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The Hidden Truth: Why Transparency Matters in the Supplement Industry

The Hidden Truth: Why Transparency Matters in the Supplement Industry

Supplements can be a fantastic way to support your wellness. They allow you to address deficiencies, fill in nutritional gaps, manage different health conditions, optimize performance, and promote healthy aging. However, while there are many positives to incorporating supplements into your diet, not all supplements are made equal.

Supplements differ from over the counter (OTC) and prescription medications because they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For OTC and prescription drugs, the FDA maintains a stringent review and approval process to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of the substances before and after they hit the market. Additionally, the FDA keeps tabs on how these drugs are advertised by drugs companies, ensuring that the claims pharmaceutical companies make are true.

Because supplements are not regulated, oral herbals, vitamins, and minerals are not always held to high standards. Although the FDA is authorized to regulate supplements, they are unable to do so for the as many as 80,000 on the market today (1).

As there is no formal governing body to monitor the supplement market, transparency is of utmost importance in this field. But what does it mean to be transparent, and what should consumers look out for? This article will explain supplement transparency and describe key questions you should ask before placing your next supplement order.  

What is transparency in supplements?

When we think about supplement transparency, there are a few key things to keep in mind. These include the quality of the supplement and the evidence supporting its use.

Quality

First and foremost, quality assurance is a necessity when selecting a supplement. Quality assurance is a set of processes put in place to ensure that a product meets specified quality standards. In an ideal world, all manufacturers would maintain strict quality standards when producing their supplements. However, this is not always the case.

Some supplements contain harmful chemicals. Others may not contain the amount of the vitamin, mineral, or herbal that is listed in the label. In fact, researchers have tested supplements on the market, finding that many supplements contain little if any of the active ingredient they advertise. Some supplements may contain even higher doses, which could potentially be dangerous to your health. Thus, what you see in the label on the bottle is not always what you are taking (2).

Evidence

A lot of times supplement companies will make blanket claims that a certain substance will treat or prevent disease. Companies will sometimes overstate the efficacy of that particular substance as a marketing tactic, luring people in with false promises. The reality is, not all natural remedies have research to support their use.

When thinking about what supplements to take, it is important to seek out ingredients that are evidence-based. This means selecting supplements that have are backed by scientific research for their use case, dose, and formulation. Ideally, the ingredients should have undergone clinical studies evaluating their effects in humans to validate their efficacy and safety profiles.

3 Must-Ask Questions Before Buying a Supplement

As a consumer, you should feel empowered to select products that are high-quality, evidence-backed, and validated. Thus, you will want to identify companies and products that are transparent in what they are, where they came from, and how they help. To do so, start by asking the three questions below.

What is the evidence?

As previously mentioned, you should make sure that a supplement is backed by scientific research before taking it. If you do not come from a medical or science background, however, you may find it challenging at first to know what is real and what isn’t.

You can begin by researching the ingredients contained in the supplement. Look specifically for clinical trials, scientific literature, and peer-reviewed studies from reliable sources that support its use. Reliable sources can include websites from academic institutions, government health agencies, and professional organizations.

When in doubt, leverage your healthcare network. In general, you should always consult a doctor before beginning any new type of medication or supplement. In addition, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to answer questions you have about the efficacy of a certain ingredient.

Where are the quality certifications?

Although the FDA themselves cannot validate the quality of all supplements, there are other organizational bodies that do. These are independent, third-party organizations that test for quality, potency, and purity. Keep an eye out for certifications from names such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and NSF international.

You can also look for companies that have a certificate of analysis (COA). A COA is a legal document that indicates a product meets a select purity and quality criteria. Having a COA holds companies accountable for creating high-quality, consistent product.

Who is the manufacturer?

You would be surprised to know that not all supplements will disclose their supplements’ manufacturing details. In these cases, it is impossible to know the reputation or quality of the supplement manufacturer. Look for supplements that are transparent about their supply chain and ensure that their manufacturer has a history of making high-quality supplements that adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMP).

Transparency with Moogi

At Moogi, transparency is one of our main values. We use ingredients that are backed by clinical and scientific research while also maintaining the quality, purity, and potency of our products, as demonstrated by our COA. Additionally, our unique technology yields the highest and purest forms of colostrum without common allergens contained in fat and casein. If you are looking for a transparent colostrum supplement, look no further than Moogi Colostrum.

References

  1. ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/dietary-supplements-underregulated-unknown-and-maybe-unsafe
  2. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/managing-cancer/treatment-types/complementary-and-integrative-medicine/dietary-supplements/safety.html