How Do You Know if You are Buying the Right Supplement?

Question MarksIf you’re like most people, you know that choosing the right nutrition supplements can often be overwhelming and confusing. And one of the big questions is not just what supplement to take, but also what company brand to buy. Do I just buy the cheapest or do I buy the most expensive?

It’s hard to know who is making good stuff and who isn’t. It also doesn’t help that supplements are completely unregulated by the FDA, except that supplement makers are very limited by the FDA as to putting any therapeutic claims on the label (even if there is pretty good scientific proof of efficacy). But supplement makers could literally put whatever they want in those bottles and not be held accountable. So what do you do?

One guideline for supplements in the store is price. With supplements you usually, but not always, get what you pay for. So getting the cheapest brand is usually not a good idea. One thing to remember is that the most expensive supplement is the one that doesn’t work. So, clearly efficacy matters. Some companies sell products so cheaply that professional supplement companies like the ones we use can’t even buy their raw materials at that low of a price, so you have to really wonder what you are actually buying.

You want to buy a supplement from a company with a good reputation, especially amongst healthcare professionals. You also want one that manufactures its own stuff. You should avoid supplements that say “Manufactured for…” or “Distributed by …” because that means that the company who’s brand it is did not actually make the stuff. Some other company (from anywhere in the world) made it, so can you really trust that? I wouldn’t.

You also want a company that is known to have high quality manufacturing practices. The main company we use at AIH is Metagenics, and Metagenics manufacturing processes are so high quality, that if the FDA were to require supplement makers to adopt the same manufacturing processes that pharmaceutical makers are held to, Metagenics would not have to change anything. They already use the same manufacturing standards that drug companies use. I have personally visited and inspected one of Metagenics manufacturing and research locations in the state of Washington, and I was very pleased and impressed with what I saw. And I love that they not only manufacture very high quality supplements, but that they are also doing a lot of research on supplements and not just relying upon the work of others or what is in the literature.

The last thing I really like about Metagenics is how heavily influenced they have been by the teachings of the world-renowned and brilliant nutrition scientist, Dr. Jeffery Bland, Ph.D. He is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met, and he continues to rock the medical world with his influential teaching and writing (see his latest book, “The Disease Delusion”).

Metagenics supplements are available through our website and are shipped right to your door in a matter of a few days and shipping is always free.

Other companies I like are Orthomolecular Research, Biotics Research, and NOW brands. These are all professional grade supplement makers and we dispense a number of their products through our office.

Dr William EpperlyDr. William Epperly, Fellow American Academy of Family Practice
Fellow American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy
Member of Christian Medical and Dental Society.