Gingko biloba. St. John’s wort. Ginseng. Valerian root. You may be taking any of these or other supplements to give your body a beneficial health boost. But were here at Sandstone Chiropractic know the boost can be more of a bust if the supplements don’t actually contain any of the herbs featured on their label.
Such was the case with some of the highest-selling store brands of supplements at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart, according to a New York Times report. The New York State attorney general’s office said it conducted tests and found four out of five products sold as medicinal herbs:
- Did not contain any of the herbs on their labels
- Were packed with cheap fillers like houseplants, asparagus and powdered rice
- Didn’t always list all the additives on their ingredient list
Cheap fillers can be virtually worthless to most and even dangerous to some who may have allergies to the substances.
While the FDA does require companies to verify each supplement they make is safe and properly labeled, the system pretty much works on the honor code. Little oversight is applied to supplements before they hit the market, with the current law assuming the supplements are safe until authorities prove otherwise.
Supplement Selection Tips
One way to avoid the potential supplement confusion is to try to get adequate nutrition from the foods you eat. The more you rely on healthy, wholesome foods for nutrients, the less you have to rely on supplements.
Since getting the full gamut of nutrients from food alone may not always be possible, we’re serving up several helpful hints for choosing safe and useful supplements.
- Do your research. Optimum benefits from supplements come from specific dosages for specific individuals taken at specific frequencies and durations.
- If you’re seeking a specific nutrient, try researching with phrases like “most bio available” or “most absorbable form.”
- Read the labels. While this tip is obvious, it can often be overlooked. A brand’s reputation and track record may be stellar, but what matters most is what’s actually in the supplement.
- Shop for supplements at health food shops, pharmacies and from other reputable vendors.
Another top tip is to contact our Magnolia or Montgomery clinic with any questions and concerns about your supplements or other health-related matters. Better yet, Call Sandstone or schedule your comprehensive exam with x-rays online.