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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Selecting Supplements

I ask every new patient to bring any supplements they are taking with them to the first appointment because I like to see them in person. I look at the manufacturer, find the expiration date, and evaluate the full list of ingredients, including fillers and inactive additives.

Supplements are big business now and some manufacturers cut corners to increase profits. But quality always suffers.

If you don't have a naturopathic doctor to make recommendations, look for products that list the following information on the label:
  • The name and address of the manufacturer
  • A lot number or batch number
  • An expiration date
  • The scientific name, quantity and part of any plant ingredient
Also, to ensure that products have been tested by an independent lab, look for seals from organizations like:
  • The United States Pharmacopeia
  • The National Nutritional Foods Association
  • Consumer Lab
  • National Sanitation Foundation International
Certification guarantees that supplements contain what they are labeled to contain, but beware that it doesn’t ensure that manufacturers started with the highest quality raw ingredients or tested them in clinical trials.

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