What to Look For In a Dietary Supplement

Updated on April 7, 2022


When you visit a drug store, you will find several supplements available for purchase. They come in different varieties with varying purposes in the body. Some of these include preventing illnesses, improving energy, boosting your metabolism, and making your skin glow. However, you should know that not all supplements are the same.

The production of dietary supplements isn’t fully regulated by the FDA and other regulatory bodies that govern the production of food and drug products around the world. This means that the safety and efficacy of a particular supplement are not necessarily guaranteed. It also means that as you get dietary supplements, whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or fight pain, you ought to consider a few things before picking the product. Here are a few things to look for in a dietary supplement.

1. Expiration Dates

One of the most important things to look at when choosing a supplement is the expiration date. Considering that supplements are to be taken into your body, it is crucial to ensure that you are taking something that won’t affect you negatively. Once you have purchased a supplement, check for the expiry date. If it has passed or might pass as you take them, it’s important to avoid that product. This applies not only to supplements but every other food product you purchase.

2. The Claims or Benefits 

Whether they come in the form of tablets, pills, soft-gels, liquids, or capsules, most supplements will have label information indicating the benefits they provide. This is often accompanied by the list of ingredients used to make the product and how each ingredient helps your body based on clinical studies. For supplements that do not include this information in the label, it is best to avoid them altogether. The claims should also be backed by science and clinical studies to be particular.

3. Ingredients Disclosure 

Because supplements are meant to aid a person’s health and wellness, it’s important that manufacturers disclose what substances and ingredients were used to create the product. Supplements may contain a variety of substances, such as vitamins, minerals, extracts, herbs, and enzymes, to name a few. Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplement safety and effectiveness like it does with drugs and medication, it’s crucial to do the research yourself. This shouldn’t be too difficult, as most manufacturers are very transparent with providing this sort of information.

Take for example this site for colostrum supplements, which is a good demonstration of how supplement companies should inform their consumers about their supplement ingredients. Upon checking the product details, you can easily learn that their supplements are made from 100% pure polypeptide. 

Moreover, the main ingredients should match the health benefits the supplements claim to provide. For instance, if you’re buying supplements for immunity, then the product should contain a large percentage of immunity-boosting ingredients, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, or even herbs like ginger and curcumin. 

4. Quality and Purity 

To reduce the cost of production, some companies will do what is commonly referred to as skip batch testing. Here, the quality and purity tests are done on a few selected batches. This is often a good move for supplement manufacturers since it will cut the cost of production. However, this makes quality assurance difficult.

When buying your supplements, you need to ensure that the manufacturing company can assure the quality of all their products. Some questions you should ask yourself include:  

  • Are the ingredients artificial or organic?
  • Does the company provide freshness guarantee?
  • Is the production environment climate-controlled?
  • Are their products well-reputed in the industry?  

5. Consumption Convenience 

Many people who shop for supplements often find themselves having too many options as they ask, “What are the best supplements for me?” To answer this question, the best supplements aren’t the most expensive ones or the ones packed with ingredients, but the supplements that you’re sure to take consistently. Thus, the convenience of consumption is another factor you should consider. 

Are you always busy and on the go? It’s best to take supplements in pill and tablet forms that you can easily pop into your mouth. The product should also come in small quantities or in small containers for portability. Also, if you’re sharing supplements with a child or if you don’t prefer the taste of traditional supplements, you can opt for chewable supplements or gummies. 

6. Third-Party Certification 

The best companies will always submit their products to independent organizations for potency, quality, and content. Brands like Kal do this to ensure their supplements are safe and have the required efficacy. A company like NFS international will analyze the contents of the products delivered to them and put a mark of quality on them if they are good enough. When making a purchase, you should look for this mark.

Bottom Line 

When purchasing a supplement you want to make sure that whatever you take doesn’t harm you in any way. You want it to grant you the benefits you are looking for without negative side effects. Hopefully, the above few pointers can help you get the right dietary supplement for your needs.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.