A dietary supplement is a product that contains nutrients or ingredients meant to be taken orally in order to support and enhance your health. They can come in capsules, tablets, liquids, powders, gummies, bars, cookies, or even injections.
Dietary supplements are one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to the latest data from market research company Packaged Facts, sales of dietary supplements jumped by nearly 20 percent in 2019, reaching $30 billion. That’s more than double what they were in 2010. And while the industry grew rapidly over the past decade, it’s expected to grow another 10 percent this year alone.
As you might expect, this growth comes with some challenges for people selling these products. In fact, according to an International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) survey conducted in 2018, only 7% of consumers believe that dietary supplements are safe and effective. Furthermore, most of those surveyed said their primary reason for not using them was that they didn’t know enough about them to determine if they were right for them.
With such low consumer confidence in these products, it’s no wonder the market has been flooded with new options. There are thousands of different products out there, and it can be hard to tell which ones are worth your time and money, especially when you may have heard conflicting information on the internet about each one.
So how do you go about figuring out whether or not a particular brand of supplement will work for you? Here are four proven strategies that can help get you started.
1. Do Your Research
It goes without saying that you need to do your own research before buying a dietary supplement. This includes any online reviews, as well as taking advantage of any opportunities you may have to try them first-hand before purchasing them in stores.
One great way to find out about a new dietary supplement is to check out the manufacturer’s website. The website should give you all of the necessary details about the product itself, including the ingredients, dosages, and possible side effects.
You should also check out various third-party websites that offer honest reviews of the product. One example is ConsumerLab.com, which analyzes hundreds of products every year and offers reviews from real customers.
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Another valuable resource is Healthline.com, which provides unbiased advice on everything from nutritional supplements to medical devices. You can find out about the safety of a variety of items, along with specific product reviews and recommendations.
2. Find the Right Experts
When it comes to any type of supplement, the best place to start is by finding qualified experts who know something about it. You can find plenty of resources online to learn more about nutrition and supplements. You can also turn to your doctor or registered dietitian for advice.
If your doctor doesn’t have experience in this area, you can always consult with a reputable pharmacist or naturopathic physician. Most pharmacists are trained in pharmaceutical sciences and the science behind drugs, so they often have a good grasp on what types of supplements are safe and effective.
Likewise, many doctors are trained in the natural healthcare field, meaning they understand the basics of healthy living and the benefits of certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other natural substances.
There are several places online where you can find certified professionals who specialize in helping you choose the best dietary supplements for your unique needs. A few examples include the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), and the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
3. Don’t Take Everything At Face Value
One common mistake newbies make when researching dietary supplements is to take everything at face value. For example, if you see a review of a supplement containing 5,000 mg of Vitamin D, you might assume that this is enough to meet your daily requirements.
Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. As a matter of fact, the FDA actually recommends that adults only consume 2,000 IU per day. So unless you’re already deficient in vitamin D, you’ll probably want to take a bit more than that amount. But don’t worry — just because it says “daily recommended intake” on the label doesn’t mean it’s going to be enough for you. You still need to do your own research to figure out what works best for you.
The same thing holds true for any other supplement you read about. You shouldn’t simply accept anything a seller tells you. Instead, do some research on your own to ensure you’re getting what you need.
4. Try Before You Buy
This tip is important for anyone looking into any kind of dietary supplement. Remember, just because a seller claims a product is safe and effective doesn’t mean it actually is. So before you buy something, you should always try it yourself before putting it inside your body.
For instance, if you’re taking a supplement to boost your energy levels, you’d probably like to test it out before you pay for it. Otherwise, you could end up wasting your money.
To do this, you’ll typically take half the recommended dose of the supplement once or twice a day for two weeks. If you feel better after doing this, then you can move forward with your purchase. However, if you notice no difference, then that means you weren’t really deficient in the first place and so the supplement wasn’t needed in the first place.
Of course, you can never rule out the possibility that you’re allergic to a particular ingredient. It’s also useful to know whether or not a particular supplement is suitable for someone who is pregnant or nursing. Again, this is why it’s important to talk to a professional before you buy anything from the Internet.
If you have any questions about any of this, you’re welcome to talk to our team at VivaVitamins.com, or you can contact us directly via live chat or email.