3 Ways of Knowing If Your Supplement is Safe or Effective

There is always a risk when you put something in your body: Will it work? What are the side effects? How do you know it’s safe? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when considering buying a supplement. It is very important to do your research ahead of time when the well being of your body depends on it.

There are certain ways to tell if the supplement you’re taking is safe and/or effective. Follow these tips and you won’t regret it.

Find out the dangers that may be associated with an unknown supplement.

The FDA warns that many supplements contain ingredients that may cause harmful effects in the human body. If you’re taking a supplement, make sure that you take no more than the suggested dosage. Furthermore, continually check that it doesn’t conflict with other medication you may be taking or may take in the near future.

Surgery can be a factor when taking supplements. If you have any type of surgery coming up, speak with your doctor about the supplements you take and whether they may be harmful to your procedure.

Don’t be fooled by the supplement’s accessibility– err on the side of caution.

Just because a supplement is available over the counter doesn’t mean that it the healthiest choice for your body. Sure, most companies try to look out for the best interests of their consumers; however, the manner in which they measure harmful ingredients is not the most dependable method.

As dietary supplements are not approved by the government, their limitations are fewer than those placed on approved medicine, meaning that they can get away with worse actions. In time, this may change, but until you’re absolutely sure that you trust the tests the products go through, go with your own research and gut instinct.

Research the supplement before consuming any dosage.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Try taking a look at different supplements that are in competition with the one you were looking at and research consumer reports. There may be studies conducted about the supplement that are accessible to the public. The more thorough your research, the better able you will be to make an educated decision when purchasing.

The FDA believes that while some dietary supplements can be beneficial, some still need further research. Supplements are simply meant to boost vitamin and mineral count. Due to this, the FDA advises consumers to beware of supplements that claim to “reduce,” “treat,” or “cure” certain pains and ailments, as this is not their purpose. Supplements that claim to be “cure alls” or have no listed side effects are also sketchy; everything has some type of effect.

If you’re worried that you won’t know for sure which supplement is right for you or your family, try consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

Have you had a specific type of experience with supplements and would like to share? Let us know.

Any negative experiences with supplements can be taken up with the FDA MedWatch Program. They can be contacted at the toll-free number, 1(800)-FDA-0178.

Sources:

  • http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/default.htm
  • http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109760.htm
  • http://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx