If you’re going to take a supplement, make sure it is what it says it is, and more importantly that it’s safe.
Back when it was discovered that Omega - 3 Fatty Acids could benefit the heart and brain, as well as have an overall anti-inflammatory effect, use of fish oil supplements, which contain Omega 3 fatty acids, understandably went through the roof. One reason for this is that the amount of research available (the sample size) was pretty small at the time on how effective these supplements were. So what research we did have seemed to indicate that these supplements were close to being miracle drugs. Once the research started piling up, the data started to show that they might not be that effective.
(This small sample size phenomena is quite common and is like a commercial on TV which says ‘4 out of 5 doctors recommend X product’. The next logical questions would be which 5 doctors? And why not 800 out of 1000 doctors? Small sample sizes don't tell us anything)
Effectiveness is one thing, and we will cover that in a coming blog post essay, but even more important is safety. The most important thing about the supplements you take, other than remembering that they don’t replace healthy eating, which was Rule #1, is that …..
…..they are what they say they are and that they are safe.
This is no small task. The FDA tests drugs for safety (which brings up a whole other book-worthy discussion for a later time), but they don’t test supplements.
There are many many horror stories out there about supplements hurting people if you don't believe me.
We are all busy, and even being in the field, it’s not something I paid that close attention to for a long time. The good news is that it takes only a few minutes to figure this out, and I’m cutting out the leg work for you.
According to my research, I would look for these 4 symbols, which I found through Consumer Reports and trust.
There may be other good supplement companies out there, but if you see one of these symbols, you at least know that the companies have paid to have the supplements tested for quality and contamination, which is essential.
Read Next: Rule #1 for Supplements