Recent FDA crack down on low quality (or "no-quality") supplements might paint a bad image of the entire industry. There is a reason why I use specific brands.
As we have learned this week, not all supplements are created equal. My patients often ask if they can get their supplements elsewhere, and/or cheaper. My answer has always been that the manufacturers of the supplements that I sell can provide the third party testing for a specific lot, and can give me the details of what is in the product with a simple phone call. Not all supplement companies do third party testing. These companies that I trust, and use, not only do the third party testing on their completed products, but also on all of their raw materials. If the raw materials are not pure then these companies would rather have their product be on backorder than send out a less than pure supply as was recently the case with a prominent manufacturer. These companies also do stability testing to see what is in the product at the products expiration date, and look to see if changes can be observed if there have been fluctuations in temperature. I respect these manufacturers for this decision to test so thoroughly.
This past week, the FDA tested hundreds of bottles of store-brand supplements from GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens finding that four out of five contained none of the herbs on the label. Bottles of echinacea, and St. John’s Wort contained none of the respective herbs. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued letters to the above companies to “stop selling adulterated or mislabeled dietary supplements.” The concern comes from what they (in this case GNC, Walmart, et al) are putting in these supplements. People with specific allergies might not know that particular items are in the product as filler, or as the ingredient even though it should not be, or is mislabeled.
There is a need for supplement industry regulation, but I am happy with how the pharmaceutical grade supplement companies I currently work with do regulate themselves. However, I get a bit worried when I see these products online for sale, and not from the manufacturer, or a prominent distributor/wholesaler (Amazon.com is not a reliable distributor in this regard). In that general online sales case, I don't know how the product has been treated, handled, or stored; or even if it is truly the product desired for that matter. When I order my supplements I either order them directly from the manufacturer, or I order it from one of the manufacturers designated wholesalers. Natural Partners is one of the wholesalers I use. I have also been to their location to see how they store, and process the supplements for shipping. To me, it is as good as buying it straight from the manufacturer in the case of Natural Partners specifically.
When it comes to anything you’re going to be putting into you, or your families body consider the safety of the product, and not just the cost. There is a time, and a place for cutting costs, but when it comes to your health I don't feel as though this is generally ever the right place. If you have more questions about supplements please talk with me at your next visit. If you would like to setup a free phone consultation to discuss your current supplement, diet, or health concerns then please also call, 1-415-912-9934, or contact me.
For more information about the FDA testing please read the this article.