ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Choose a Safe Health Supplement

Updated on June 15, 2016

The bottles, pills, nutritional powders, and chews in the supplement aisles can make you anxious, there’s so many choices and so many fantastic claims about various health products. How do you determine what’s best for you? How do you know what to believe? Seeking instruction from your doctor and using this guide will make the nutritional supplement and vitamin selection process much easier.

Dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors are not required to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before marketing supplements. The FDA doesn’t require dietary supplement makers to substantiate efficacy, purity or potency. Prior testing or notification to the FDA is not required before a supplement is put on the store shelves. Therefore, the dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors are largely self-regulated. This is an important point to understand when reading the claims of dietary supplement manufacturers.

A consumer must never forget that supplements should be used to augment your diet not take the place of eating in a healthy manner. Also, take supplements in moderation. Too much of any nutritional supplement could prove toxic to your body, not all of it is water-soluble and will wash out in your urine. Avoiding any supplement that claims to contain 175% of the RDA for any given nutrient is a good rule of thumb. Actually,reading the back of the box or bottle for the ingredient list and the percentages of each nutrient is a prudent move.

Having an open and honest discourse with your primary care physician about every supplement you are taking or even thinking about taking is important. No matter how benign you think a supplement is, it is a good idea to inform your doctor. Supplements may have dangerous interactions with certain medications. For instance, certain antidepressants are less effective when mixed with ginkgo biloba. Your doctor can start looking for particular symptoms and side effects associated with the supplements you take.

Purchasing Pointers

Make sure the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention USP seal is on the supplement. USP conducts verification programs for dietary supplement products and ingredients. Products that meet the requirements of the program can display the USP Verified Dietary Supplement Mark on their labels. You can find a list of verified supplements at

The FDA keeps a page of tainted products marketed as dietary supplements, you can access it here. You can go to to read reports and independent tests on health and nutritional products. Another organization that conducts independent tests on nutritional supplements is NSF International. NSF ensures that dietary supplements in fact contain the ingredients they display on their labels. Go to for more information.

To read similar articles, please visit


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lareene profile image


      2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I still take a good amount of supplements and sometimes wish I could see and know the purity of the ingredients. That also goes for what I'm buying in the food and drug stores.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)