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Do You Know What's in Your Dietary Supplement?

woman reading supplement bottle labelWhile dietary supplements can potentially boost your health, an alarming and growing trend is impacting the dietary supplement (DS) industry. According to recent studies (conducted by independent labs, scientists, and/or newspapers) in which DS were randomly and independently tested, DS products do not always contain the ingredients (or their purity) written on the product label. This concern covers all types of supplements: vitamins, minerals, herbs/botanicals, amino acids, and proteins.

Regulatory Shortfalls and Risks to Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees product claim advertising, yet it doesn’t affect the quality or purity of the supplement you consume. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the power to perform random checks on supplements and can remove those violating certain rules. However, it isn’t obliged by law to scrutinize all over-the-counter supplements, which we believe is beneficial.

Letting the government control supplements could potentially lead to undesirable complications. If you’re already finding our nation’s health alarming, imagine when the government determines what supplements we can use for our and our family’s well-being.

Empowering Consumers with Knowledge

As a functional nutritionist, Nikki Burnett emphasizes the importance of being an informed consumer to navigate these murky waters safely. She offers several tips:

Read Labels Carefully: Avoid supplements containing harmful fillers, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic ingredients like dextrose and soy, except in specific cases.

Look for Quality Assurance Seals: Check for certifications like Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Nikki prefers supplements that undergo independent testing for potency and purity.

Ask Nikki: “As a functional nutritionist, it’s my job to understand the best and safest supplements.” she said. Contact our practice and ask Nikki if you’re unsure about a particular supplement or brand.

Navigating Supplement Choices

  • Understanding what you’re taking: Be cautious of synthetic nutrients like dl-alpha-tocopherol (synthetic vitamin E) and folic acid, which the body may not utilize effectively.
  • Vitamin B12 complexity: B12 is more complex than it seems. It comes in several forms, with cyanocobalamin being the exception—it includes a cyanide molecule that can inhibit the electron transport chain in mitochondria, complicating ATP production. Other forms like methylcobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin are necessary, as different individuals may require different forms depending on their health conditions.
  • Fish oil freshness: Discard fish oil that smells fishy, as it’s likely rancid, which can make it inflammatory and potentially carcinogenic. Only a select few brands are trustworthy.
  • Chain store multivitamins: Often dubbed “bed pan bullets,” these multivitamins from chain stores are usually loaded with synthetics, offering minimal nutrient content. They also contain binders and fillers that prevent proper breakdown. Couple that with people who struggle with digestive issues—a sizeable population—and your money goes straight down the toilet.
  • Vegan protein concerns: Vegan proteins often contain high levels of heavy metals, which poses a significant health concern.

Nikki’s Trusted Approach

At Taste Life Nutrition, Nikki primarily uses professional lines that provide extensive data to back their products’ efficacy and safety. Her experience suggests that no one-size-fits-all solution exists for supplementation, underscoring the importance of tailored advice.

If you’re seeking personalized guidance, Nikki offers a complimentary 15-minute “Health is Wealth Consultation” to help individuals make informed decisions about their supplementation needs. Schedule today!


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