Do You Know What’s in Your Supplement Bottles?

February 6th, 2015

This week, the New York Times published an article titled “What’s in Those Supplements?” The article exposed an investigation of four major retailers, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and GNC for selling “supplements that were fraudulent and in many cases, contaminated with unlisted ingredients.” Some of the ingredients found were wheat, rice, and houseplants. In one supplement, supposedly containing Saw Palmetto, no plant DNA was detected.

The New York Times published similar findings from a study done in 2013, where only 2 out of 12 “over-the-counter” supplement brands contained what they stated. To that article, Vitalia’s Dr. Michael Stanclift wrote a response in support of the study, and the frustration that many pharmacies carry low-to-no quality supplements, confusing the very people they’re trying to help.

Because of poor regulation, this has long been a problem in the industry. As naturopathic doctors, our training includes understanding how to tell a good supplement company from a poor one. When we recommend a product from our shelves, we’re confident it contains what is stated, as every company we work with is vetted through high quality assurance standards. We do that homework so our patients don’t have to. When there’s a good “over-the-counter” supplement out there, we let our patients know that too, so they can rest assured that they are getting what they pay for, not cheap fillers, or substitutions.

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