Today I wanted to discuss a hot topic that I get a bunch of questions on in my consultations and business meetings – how to choose a good supplement. How do you know that what you’re taking will work (even when you don’t feel any different), and that it’s what it claims it is? And most importantly, how do you know it’s safe?
We’re told by the pediatrician to put our children on kids vitamins, but rarely know what’s good out there or not. And there are so many different places to buy them from! GNC, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, you name it! What makes one brand different from the other?
Here are four steps to take when researching a vitamin company, and what to take into consideration:
- Research the company on how long it has been around. Have there been any big hiccups? Is it a relatively new company or has it been around for a LONG time? I know for myself, I prefer to trust a company that has been around for a relatively long time. While it’s not always certain, but if it’s been around for a long time then most likely their products work, they have some sort of research backing it up, and so on.
- Research what the company values are and if it has integrity. This might not be important for everyone, but it certainly is for me and my family. We live our life a certain way, and want to live it as congruent to our values as possible, which includes that where we buy our products that they follow our values as much as possible as well. To find out if a company has integrity and what their values are, check out their mission statement, and see if they’ve been living by it with what they’re producing and what impact they’ve had as a company over the years.
- Look if they have had any mandatory recalls.
- Always check with your physician first! This is especially important if you’re on any medication, where that might counteract your medicine or lead to side-effects. To stay safe, it’s always best to check in.
- What are your quality standards for ingredients? Do you do third party testing?
- Have you had any recalls on any of your products? And if yes, then for what?
- Are your supplements made by your company under the guidance of your staff, or are they made by a third party with your label added on the bottle?
- What are the ingredients in your products and where do they originate from?
- Are your products based on your own peer-reviewed scientific studies, or do you “borrow” science from other companies?
- How about testing on ingredients and final products? Do you test the ingredients all along the process, at the end or rely on vendors for testing? Is each product proven to be free from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and lead?
- Who is doing the clinical studies/3rd party review on your products?
- Have the results of these studies been published in trusted peer reviewed journals?
- Does your company offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee, even on open bottles or used product? Do you have a free Product Hotline for customer information?
- Does your company have a free Hotline for physicians or medical professionals to call in to get more information for their patients?
- Do you take vitamins?
- What are supplements you couldn’t live without?
- Where do you get your supplements?