What to Look for in Health Supplements

With millions of people worldwide learning about the benefits of health supplements, the market has grown tremendously. Unfortunately, that has meant that providers of substandard products have put supplements on the market that may not deliver on their promises. If you are interested in using dietary health supplements, there are several steps you can take to help ensure you’re getting the best product for your money.

Freshness Counts

First, you should take a look at the expiration date on the label of the vitamins or supplement bottle. Out of date products probably won’t hurt you, but they may not be as effective as a fresher product, depending on what type of supplement it is.

For choosing nutritional health supplements such as fish oil capsules or omega-3 fatty acid supplements, you should look for products that are certified not to have mercury in them. Other substances that can affect how safe a supplement is and how your body reacts to it include wheat, corn, and dairy products in the filler ingredients. Allergies to these are fairly common.

Laboratory Testing

Look at the label and confirm that the product has been tested in a laboratory to ensure that the stated amounts of nutrients printed on the label are accurate. Other label information you should look at when choosing health supplements includes whether the ingredients are organic and do not contain pesticides.

Speaking with your health care provider, a dietitian, nutrition expert, fitness trainer, or health food store operator can help you learn about which supplements are best for your particular age, gender, health status, and lifestyle.

While some consumers thoroughly research the different types of supplements, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs, others just want to ensure that they are getting enough of the nutrition that is recommended for them. For this purpose, you can find high quality multi-vitamin supplements, some of which contain important minerals like iron and calcium.

Specialized Supplements

If you determine that you have a particular nutritional deficiency, you can often get a supplement that only contains that particular product. Single vitamin supplements are commonly available for vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, and the many B vitamins. You can also find supplements that contain just a collection of the various B vitamins.

Health supplements like omega-3 fatty acids usually come in gel capsules and do not contain other supplements. Calcium supplements often include vitamin D. Iron supplements may come as single-product supplements or combined with other minerals and vitamins. In short, whatever single supplement or combination you seek is almost certainly available in a health food store or online.