Supplementing your diet can be a great way to improve your overall health. Supplements like B12 can also help vegans live healthy lifestyles that are better for the planet. Taking an oral vitamin spray or drinking a nutritious smoothie is also cost- and time-efficient, as replacement meals usually take seconds to prepare and cost a fraction of the price of “real” food.
However, it’s easy to get confused when learning about supplements and natural remedies. Unclear labeling can disguise unhealthy ingredients, and branded packaging makes it easy to fall foul of greenwashing. Making sense of nutritional supplements requires a healthy dose of skepticism and an eye for disingenuous marketing materials.
The supplement industry has a history of mislabeling and misrepresenting goods. In countries like the United States, restrictions on dietary supplements are less intensive than prescription drugs. This means that some supplements haven’t been tested on groups like pregnant women, while others may contain potentially dangerous ingredients like beta-carotene.
Supplement mislabeling has landed big businesses in hot water. Supplements that are purported to enhance men’s sexual health are particularly prone to misrepresentation. Mislabeled supplements have caused users to experience headaches, muscle tension, dizziness, fainting, and vision loss.
Taking mislabeled nutritional supplements can jeopardize your health and well-being. Opting for cheaper brands of dubious origin can set your health goals back and interfere with other treatments you may be receiving. To avoid this, you should always stick with reputable sources and consult your doctor before taking a new supplement.
There is no shortage of supplement swindlers who will happily take your cash in exchange for snake oil. However, you can reduce your chance of being hoodwinked by sourcing your supplements from reputable brands and corporations.
If you’ve recently moved and are unaware of the best brands around, look for certifications that are authenticated by a governing body. Almost every supplement on the market has a “gold seal” of approval from a suspicious third-party business, but few pass the legitimate tests levied by governmental organizations.
For example, if you are interested in CBD-based supplements for skincare or pain relief, look out for a certificate of analysis before spending your cash on the supplement. CBD supplements have gained notoriety for being untrustworthy, as only a trace amount of CBD is needed to lay claim to the active ingredient.
When looking for a CBD-based product, be sure to read the label, too. Look out for the term “CBD isolate” and ensure it isn’t buried under a list of other ingredients. The higher CBD is on the ingredients list, the more is contained within the supplement.
Supplements can help you live an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Vegans, who reduce their environmental impact by consuming plant-based products, can maintain their health by supplementing missing nutrients like B12, Vitamin D, EPA, and DHA. However, many vegan supplements have murky backstories and may harm the environment.
Omega-3 and vitamin D are examples of supplements that may cause environmental damage due to overfishing and deforestation. The global desire for better health via supplementation is pushing manufacturers to produce cheaper, less environmentally conscious products.
You can reduce the environmental impact of supplementation by purchasing certified-organic supplements. Organic supplements are produced without pesticides and usually ensure that farmers follow regenerative practices.
Supplementing your diet is a great way to improve your health and get all the nutrients you need. Vitamins like B12 and vitamin D can even support a plant-based, eco-friendly diet. However, as a consumer, you should maintain a healthy skepticism when reading claims and ingredient lists. Some products are unregulated and make unfounded claims. Other products may even be harmful and contain ingredients that are cheaply produced and bad for the environment.
To avoid being conned, work with your doctor and look for products that are well established and supported by governmental regulating agencies.
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn’t writing you can find him travelling, hiking, or gaming. You can keep up with his writing on his Twitter.
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