What You Need to Know About the Supplement Industry


Hello again! I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Well kinda. We moved... with a four month old. I don't recommend it. We are slowly getting settled, but there just aren't enough hours in the day!

This is a topic that I have been wanting to write about for some time, and it just so happened that Frontline recently released a documentary episode on this very topic and it is a MUST WATCH.  You can find the video at the end of this post.  

Millions of Americans purchase and take supplements every day. If it has a professional looking label, if it's sold at your trusted drugstore, if it has a celebrity endorsement, it must be safe, right? It must have been tested, right? Wrong. Many consumers are shocked to find out that unlike the food industry, the supplement industry is unregulated.

Think about it. Any prescription drug you take is subject to years of testing and clinical trials before it hits the shelf, and even then can only be obtained with a physician's prescription and be administered by a trained pharmacist. So, you have to ask yourself, how can any Joe Schmo or big box retailer put a substance on the internet or on their shelves and claim its health benefits with no testing for potency, effectiveness and, most importantly, safety?

Surprisingly (or maybe not), it's not just small, independent sellers that are offenders. Just last year, the New York Attorney General's office purchased various supplements on the shelves at several large superstores as well as a popular supplement retail chain and had them tested for potency and content. Shockingly, four out of five were found to contain cheap fillers and NOT the substance on the label. 

I'm not here to say that there aren't companies out there committed to quality and safety, but how do we know who they are? If there are no real repercussions for selling a bogus or even unsafe product, why wouldn't unscrupulous companies continue to prey upon America's quest for health? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts after watching the doc. I promise 5 minutes in and you'll be hooked. 

- Tara