Hello to my wonderful friends from all corners of the internet! Today we are going to be chatting about dietary supplements. I get a lot of questions from friends, family members, and followers about supplements. Should you take a multivitamin? Which brand? Do supplements work? What about if I workout? Do diet pills work? Etc etc. I get it. There’s a lot of confusion out there.
And then, of course, I frequently see people on my Facebook feed, or influencers on my Instagram suggested page, selling all sorts of lovely supplements, making various promises that range from weight loss to improved brain function to increased muscle strength to better sleep. Suddenly it seems like many people feel well-qualified to give dietary advice and sell supplements!
There’s also this extremely bizarre-to-me trend of influencers ingesting all sorts of pre-workout powdery concoctions, bulking up frothy beverages with all sorts of mystical potions, and getting IV “vitamin cleanses,” and acting as if these activities are not only glamorous, but also totally normal ways to improve one’s health.
All of this adds to the noise and confusions about what – if any – supplements are the best for consumers to take. And with the multi-billion dollar supplement industry continuing to grow at a rapid pace, it seems like every day we’re infiltrated with advertisement for a new “essential” supplement to add to our daily routines.
If you know me at all, you know that the spread of illegitimate nutrition information and trends is one of my biggest peeves. So rather than continuing to suppress all my feelings, or end up thrashing out irrationally, I thought it was time to use my platform to shed some truth about nutrition-related issues. Including supplements.
So let’s get into it. The highs, lows, unknowns, and in between of dietary supplements.
Disclaimer: As always, this is general information intended for healthy adults who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Your needs may vary based on medical status, lifestyle, or life-stage. Please never replace generalized health information you’ve read online with individualized clinical care.
No One Regulates Supplements Before They Hit Shelves
If there’s one thing you should be aware of as a consumer, it’s that no one regulates supplements before they hit the market. That’s right – no one – not the FDA, USDA, etc – regulates dietary or herbal supplements for quality, safety, or purity before you’re able to pick up a bottle at your local drug store.
The FDA does prohibit companies from marketing adulterated or misbranded supplements, meaning they have a legislation in place that prohibits tainted products from hitting store shelves, and outlaws manufacturers from selling products that aren’t as advertised. However, since there is no pre-sale testing required for a product to hit the market, a lot of stuff very easily slips through the cracks.
That means you could, quite literally, be spending your hard earned money on sugar pills, pills that don’t actually contain the amount of supplements advertised on the bottle, or contaminated supplements that contain all sorts of unwanted components, including prescription drugs and heavy metals. All of these have happened, and all of them are worrisome.…