Nutritional supplements are very popular these days and because they are generally unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration board, it is not easy to know which ones work, which ones are a waste of money–and to some extent, are harmful for you. Evaluation of nutritional supplements varies greatly, depending on your current health, needs, and medical history. Below are some tips on choosing nutritional supplements. It is still best to consult with a physician, however, regarding the right nutrition supplements for you (or if you really do need them in the first place).
1. Check labels
Evaluation of nutritional supplements starts with knowing and researching the product in question. Check the label of the nutritional supplements and see to it that it has all of the following:
a. The name of the herbal supplement
b. The net quantity of contents
c. The disclaimer: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
d. A Supplement Facts panel (including serving size, amount, and active ingredient)
e. Other ingredients whose daily values have not been established, and
f. The name and address of manufacturer, packer, or distributor.
For an evaluation of nutritional supplements, check all the ingredients listed on the labels against potentially dangerous dietary supplements listed by the FDA, which can be viewed on their website.
2. Look for standardized supplements
A good practice for the evaluation of nutritional supplements is to look for a nutritional supplement that has a “USP Dietary Supplement Verified” seal– indicating that the supplement has met certain manufacturing standards for cleanliness, uniformity, and freedom from contaminants, as outlined by the U.S. Pharmacopeia.
Other groups that also have their own standards of evaluation of nutritional supplements include NSF International, Good Housekeeping, and ConsumerLab.com.
3. Buy supplements manufactured in the US or other countries which are reputable.
Be extremely cautious and wary when buying nutritional supplements manufactured in other countries. Some of them have been found to contain prescription drugs and toxic ingredients.
4. GMP Compliance
You should also see to it that a product is GMP compliant. This compliance validates that the manufacturer of said nutritional supplements meets good manufacturing practices, assuring safety of product and the accuracy of the amount of ingredients and content as stated on the label. This also assures that the product does not contain any known contaminants or prohibited drugs.
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