A key factor in Dr. Reardon’s LIVE IT Philosophy, VITALIZING is an important tool in getting and staying well. We get vitality from our environment, from nature, and especially from the food we eat.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Of course, we can’t always eat as well as we’d like. One of the easiest ways to boost vitality and replace missing nutrition is with high quality nutritional supplements. Supplements are a great way to add nutritional insurance to your healthy lifestyle.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend supplements as an alternative to medications. Many herbs and dietary supplements can be beneficial to assist in disease management and prevention. Some of the questions we get asked regularly are “Are all supplements alike?” and “What brand should I buy?.”
Although the Dietary Supplement Industry is regulated under the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA), it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to evaluate the safety and labeling of dietary supplements to ensure they meet all the requirements. The FDA is responsible for taking action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. This means the dietary supplement industry operates largely on the honor system.
This safe until proven unsafe approach can pose obvious risk for the supplement consumer. For this reason, it is important to do your research and read the labels!
Many organizations have set out to advocate for supplement quality and safety standards. These can be good resources to find manufacturers and brands who have voluntarily taken extra steps to show their commitment to quality, safety, and efficacy. These steps can include third party testing verification, responsibly sourcing their ingredients, storing in the correct environment and temperature to preserve ingredients, commitment to nutritional science, and more.
Here are some medical grade supplement brands and suppliers we trust who have taken on a strong commitment to quality:
- Natural Partners
- Pure Encapsulations
- Integrative Therapeutics
- Klaire Labs
- Nordic Naturals
- Thorne Research
- Apex Energetics
- People’s Pharmacy
- Hill Country Apothecary
All vitamins and supplements are not created equal. When reading dietary supplement labels, beware of supplement seduction. Avoid products that make outrageous health claims or claim to be “all natural.” Read the ingredients and the sources of the vitamins and minerals. Beware of unnecessary additives. Look for the GMP (Good Manufacturing) certification or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International Certified for Sport. Seeking out non-GMO products is also smart.
Another important step to take to protect yourself is to avoid purchasing dietary supplements from third party sellers you know little about. This includes purchasing supplements from Amazon.com. Recent news has shed light on the Amazon counterfeiting problem. Many third party sellers are selling counterfeit items including supplements that appear to be from trusted brands. While Amazon is working hard to address this issue, it is best to avoid purchasing dietary supplement products on these platforms for now.
Buy directly from the manufacturer when possible or a trusted, reputable retailer. Small, independent pharmacies, apothecaries, and practitioners with reputable & knowledgeable staff can be very helpful to guide you towards quality dietary supplements. This is simply not the case at the grocery store.
Whatever your decision about purchasing supplements, a little education about what you’re buying will ensure that you get the benefit that inspired you to choose it in the first place. Make sure to seek out manufacturers whose practices ensure quality and safety.
And remember: FOOD FIRST!