Each year, thousands of dietary supplements make it to the market shelves promising us radical changes and miraculous cures. That makes it harder to select and buy the supplement of choice. With the overwhelming range of supplements available, choosing the right supplement based on brand, dosage, cost and availability can be quite daunting.
To avoid landing in this situation look for the following markers to select the supplement that works best for you.
1. History and Origin: If you have a few select supplement brands in mind, check their origins, history, the company story, the clinical trials and patents on their website.
For example, Curegarden is a subsidiary of Arjuna Natural Ltd which is a manufacturer and exporter of standardized botanical extracts for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries for over two decades.
Through their website you come to know their use of high quality ingredients, the various clinical trials they have conducted and the standardization practices followed. The company has close to 50 patents most of them are commercialized globally. With a global customer reach, Curegarden is a brand you can safely choose from amongst other supplement brands available in the market.
2. Clinical trials: A good supplement manufacturing company will always conduct clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of their product. The clinical trials will also list the possible side effects and contraindications.
Companies like Curegarden carry clinical trials for all their products and this information is available on their website. You can also call the manufacturer and ask for the relevant published studies that they have to back up their claims. It’s also a good idea to find out how the company ensures that the ingredients listed on the supplement label are actually present in the final product.
3. Seals of approval: Check if the supplement has a seal of approval from organizations like ConsumerLab.com, NSF Internationals, and U.S. Pharmacopoeia. These organisations do tests to check if the ingredients listed on the packaging label meets the requisite international standards and does not have potentially harmful ingredients.
Be cautious about where the supplements are manufactured. There are some places where manufacturing guidelines aren’t regulated or stringent and toxic ingredients might find their way into your nutritional supplements.
4. Check the ingredient list: Check the supplement label for ingredients, its composition and DV% values. Check for allergens present. The FDA’s new guideline makes it mandatory to list all ingredients on the supplement’s label.
5. Reveal expiration dates or manufacturing dates: Check for expiration dates and date of manufacturing as it determines the potency of the supplement. Go for supplements which are recently manufactured and have longer shelf life.
6. Possible side effects: Good supplement companies will also list the precautionary measures for possible side effects. There will be a warning or a caution as to when to avoid taking the supplement.
These 6 tips are key to selecting a good supplement brand. Having said that, make sure that you do not not self-prescribe supplements. Supplements should be consumed only after consulting your nutritionist, medical or healthcare professionals like doctors and dietitians. They will assess your complete health history before recommending the supplement and the correct combination of nutrients you need to take.