If you think that you’re saving money by purchasing your supplements from giant retailers such as Walmart, or Target you’re going to be in for a surprise. In a recent investigation by state authorities, they found out that out of the 5 supplements they chose to be tested, only 1 had active ingredients that were found on the label. In fact, they found cheap fillers such as powdered vegetables, rice flour, houseplants, and even some Christmas decorations in the supplements. To some, this may be shocking, but to myself, I’m far from being the least bit surprised. The FDA does not analyze the content of dietary supplements. A few years ago I watched a documentary on the supplement industry, and in it, they conducted an experiment creating pills that claimed to boost testosterone production and give increased strength gains in weeks. In these pills they filled with plain old rice flour and marketed each bottle for a low cost of 70$. Making a profit of a few hundred percent. No big deal. People bought these products, used them, and when it didn’t give them the results that they wanted, they just moved on. Leaving their wallets 70$ lighter with no results whatsoever. How many times have you spent your hard earned money on a supplement and when you found that it didn’t work for you, you just tossed it to your buddy?
This is the reality of the supplement industry. You never know what you’re going to get in the supplements that you’re buying on a regular basis. One supplement might provide the benefits to your friend, but for you it may do nothing. The truth of the matter is, many companies that are selling popular products are focused merely on profits. That’s the sad reality of this world. They couldn’t care less about the user as long as their bank balances are increasing. It makes sense. In the business world you try to get the most out of what you provide and sadly many supplement companies (not all) are only focused on making the big bucks.
One of the most popular supplements that are selling like hot cakes are pre workout supplements. I always advise people to look at the product label when purchasing this particular supplement. Many pre workouts can retail for as much as 70-80$ and are filled with powders that are very cheap to produce, and many often contain “proprietary blends”. If you see a any supplement that has proprietary blends on the label, you should stay away from it. The reason being is that:
FDA requires manufacturers to list all of the ingredients in a product on its label, along with the amount of each (in terms of weight), unless the ingredients are part of a proprietary blend—then the specific amount of each individual ingredient in the blend does not have to be listed, only the total.
If you have questions about a specific brand of dietary supplements, you can contact the manufacturer for more information. I usually go about it and do the homework myself by researching online, getting other people’s opinions on the supplement etc. I usually look for:
- What information does the company have to substantiate the claims made for the product? Be aware that sometimes companies supply so-called “proof” of their claims by citing undocumented reports from satisfied consumers, or graphs and charts that could be mistaken for well conducted scientific research.
- Does the company have information to share about tests it has conducted on the safety or effectiveness of the ingredients in the product?
- Does the company follow good manufacturing practices and have a quality control system in place to determine if the product actually contains what is stated on the label and is free of contaminants?
- Has the company received any adverse events reports from consumers using their products?