Dietary supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. Millions of Americans depend on them for different needs. Whenever a lot of money is being spent, you have to be careful of businesses that are in it just to join the gold rush. That means you need to be careful when buying them. Follow these best practices to keep you and your family safe.
Multi-Billion Dollar Problem
According to Statista, the supplement industry has done over $30 billion dollar in sales since 2012. There’s one problem that seems to be pervasive throughout the industry. These supplements are being sold as cures for what doctors claim are incurable illnesses. Selling a supplement as a cure is a shady practice. Most people running these companies haven’t cured anything for themselves, but they’re convicted that it works because of watching YouTube videos or they just want to cash in.
Some people have cured themselves, like Rick Simpson, but ironically he didn’t start a company. We cannot definitively say that cannabis cured Rick, but it’s something that should be tried in a controlled environment so we can see if it’s duplicable. When you have a company started by a survivor, they really believe their supplement is the cure-all. It’s just not right to get innocent people’s hopes up with an experimental supplement. We believe in supplements, but we also believe in responsible marketing practices.
The FDA doesn’t allow companies to legally market their supplements as cures, but the implications are still their in a lot of the sales copy. There are way too many companies for the FDA to actively police. They’re understaffed for the job at hand. With over $30 billion dollars in sales to monitor in this industry alone, it’s impossible to catch all the crooks. This isn’t their only job.
1. Avoid Ridiculous Claims
One of the easiest ways to miss out on the bottom-of-the-barrel products is to steer clear of companies that are selling miracle cures. Chances are, their supplement isn’t a miracle cure. Is it possible that one exists? Yes, says the optimist in me but it’s not likely. If their supplement was a miracle cure, they’d have thousands of raving customers all over social media and YouTube. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Always Read Test Results
This is imperative! If a company doesn’t test their product for strength and/or purity, don’t trust them. Your health is the most important aspect of your life. If you don’t take it seriously, these supplement companies won’t either. By not supporting companies that don’t test, they’ll be forced to test their products or go out of business.
3. Read the Research
Before buying a supplement, read third-party research. Every company has their own sales pitch, sometime called “research.” A sales page and research are not synonymous. Always find research off the company website that was conducted by a reputable third-party institution. If there is zero research backing a company’s claim, the they should get zero dollars from you.
4. Start Slow
After purchasing a product, don’t take the largest recommended serving that you read about on a random blog. Always start with the minimum effective dose. This protects you from adverse reactions. If a supplement effects you negatively, it’s better to find out with a small dose. Head this warning. It could potentially be life-saving.
5. Test Before Buying Bulk
Don’t fall for the bulk buy at first. Sure you might save $20 if you buy five packs instead of one, but you don’t even know if it works yet. The smart consumer always starts with a small dose and works their way up. What’s the rush? If the product is a good one, the company will still be there next week waiting on your bulk order. Test it before going all-in.