Taking Supplements? To Be Safe, Ask These Three Questions
So, tell me: What supplements are you taking right now? I take a few... We're not alone. According to a study done by Consumer Reports, more than two-thirds of us do. And most of us simply assume they're safe, since the FDA tests them all, right? WRONG.
"Unlike prescription and OTC drugs, the FDA doesn't require supplement makers to prove that their products are safe or effective before they're sold," reports CR.
Let's see, what supplements am I taking right now? I've got some Vitamin D3 in here. Also, something called Omega Woman--wow, what a name. I also take daily B12 and some kind of a probiotic. Seems safe enough, right? More than likely. However, it's best not to just assume because something is a "natural" or synthetic supplement, that we can take as many as we want. Just like with everything else, it's good to ask questions.
When it comes to taking supplements, there are at least three questions, according to Consumer Reports, that we should be asking--just to be on the safe side:
First, does it even work? If we're going to spend the extra money, wouldn't it be nice if it actually does "the thing" it says it does. Thankfully, Consumer Reports has done some of the the work for us. Check out their Guide to Natural Cures.
It's also a good idea to make sure it's, ya know, SAFE. Even if a supplement says it is, it's good to investigate. Even if it says it's "all natural." Yeah, so are those poisonous berries growing out in the wild. So are water moccasins for that matter--not safe. Check out what the FDA has to say about supplement safety here.
Make sure you know what is in it. Seems reasonable, right? But everyday, Americans casually take in various supplements without even knowing for sure what's in them. That's part of our privilege. We're used to buying things we just assume are okay. Most of the time, it's safe--even if it's not effective--but better safe than sorry.
On top of that, just because a supplement claims to have this or that in it, it doesn't mean it actually does. REALLY? Yeah. Really. CR reports that CVS Pharmacy "began ensuring that every supplement it sells has undergone third-party testing: 7 percent failed."
Check out more helpful info to make sure you're not wasting your money, or endangering your health, here.