Be Aware, Be Very Aware…
Supplements And Supplementation in the US is Big Business
According to the Nutrition Business Journal, in 2014 the US supplement industry was a $36.7 billion a year industry. People are willing to spend large amounts of money to find better health in a pill or powder form. The marketing departments for these companies know how to push our buttons to make us believe that their product is the one that will make us healthier, fight disease, lose weight or gain muscle.
Please be aware that this industry isn’t tested for product safety and consistency the way you may think it is.
From The FDA’s Website
FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drug products. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA):
Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.
FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.
The FDA only takes action AFTER it reaches the market! That means that we are leaving it up to the manufacturers and distributors of the supplements to evaluate the safety and labeling. No one is overseeing or evaluating the safety, potency or efficacy of your supplements prior to it hitting store shelves. There is no testing of consistency of products or production.
A recent study by the Stockton College in Galloway, NJ, found that the actual amount of Branch Chain Amino Acids in certain products vs the labeled amount was off by 12,966 mgs. That is almost 13 grams difference!
The FTC also works to fight false and unproven claims. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising/health-claims This link shows press releases from the last 10 years of claims that were filed against companies for deceptive advertising. You don’t have to look far for weight loss and dietary supplement claims. There are plenty there to make you uncomfortable.
What Do You Do?
That’s a little scary and leaves questions as consumers. What are we supposed to do? Here are a few things to remember:
1. Supplements shouldn’t replace real foods or meals. Supplements should, well, supplement.
2. Eat a wide variety of foods so that you get a wide variety of nutrients. Every vegetable that is a different color brings different nutrients to the table.
3. Look at the labels! Does your protein powder have 4 ingredients, 14 or 40? Less is more in this case. If there is an ingredient that you don’t know what it is, find out what it is and why it has been added.
4. Research. Do you really need this supplement? Is there any research to back up the claims the company is making? Who paid for the research? What is the reputation of the company you are buying from?
5. Be aware that there are some vitamins and minerals your body can only handle so much of before they have adverse effects.
6. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If it says you can lose weight without any other modifications to your lifestyle, it is probably not going to work. If it claims you will gain muscle just by drinking protein and not working out, again, probably not going to work. Sorry.
I really wish there were some quick fixes to health and wellness issues, but really there isn’t. So be wary and skeptical of any supplement that you come across and don’t be afraid to do some research and make an informed decision that is right for you!
Do you need to learn more about proper supplementation? Iron Tribe Fitness Redmond can help you find better health and wellness. Visit our website or call us at 425.558.4766 to schedule a free consultation with us.
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Serving the communities of Redmond, Sammamish, Woodinville, Kirkland, Fall City & North Bend