Now more than ever, health care providers are recommending that their patients consider adding vitamin supplements to their diets. It is not the easiest task to choose the best supplements because we are all different and may require different types and dosages. Components such as your gender, age, diet, and health conditions will determine what your physician may recommend.
Before you even think of shopping for supplements in your local pharmacy or health food store, be sure to consult your physician to see what you may need the most. He or she may do a complete blood workup to see what vitamins and minerals would be the most beneficial to you. Then, you will know exactly what you need and the proper dosages when you go vitamin shopping. Here are four easy tips for choosing the right supplements for you and your family:
1. Before you go to the pharmacy or health food store, do a little research online about various vitamin companies, says Bastyr University.edu. Check to see that the company you choose is known for making consumer quality and safety a priority. You can also check the Better Business Bureau or the FDA to see if there have been any recalls or complaints about the company’s products. There are some companies who have gotten in trouble for their products not having what the ingredient list says they have. You may also look up various clinical studies on the ingredients and the product. Be very particular what supplements you give to you and your family.
Do not just pick any random bottle of supplements from the shelf. By checking the list of ingredients and vitamin amounts, you can ensure that you are getting what your body needs. Vitamin supplements do have expiration dates, so be sure to check the label so you are buying the freshest batch.
2. Unfortunately, some vitamin companies run with fads just like the fashion industry does. There may be a study published about supposed benefits of an obscure ingredient and then the health food industry explodes with advertising about including that ingredient in their products. Instead of running with the fads, choose supplements that have a long, studied history of benefits and potential side effects. Just because something is “all natural” does not mean it is safe for you.
3. Make sure the supplement you choose has natural ingredients. Quality vitamins and supplements do not need a bunch of artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. If you are trying to avoid such additives in your regular foods, then do not end up consuming them in a supplement. Be especially picky when it comes to ingredients for children’s supplements, warns Berkeley.edu. Some companies put enough additives in their vitamins that your child might as well be eating a piece of candy.
4. Any legitimate company that produces vitamins and supplements should offer you an unconditional money-back guarantee. You may find that a certain supplement or ingredient does not help you or may cause side effects. Supplements can be pricey and you deserve to benefit by what you buy. If not, you should get a full refund.
With some research and good decision-making, you can find the right supplements for you and your family. Your doctor may also evaluate your daily diet to make sure that you are eating the right types of whole foods for your nutritional needs. It may be that you can add certain foods to your diet and eliminate the needs for supplements. Either way, we are responsible to ourselves and our families for nutritional choices. When you take these easy tips and consult your doctor, then you are on your way to better health.