Most of us fall victim to advertising, commercials, and faulty word of mouth when it comes to our health. Facebook and Instagram are riddled with carefully placed ads targeted specifically for you based on your recent search history and interests. Let’s face it, companies have gotten better and better at making your buy their products; and when it comes to vitamins and other natural supplements, there is no exception here.
What many people don’t realize is what is on the product label doesn’t legally have to match up with what is in that pill. The FDA does not regulate what a company can sell when it comes to vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements even though it is a billion dollar industry. A few year ago, the FDA studied generic Target and Walmart brands of herbs such as ginseng, commonly marketed for energy, and found that the capsules were filled with saw dust! This put a huge damper on the appearance of an herbal medicine that has excellent research behind it and has been used for thousands of years as medicine. This is why not all supplements are created equally!
So how do you know who to trust? This is of a huge concern because if you have decided to treat a medical condition with a supplement and that supplement specifically doesn’t have the right level of testing or quality control measures, you can be getting a dose that is sub-par and not getting you better.
This doesn’t mean that herbs such as ginseng, turmeric, or even green tea are bogus but rather the standard dosage that has been studied in the literature is just not in that capsule or powder that you were sold.
Here is a great example: Turmeric, the yellow colored Indian spice used traditionally in curries has a wellspring of research and positive data for a number of conditions. But what has been studied is the active ingredient called curcumin, from the latin name of the plant curcuma longa. Curcumin levels in the ground powder contain only 3% of this ingredient. Most companies are selling 500mg capsules of the ground powder for a high price, when you can simply get that at the grocery store. Reputable companies use standardized extracts that contain 95% of curcumin in their 500mg capsule. That is a significant difference in the dosage.
Obviously there are a few reputable companies out there but they probably do not sell on Amazon or to your health food store. They are called professional or medical grade. Many doctors who practice evidence-based functional medicine look to these select few to provide their prescribed dosage of natural medicine to patients. In addition, some doctors use these companies to create their own custom formulations under the doctor’s name or practice name but are manufacture and bottled with the same level of care and expertise by the professional companies.
Buyer beware tips:
#1 Amazon does not keep supplements under temperature control. What this means is that a product sold online can sit in a warehouse that can get over 100 degrees in the summer or freeze in the winter. This alone compromises vitamins and supplements and should not be trusted.
#2 Don’t put your health in the hands of multi-level marketers. These are regular people, not doctors who have taken it upon themselves to profit off of marketing strategies based on your trust in them as a person. There are some of these MLM companies that put out relatively good products, generally recognized as safe, with quality control standards but they are not intended to treat medical conditions. That is the job of a doctor, one who has studied and is licensed to diagnose and treat using nutrition and herbal medicine.
Dr. Steven Sorr
Source of Health
9755 N 90th St. Suite A110
Scottsdale, AZ 85258