What to look for when purchasing supplements February 03 2015, 0 Comments

By Dr. Kathryn Retzler

Numerous store brand supplements aren't what their labels claim to be, an ongoing investigation of popular herbal supplements subjected to DNA testing has found, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday.

GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreen Co. sold supplements that either couldn't be verified to contain the labeled substance or that contained ingredients not listed on the label, Schneiderman's office said.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all products are alike, no matter what the label or packaging may claim. Make sure the supplements you take are manufactured in facilities that have pharmaceutical certification or are certified for good manufacturing practices (GMP) by the NPA (Natural Products Association), NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International, or TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia).

Note: there is a difference between GMP compliance and GMP certification. GMP compliance means the company monitors itself for adherence to GMP standards. GMP certification means an independent organization monitors the company for GMP standards.

It’s very expensive to become GMP certified; however, this certification ensures that the products you use are of exceptional quality. Besides coming from GMP-certified companies, ideally the supplements you take should be scientifically evaluated to verify the presence and concentration of active constituents. Very few supplement manufacturers conduct clinical trials on their formulas to document safety and effectiveness. This is because research is very expensive to perform. However, purchasing supplements with documented safety and effectiveness is a reliable investment in your health.

In addition to quality assurance and evaluation via clinical trials, look for optimal forms of nutrients and dosages. Consider the supplements you take to be as important as any medications prescribed by your doctor; in fact, you may consider them to be more important than medications since they can help you prevent the “polypharmacy” that is standard of care for aging Americans (remember, 25% of all Medicare patients use 6 or more drugs every day).

HormoneSynergy® only offers supplements from companies that pass all of these inspections yearly in addition to yearly FDA and NSF inspections and who use raw materials that are inspected for both quality and constituency. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to supplements.