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Choosing the right supplement

Updated on January 30, 2014

Because supplementation has recently become such big business, there are many, many supplement companies that sell vast line of products. Unfortunately, some of these companies even sell supplements that contain none of the active ingredients!

How does a concerned consumer make sure they're getting the right thing? Obviously each of these companies can't be evaluated individually, and new ones keep springing up all the time, but I can offer a few guidelines for being a smart supplement shopper.

1. You're better of sticking with a large, reputable company.

They have much more at stake than a small, unknown company. Here are some companies that enjoy strong reputations in the supplement industry: Rexall, Sundown, Thompson, Richardson Labs, and Nutramax.

2. Don't be a bargain shopper.

There are a wide range of prices, but buying the cheapest product isn't necessarily buying smart. I suggest you look for prices in the mid to lower ranges, but don't necessarily buy the cheapest brand - as a general rule, you get what you pay for.

3. Patent count

Certain companies have been able to patent or license the patent of certain products. A patent is another guarantee of quality of 2 reasons. First,, because rigorous substantiation must be presented to the patent office before patent is issued, you can be sure there is good science behind the product. Second, the product manufacturer must ensure that the product being sold contains the exact ingredients specified in the patent.

4. Look for the warning label.

If a product makes any type of health claim, such as "promotes memory," "provides nutritional support for prostate health," or "helps maintain healthy, mobile joins and cartilage" then, by law, the manufacturer is required to run this statement: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." if this wording isn't there, and the label makes a health claim, then this company is running afoul of the law and should be avoided.

5.Check the product expiration date

As supplements age, their potency diminishes, so keeping them around for too long is not a good idea. Remember that unless you take the product daily you may have it around for several months. Try to buy supplements with expiration date at least 9 months in the future.


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