7 Steps For Choosing a Quality Supplement

The average diet leaves a lot to be desired – Research finds that our plates lack a number of essential nutrients, namely calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D. It’s therefore no wonder that more than half of us open a supplement bottle to get the nutrition we need. Many of us take supplements not just to fill this nutritional gap, but also because we hope to give our bodies an extra health boost – a preventive buffer to ward off disease.
While getting the missing nutrients straight from a pill sounds easy, choosing a good quality supplement can be tricky. From misleading claims to unnecessary additives, you really have to do your homework in order to choose a good quality supplement that is right for you.
So how can you judge the quality of a supplement before taking it?

1-Check the ingredients

Low-quality supplements can be full of additives that may be unnecessary or that may even block your body from absorbing the active ingredient (the nutrient you want). Always research any ingredient that you don’t recognize or understand. You may also want to check the “free from” information to make sure your supplement does not contain artificial preservatives, colorings, GMOs, or allergens.

2-Check the dosage

When it comes to supplementation, more is not always better. Taking too much of a food supplement can potentially cause health problems. You may want to consult with a health professional to know the dose that is right for you.

3-Check the bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the amount of nutrients that your body is able to absorb. Nutrients can come in many different forms that may be easier or harder to absorb. For example, magnesium can be available in supplements as magnesium chloride, sulfate, bisglycinate, taurate, or citrate. Not only do these forms have different bioavailabilities, but they also exert different benefits in the body. Always speak to a health professional and do your research to find the right form for you.

4-Look for manufacturing standards

One baseline indicator of quality is whether the manufacturer follows the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. These standards were put out by the FDA as a benchmark to help ensure the quality of dietary supplements. But you have to remember that the FDA doesn’t actually go back and test these supplements. Also, the GMPs for supplements are not as strict as the GMPs for drug manufacturing.

5-Look for third-party inspections

You may be shocked to learn that it’s not uncommon for supplements to contain contaminants. These can include mold, lead, mercury, pesticides, insecticides, and other toxic substances. A reputable manufacturer will send their products to independent labs to test them for purity and quality. Looking for inspection seals on your supplement pack may be a sign that you can trust the brand in question.

6-Watch out for wild claims

If claims on the supplement label sound too good to be true, they probably are. Be mindful of product claims such as “works better than [a prescription drug],” “totally safe,” or has “no side effects.”

7-Ask your healthcare provider

Just because you can buy something over the counter, does not mean it is safe. It’s always best to consult with a health professional to make sure that the supplement you’re considering is right for you.