Are All Supplements Created Equal?

by Dr. Scott Schreiber

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, there is so much misinformation out there; no one knows who to listen to.  The best advice I have for the average person looking to improve health is to consult a nutritionist knowledgeable in supplements before taking anything!   I have evaluated many patients taking supplements that are either of extremely poor quality or not even an absorbable form of the nutrient!  I cannot stress enough, do not try to diagnose yourself and take whatever you want.  There are many nutrient-drug or nutrient-nutrient interactions that can really get you sick.

There are many different brands, delivery systems, even forms of vitamins, which can either be highly absorbed or not at all.  I always recommend a trusted professional brand when it comes to supplements.  Many of these sold in retail stores or mail order companies are "garbage".  They use cheap sources, fillers and do not pay attention to quality.  Not only is this deceptive, it can be detrimental to your health. Also, you get what you pay for as well.  If a vitamin is cheap or on sale, most likely is has a very near expiration date.  Make sure that supplement manufactures are third-party certified.  You will see "GMP complaint" labeling.  In addition, professional lines, those which only distribute their products to licensed healthcare providers are of the highest quality.  Do not fall for the health food store, "mine is better scam"  because they are not at all.  Everything from the raw materials, to production, storage and then distribution need to be evaluated.  Most nutritionally-minded healthcare providers do just this, taking the guesswork out of it.

When it comes to trendy vitamins, they are just that...trends!  They will come and go; stick with a company that has stood the test of time!  In addition, trendy supplements that promise "great skin, great hair, etc."  never live up to the hype.  If these products actually did what they said they do, don't you think everyone would have them!

Sourcing is so important.  I recommend seeking out companies that use organic sources due to less contamination with pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals.  A high quality company will test their raw materials to make sure that the right level of ingredients are actually what is on the bottle.  High quality companies will individually test their raw materials and make the results available for you to check out!

Qualities of a effective vitamin include high quality, standardized raw materials; adherence to good manufacturing processes (GMP's), is organic; GMO free,  employs third-party testing; uses the most absorbable form of the supplement; and will reformulate their products with new quality research.

Where you buy them from is just important.  Please, buy them for your healthcare professional.  They buy them directly from the company or from an authorized distributor.   If you buy them online, you may be getting outdated or expired products.  These products can lose their potency and will not ,meet the label claim.  In other cases counterfeit products are sold.   They might have the label and bottle, but the products contained inside are not at all what is on the bottle.  Others may be damaged, have broken seals.  Other offenders use a bait and switch stating that they are out of a certain product when in fact they never had it to begin with.  They then attempt to lure you into buying other inferior quality products that they have “in stock”.  

So ARE all supplements created equal?  No way!

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f you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on social media, or contact me through my website, www.drscottschreiber.com.

 

Dr. Scott Schreiber has been practicing in Newark, Delaware for over twelve years.  He is a chiropractic physician that is double board certified in rehabilitation and clinical nutrition.  He is a certified nutrition specialist and a licensed dietitian/nutritionist.