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3 Things to Know About Vitamins & Supplements

  • Did you take a vitamin or supplement today? 
  • Where did it come from?
  • Are you sure you know what was in it?

It can be tempting to use the internet (eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc.) to save a few bucks on vitamins & supplements. The capsules & pills look the same so they must be the same, right? Absolutely not!

There are 3 things to know before you pop pills purchased on the internet:

  1. They may be fake: not contain any of the advertised ingredient
  2. They may be expired: old products repackaged as new
  3. They may be contaminated: unsafe handling leading to contamination or blatant tampering with ingredients

2013 research study used DNA analysis to identify the ingredients of 44 herbal supplements and 1 out of 3 of the supplements did not contain the advertised main ingredient! The supplements tested were brands available for purchase in supermarkets, health food stores, and pharmacies in Canada and the US.

2015 investigation by the Attorney General of New York found 4 out of 5 supplements purchased off the shelf from big box stores did not contain the advertised ingredient and even worse contained substances like sawdust, powdered vegetables, wheat, rice, and even powdered houseplants!

I urge all of my patients, family and friends to purchase vitamins and supplements from trusted sources. My definition of a trusted source is a seller that you can contact easily and will accept returns of a questionable product (i.e. safety seal broken, unusual odor/color/taste, unusual reaction to taking the supplement).  Licensed healthcare practitioners often carry high-quality brands that are not available for public sale… these are the brands I trust for my own family.

Know this: High-quality vitamins & supplements always cost more because they contain high-quality, verifiable real ingredients without cheap fillers.

You may think popping vitamins & supplements everyday will improve your health, but if they are counterfeit, fake, mislabeled, expired, or contaminated they are most likely causing harm to you now and damaging your long-term health.