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Sep 17, 2018

Not All Supplements Are What They Claim to Be

The FDA does not regulate products such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and supplements. There is also a tendency to place the natural label on most everything today. Natural really has no formal meaning when applied to a product. There also are a lot of false claims on different products. Since vitamins and supplements are not regulated there is no one checking the active ingredients in these products, so buyer beware. This can be true with almost all products. Therefore, it is wise to question testimonials and different claims on products especially if there is no research behind the product and quality control test results are not available.

There are problems with many fish oil products which can contain mercury, lead and PCB’s. It is important to do your research. Probiotics also can be a concern. Many different manufacturers make these products because they are big sellers. You may read on the label that the product contains 25 billion acidophilus per cap but when tested it can be a lot less. The pharmaceutical industry is now selling probiotics. Many patients, after being on an antibiotic, are prescribed the probiotic called VSL which contains maltose which is corn and probably GMO and costs about $120.  Again, buyer beware. This is prescribed by many doctors because it is produced and marketed by a pharmaceutical company.

Botanical products can also have a problem. Many herbal companies have products that when tested for quality by consumer labs do not contain the ingredients that the label states. I have also found this with compounding pharmacies. We definitely need good quality compounding pharmacies but since small batches are mixed daily mistakes are easily made.

The FDA currently wants to take all supplements off the market and make them a prescription. This will increase their cost and the pharmaceutical companies will have control in making these products that may not be the best quality. We really need to get the manufacturers of these supplements to have better quality stands and second party lab testing.

Deborah Wiancek, N.D.