Supplements and the Supplement Industry — An Introduction

If you are new to supplements, trying to purchase them can be confusing and overwhelming, because there are several brands and products, with new ones quit all the time. There are currently so many products that it is practically impossible to keep track of everything. Even people who work in the supplement industry tend to specialize in certain areas, such as vitamins/minerals, sports supplements, herbs, etc.

Supplements can also be confusing, because depending on who you talk to, you can get distinctive opinions. Many people have extreme or biased views of supplements, with people on one side saying everyone needs to take many different supplements and the wonderful opposed to this saying all supplements are worthless. As with most issues, the truth is somewhere in between. There are certainly some very nice supplements available, but many products are essentially worthless, yet others have some positive benefits, but are not worth the price you pay for them.

Maybe the greatest amount of supplement confusion stems from the marketing tactics companies use to promote their products, especially in magazines. Many health and fitness magazines are owned by the same company as the products that are advertised in the journal and even some of the articles are made to 康寶萊呃人 promote their own model of products. When i worked in supplement stores I frequently mention with people about supplements and it was interesting that many people had biased views towards or against certain brands based on which magazines they read.

To make matters worse, supplement marketing often sites scientific research to add credibility to products, but this information is rarely presented in an honest and straightforward way. In many cases, the studies are badly done, loaned by the supplement company, have results which have been refuted by many other studies, or they have nothing regarding the product being sold. Unfortunately, the only way to find out if the studies and claims are legitimate is to find and see the original study, but this would be a daunting task even for people in the industry. Of course, supplement companies are well aware of that fact and they expect that people will not fact check their claims.

By quoting information from scientific tests, companies often try to make their products sound better than they actually are. The interesting thing is both reputable and disreputable companies make use of this tactic to help market their products. The difference between the bad and the good companies is reputable companies put quality ingredients in their products and the labels contain accurate information. Disreputable supplement companies may have lower amounts of ingredients than the label claims or their supplements may not even contain some of the listed ingredients at all.

Companies frequently get away with making questionable claims or lying about how a lot of an ingredient is in a product, because the supplement industry is not government regulated. However, while the product itself is not regulated, there is some regulation as to what information can appear on a label. For instance, companies are not allowed to make any claims about products preventing or curing diseases. Instead they have to make what are called “structure/function” claims.

A structure/function claim would be similar to a calcium mineral label stating that “calcium is essential for strong bone fragments. inch The label is not supposed to state “this supplement helps prevent weak bones. inch Any supplement that references diseases such as weak bones must also will include a statement like, “This supplement is not designed to detect, treat, cure or prevent any disease. inch These statements are required, because government regulations say that just a drug can make claims about preventing or treating diseases.

These statements/labels sometimes cause confusion, because your doctor may tell you to take calcium supplements to help with weak bones, but when you go to buy it, it likely says it is not meant to prevent any disease (including osteoporosis). Of course, it is ridiculous to consentrate that a good calcium mineral doesn’t help alleviate problems with weak bones, but government regulations and particularly the drug industry, want individuals to think that only drugs are competent in preventing or treating medical problems.

Another label requirement that often causes confusion is when a product states it is a “dietary supplement. inch When people see the term health supplement, they sometimes think it is for dieting, but every supplement is classified as a health supplement and possesses nothing regarding dieting or weight loss. The only thing it means is the item is not a natural whole food. The health supplement term is actually used to distinguish between foods, which are regulated by the FDA, and supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA.

These types of regulations and other messages from the government or the drug industry have greatly contributed to people assuming that supplements are useless and just a scam. Some definitely are a scam, such as those saying things like, “take this pill and have a great body without changing what you eat or exercising. inch Fortunately, enough quality scientific research has now been done to show that some supplements can significantly benefit your health and fitness so fewer people are adamantly averse to supplements and more people are willing to use supplements.

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