How to Choose Safe Supplements and Vitamins: The Questions to Ask

Whether you shop at the grocery store, pharmacy, or online, you know too many options aren’t always a good thing.

Staring at row upon row of vitamins is overwhelming. How do you know which brand to buy? What do the different ingredients mean? And which one contains the correct dosage?

It’s easy to grab the vitamin bottle that’s on sale and call it a day. But, easy can sometimes mean unsafe. Harmful fillers, additives, and contaminants can block absorption of nutrients, increase cancer risk, and cause allergic reactions.

In fact, in our last post, we mentioned a patient who was experiencing bladder irritation because of a reaction to the dye in her supplement capsule.

You can learn more about these harmful ingredients here. Today, we want to focus on helping you choose a safe supplement or vitamin. Read below to discover what questions to ask when searching for a safe, natural brand.

Narrow Down the List to 3 Smaller Operations

The work will begin before you create your grocery list.

Large corporations usually add fillers for easier and faster production. And cheap brands typically mean inexpensive ingredients.

For example, although two brands contain the same thing — such as cranberry extracts — the reputable companies take the first extraction of the cranberries. The cheap brands get what’s left, which is usually the stem.

So, skip the bottom of the barrel. And research smaller companies with high standards, good ethics, and an extensive background in herbal medicine.

Are the products made in the United States? Where are the ingredients sourced? Are they organically and sustainably sourced? Who owns the company? And what are the company’s values?

In our practice, we give our patients two to three reputable brands to choose from, so they can buy one that best fits their budget.

Read the Labels

A simple task but rarely done. You won’t know what’s in your supplement unless you read the label.

Avoid artificial coloring. While it’s tempting to buy the gummy vitamins, unnatural dyes serve no function other than to make your capsule look pretty.

You should also avoid products that include fillers, such as hydrogenated oils, magnesium stearate, and titanium oxide. They may be listed in small print as “inactive ingredients.”

While some inactive ingredients are used to hold the supplement together, most of these ingredients are unnecessary and unhealthy.

If you’re gluten sensitive or have Celiac disease, you’ll also want to investigate whether the supplement or vitamin contains gluten.

Opt for a Vegetable Casing

Do you take medicine for acid reflux? If you do, you know it decreases the acid in your stomach. The vitamin casings are meant to dissolve in stomach acid. So, if you’re reducing the amount of acid in your stomach, the casing will go straight through you and could cause stomach distress.

When possible, choose a supplement or vitamin with a vegetable casing that can easily break down. It’s safe, natural, and often tasteless.

In less than an hour, you could prevent unnecessary medical problems by researching reputable companies, reading labels, and choosing a natural alternative to supplements and vitamins. If you want to learn more about natural ways to improve your life, you can read about our bioidentical hormones here.

Have a friend who may be experiencing an adverse reaction from cheap vitamins? Share this post with them!