this happen? And how many people purchase supplements from their grocery stores? All supplement companies are not created equal.
Supplements are not regulated by the FDA and are regulated by the US government as dietary supplements. Unless the company does voluntary FDA inspection and abides by cGMP policies, dietary supplements are not held to the same standards as prescription drugs and the final product is not inspected for purity or researched to see if the product meets its claims.
This means a company can start making products, fill the pills with any type of ingredients they like, put a label on it and sell it as anything they want. Even though label misrepresentation is illegal, many companies get away with wrong-doing for many years without being caught. This doesn’t mean that, as a consumer, all hope is lost. Good, reliable supplements can be found. It just take a little bit of homework to find a company that has the same standards that you do.
How to Find Supplements That Contain Science Based Ingredients
Here are some guidelines for finding supplement companies that can supply quality ingredients. When choosing supplements and purchasing products always important to check ingredient content, first and foremost. Supplements need a small amount of a filler to help the machines run smoothly, but this can be a natural source such as vegetable stearate. Be sure to avoid supplements that put enhancers like caffeine in them.
Second, choose products that are developed in the US. Other countries do not hold the same standards as the US for quality control during supplement manufacturing. Check to make sure that the website or label clearly states this.
Third, watch out for products that make unattainable claims such as “lose 10 pounds in 1 week.” Companies that make outrageous claims are not trustworthy.
Forth, when choosing a supplement company, make sure they’re an honest company that carry out current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). CGMP refers to the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CGMPs provide for systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities. Adherence to the CGMP regulations assures the identity, strength, quality, and purity of drug products by requiring that manufacturers of medications adequately control manufacturing operations.
Brilliant Way’s Commitment to Quality
Brilliant Ways partners with one of the nation’s largest manufacturing facilities. Every one of Brilliant Way’s products are produced in house, spec sheets are reviewed, and products are inspected and tested every step of the way. Our product developers also have the FDA in hous every month, and the company holds by cGMP standards. You can be assured that all of Brilliant Way’s ingredients contain 100% of what our label says. Brilliant Way’s commitment to quality is unlike any other company on the market.