The problem with buying dietary supplements is that unlike over-the-counter and prescription medications, they’re not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. As a result there’s no guarantee that supplements – including vitamins, probiotics, herbal products, and so on – contain what they say they do, or are even safe.
However, some independent organizations do test supplements. And choosing a product with their seal of approval can give you some reassurance. One such organization is the United States Pharmacopeia. Look for products that feature an official “USP Verified” seal on the label. To be sure the seal is authentic, you’ll need to check the list of USP Verified brands on the organization’s website. The site also tells you where those brands can be purchased.
Another group that reviews and certifies some supplements is NSF International, specializing in sports supplements. Check out its website to see what the NSF seal looks like and learn about the certification process.
Finally, two independent laboratories test dietary supplements and ingredients and publish reports with their findings.
Another testing company is LabDoor. The LabDoor website grades supplements on their quality and ranks products in various categories. You can pay a fee to read the company’s full product reports.
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