On Tuesday, I warned you about contaminated and poor-quality dietary supplements sold at big box retailers like GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.
So, today, let’s discuss a few simple rules of thumb you can follow to find top-quality, safe, and effective supplements. (Ones that won’t be pulled off the shelves by a state’s Attorney General due to impurity.)
Let’s get right to it…
1.) Choose your supplier wisely.
I often hear about consumers wondering why they don’t notice any improvements in their health after starting a dietary supplement regimen…only to find out that they bought store-brand supplements at big box, retail stores.
So, in reality, they’ve been flushing their money down the drain. Because most brand-name and store-brand supplements simply aren’t worth the money. In fact, they rarely include thoughtful, science-backed ingredients, doses, and combinations. And that’s even assuming they actually contain what the label says in the first place. Which, as I explained on Tuesday, is often NOT the case.
Plus, poor-quality supplements rarely contain the right bioavailable ingredients—so they never get properly digested, absorbed, and activated in the body’s blood and tissues.
By comparison, I demand the supplements in my Smart Science Nutritionals line have good bioavailability…as well as something I call “biome-availability,” which much of the industry has yet to understand.
This term describes how ingredients go to work right in the microbiome, the environment in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract where billions of healthy probiotic bacteria thrive. (To learn more about the importance of your microbiome, take a look at the June 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Seven keys to a whole-body health reboot”]. If you’re not yet a subscriber, it only takes one click!)
In addition, I’ve always had serious concerns about the untrained retail clerks (who may or may not be high school dropouts) doling out health advice from behind the counter at retailers like GNC. And, in my view, the supplements (and the service) at places like Walmart are even worse.
Over the last 30 years, Walmart has transformed the entire retail landscape of the country—and not for the better—with China as the only real beneficiary. Walmart’s business model relies on high-volume sales of low-quality products. And it saves a few extra pennies by getting products from China and grossly underpaying its employees (who then need to rely on government subsidies—so the taxpaying citizens are paying for it anyway. As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, even at the Walmart counter!) In the end, I never recommend buying anything at GNC or Walmart, least of all dietary supplements.
So, don’t opt for the cheapest or most readily available options—especially those sold on big box and retail shelves. Instead, do a little research and find a brand you can trust. For instance, I offer a complete confidence guarantee with my line of supplements, all of which have been developed based on clean, clear science, historical data, and decades of expert medical and scientific knowledge and experience.
2.) Don’t be fooled by big pharma.
Experts estimate that Americans spend more than $40 billion annually on dietary supplements. So it’s hardly a surprise that big pharma jumped on the supplement bandwagon. Nor is it much of a surprise that they’re selling inferior—and even contaminated—products.
In fact, according to a separate investigation, some supplements made by big pharma are tainted with drugs. This problem appears to be particularly common in supplements marketed for weight loss, exercise, and sexual enhancement. (You can learn about big pharma’s tainted supplements in the September 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“One pill won’t make you small: Busting the myth of weight-loss supplements”].)
So, steer clear of these three categories, specifically. These supplements rarely, if ever, have any science-backed benefit. Instead, follow a Mediterranean-type diet, which is full of healthy, whole foods and commit to 2.5 hours per week of moderate exercise, like walking, hiking, swimming, or gardening. Because when it comes down to it, there’s simply no substitute for a healthy diet and moderate exercise—no matter what big pharma promises.
3.) Don’t believe the hype that all supplements are unregulated.
Just because you occasionally hear about a few poor-quality supplements in the press, remember, the industry as a whole is still regulated and monitored.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does the job of regulating supplements for safety and quality. It also makes sure the products contain what they say they do, at the doses printed on the labels.
At the same time, it’s true that dietary supplements don’t have to undergo billions of dollars of clinical drug trials and testing. But unlike drugs, dietary supplements are essentially more like foods—and therefore inherently much safer than drugs, with far fewer adverse reactions.
In addition, the U.S. government keeps track of all adverse events reported by people who take dietary supplements and the companies that manufacture them. And when you look into the data, you learn that the news reports of the dangers of supplements are routinely way overblown, if not fully misrepresented, as I expose in the October 2019 Insiders’ Cures newsletter, when it comes to vitamin D.
Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, the supplement industry actually prepares an annual guide on quality. And the worst of the most-popular, retail supplements typically score only two or three out of 100 in terms of quality.
But I’m proud to say that the manufacturers I use in my Smart Science Nutritionals line of supplements consistently score in the 90s out of 100. Plus, I inspect these manufacturers’ facilities in person to further ensure they perform quality work.
When you’re choosing dietary supplements, don’t believe the scare tactics or the hype…but DO look for quality. Because your health, happiness, and longevity are at stake.