Health Trends

Skills in Pills by Supplendemann: Are Dietary Supplements Trustworthy?

How dietary supplements in the United States might be untrustworthy.

In the world of nutrition, the easy way out of deficiencies are with supplementation.  The idea is that your current diet could be maintained, and whatever pills can be taken to keep you healthy while you eat your deep fried butter (which is actually a thing.  Just thinking about it makes my arteries cringe).  This idea would be good in theory.  However, in all actuality, it’s not.

Let me take you back to 1994.  It was a shitty year.  Kurt Cobain died, The World Trade Center was bombed, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked, and I was born.  The FDA opted to regulate supplements as a “food” instead of a “drug,” so dietary supplements are considered safe until proven unsafe.  This means that until there is a problem severe enough with the supplement, the FDA will not do anything about it.

The problem with this comes from who is regulating the companies.  The answer is “the manufacturing company.”  While the FDA will step in when there is a problem, such as if someone dies or some other tragedy like that, the FDA does not seem to do a whole lot with regards to supplements that falsify their potency.  Researching some supplements, some are close to what their claim is, while others fell completely flat.  Others failed to pass heavy metal testing, meaning the supplements contained minerals that could potentially be dangerous if taken in excess.  Others contained food dyes, which the researchers highlighted as problematic ingredients, which some have had an association with behavioral problems in children.

The good news is, according to one of my nutrition classes, some countries outside of the United States do regulate their supplements.   However, due to the fact that you would need to import them, they are going to be much more expensive.  Like supplements NEED to be more expensive.

My advice is to do your research.  Even I could not escape the clutches of supplements.  I live at a higher latitude, meaning the sun is not intense enough when I am outside most days of the year for me to make vitamin D.  However, I researched the potency and added ingredients of the kind I take.

What kind of supplements do you guys take?  Have you researched the quality of them?

By The Nutrition Punk

I am a dietitian living in Portland, Oregon. I write about a variety of nutrition and heath topics, with the goal of improving people's understanding of food and nutrition so they may be empowered against all the misinformation that is out there.

One reply on “Skills in Pills by Supplendemann: Are Dietary Supplements Trustworthy?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.