First of all, I am always going to say food first before adding in a supplement. However, I believe there are certain circumstances where supplementation is needed and can be beneficial.
I use Fullscript, a dispensary for healthcare providers, to ensure you are getting quality supplements and it also helps me keep track of your treatment plan. Unlike other retailers, Fullscript guarantees products are never past expiry, counterfeit, or stored incorrectly.
Figuring out what brand and type of supplement you should buy can be tricky.
So let’s talk about buying the best supplements
Let’s start with, do you really need supplementation? Have you done a diet history review to assess where you are deficient?
Here are some questions to ask yourself and your healthcare team:
- Does this supplement have evidenced based research behind it showing benefits or did I just see really good advertising?
- Do I need it for a medical condition or to prevent disease?
- How much and how often must I take the supplement? Is my dose different?
- What form is the supplement most effective (pill, powder, or liquid)?
- Which form of the vitamin is the best and does it need to be paired with anything?
- Are there any drug interactions or risks associated?
- What are the best brands of this supplement in terms of quality, safety, and how well they work?
- Will I need to stop taking it if I have to have surgery?
The bottom line: Do your research.
Other things to consider before adding regular supplementation:
If you eat a balanced diet rich in lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you likely do not need to take a multivitamin. If you have a restricted diets or intolerances, you may want to check with your doctor.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for life however too much of a good thing can be harmful in high doeses. It’s especially important to avoid getting too much of our fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, because these can build up in your body becoming toxic.
Alright, you get it. Do the research.
Here’s What to Look for When Buying Supplements:
1. ) Read the label and claims
When looking for a new supplement, it’s important to buy one that contains the same amount and quality of active ingredients used in published clinical studies. You don’t want to risk taking too much and on the other hand you don’t want to be getting ripped off with less potency.
2. ) Buy from companies that test each batch
Be sure to research the methods the company uses to test its products so you can be confident in your purchase. Reach out to the company and ask if you can view their information and if they are tested by a third-party lab. It’s important to assess the safety and purity.
3.) Avoid mega doses and extra ingredients
Let’s say you want to buy a magnesium supplement and it has a bunch of added herbs. You need to assess those additives and see if the additional ingredients are helpful. The bottle may have tricky marketing making it sound safe and effective however there are always possible side effects.
4.) Check the expiration date
You don’t want to accidentally get something that is past its prime, or a supplement without an expiration date. Active ingredients can definitely become inactive over time. If the bottle doesn’t expire, this product may not be the best.
5.) Looks for a quality certification
Look for labels that bear the certification marks from organizations such as NSF International or are USP Verified. These certifications indicate that the company has submitted their products to be tested and certified by an independent organization for potency, contents and quality.