Follow this 5 step guide when making decisions on your supplement supplier.
I get the same question at least a dozen times throughout the week “ What supplements should I be taking? And how do I know if these supplements are any ‘good’?”
With the supplement industry being over a $30 billion industry in the United States annually, there a TON of questions regarding product legitimacy and importance. This short article will provide YOU, the consumer, the proper back ground information so that you can make a great decision regarding your supplement purchases.
The following steps are very basic, yet very crucial in determining the brand of supplements you should be taking. Of course, supplementation and vitamin intake when at all possible; SHOULD be accomplished through a proper diet and nutrition. But, if this is not an option, supplementing is a must.
1. Do you know where the ingredients come from? Does the person selling you the supplement know where the ingredients come from for that matter? If not, PASS ON IT. You could be getting grounded up catfish oil that is being passed off as Omega 3s. Is this usually the case?-No. But it could be something very less than ideal. Your supplement supplier should know exactly where the ingredients come from. How exact? In our office we know the exact part of the Atlantic Ocean in which our fish are harvested that comprise our Omega 3 supplements. There is a science behind it. If your supplement company doesn’t abide by this science, you might be getting short-changed.
2. Who sells it? What credentials do they have? Have you gotten an old friend text you out of the blue telling you that they have the “newest and greatest, healthiest super-food?” Also, if you want to sell it with them you could make $5,000 a month as a side job? More than likely these products are a part of a for-profit multi level marketing group and it is driven around sales, rather than product quality. When these companies recruit anyone under the sun to sell their product they are just going for numbers and quantity…highly neglecting QUALITY.
Your supplement supplier/salesperson/rep should have some sort of a degree in the associated field that qualifies his/her legitimacy. Would you let an unqualified person off the street fix the brakes in your car? What about put new tires on it? No, you would not. It would be a safety issue if these things were to malfunction..the same applies with your body. If you put stuff in that is not quality, the effects and gains are going to be less than ideal and sometimes harmful. Pass on your friend who just got a side hussel job with no background in nutrition or physiology who is trying to sling you some super-food on the side…they don’t have any qualified measures to be making the important decision on what you put in your body.
Look for a company that works with healthcare professionals only. Such as doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, physicians assistants, etc. By doing so, these companies KNOW that these individuals have the proper physiology and nutrition background to make qualified decisions with their products.
3. Is there any research to back it up? The supplement industry is notoriously under-regulated. Some studies have been done where “big box store supplements” were dissected and the results were horrendous. Some of the supplements didn’t even contain the active ingredient in which it advertised to be the main ingredient….remarkable and discerning. Find a company that has research done on their particular products. Double blind, randomized control trials are the golden standard for supplement studies. Use companies who have their own research done on their own products, instead of someone else’s products from 15 years ago that they are trying to pass off as their own (it happens more than you think).
4. What quality assurance initiatives do they have in place? Most of these supplement companies formulate a bunch of chemical reactions to extract the cheapest possible active ingredient and, presto! You have yourself a supplement. Like previously stated, the quality assurance initiatives in most brands are poor to non-existent. Quality assurance is an absolute must, not only so you get what you pay for; but so that it actually works! I don’t know how many times patients have told me they have been taking the same supplement for “years”. When I ask them if they have experienced any positive benefits associated with said supplement, I usually get a “Well, what do you mean?” or a “I guess I have never thought about it”. Are you one of these people who have been taking a particular supplement because someone told you a while back it would be a good idea? I’m not saying that you should waiver. What I am suggesting, however, is to audit the associated benefits you would be experiencing by now taking this particular supplement. Make sure to use a company with the utmost on-site quality assurance programs. The stricter the policy on the quality of supplements, the better the product.
5. Are the claims unproven? Does the supplement “guarantee” weight loss. Does it promote enhancement of beauty and preventing old age? If it does, PASS. The only way to guarantee weight loss is to burn more calories in a day than you take in, all the while maintaining a balanced diet. You need to exercise, you need to eat right, and you need to drink plenty of water. This is the only way to guarantee any types of results in regards to weight loss. Enhancement and prevention are very subjective and are impossible to quantify accurately, if at all. On the other hand, are you taking a joint supplement that has an active ingredient of Glucosamine because of your joint pain? That would be a perfect example of what you SHOULD be doing. Always chose ingredients that are scientifically “tied” to a particular deficiency and/or disorder. Stay away from any product with outlandish claims and guarantees.
There you have it. I hope this short article provided you with enough information so you can formulate an accurate assessment when choosing your next supplement and supplement supply company. Have a great day!
-Dr. Cody Rodewald
Dr. Rodewald is a Structurally based Chiropractor out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area located in Lakeville, Minnesota. He focuses on the treatment and complete rehabilitation of the spine and spinal system. His youngest patients are days old, and his oldest are well into their 90s. He has post graduate training in concussion management as well as pediatric and prenatal care. His professional memberships include:
-Minnesota Chiropractic Association, International Chiropractic Association, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
Dr. Rodewald can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 952-595-6337, Monday thru Friday.