What To Look For Before Buying Vitamins, Experts Warn – Eat This, Not That

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With thousands of vitamins and supplements on the market, choosing something that actually works (and won’t harm you) can be a minefield. “In the case of vitamins and supplements, I believe you get what you pay for (or don’t pay for)” says Stacey Robinson, MD. “My patients always tell me they got that awesome 2 for 1 deal on multivitamins at the big box discount store. Buying cheap vitamins is mostly a colossal waste of money. Cheap vitamins contain the forms cheapest of every vitamin and a plethora of additives, preservatives and sweeteners.It’s ironic that most people who take vitamins do so because they want to be healthier.And yet these vitamins are the equivalent of mass-produced, unhealthy processed foods filled with synthetic ingredients and preservatives.” Here are five things to consider before buying vitamins, according to experts. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.

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Be aware of potentially harmful additives in your vitamins. If you are health conscious, you probably read food labels and avoid eating foods that contain additives, preservatives, trans fats and sweeteners,” said Dr. Robinson. “Do your vitamins really need FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake (food coloring), hydrogenated palm oil (trans fat), modified food starch (may contain MSG), talc (anti- caking agent), sucrose and maltodextrin (sugars)?”

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Vitamins and supplements that have been tested by third parties (such as by NSF or the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Dietary Supplement Verification Program) are likely to be of much higher quality than those that have not been tested. Here are the three components of the NSF Dietary Supplement Certification Program:

  • “Review of label claims to certify that what’s on the label is in the bottle”
  • “Toxicological review to certify product formulation (we do not test for efficacy)”
  • “Contaminant review to ensure product does not contain undeclared ingredients or unacceptable levels of contaminants”
The woman is holding a mobile phone and a bottle of pills
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The FDA has issued warnings about buying supplements with variations of the “Artri” or “Ortiga” names on the label because they may contain harmful drugs. “The FDA has received reports of adverse events, including liver toxicity and death, associated with the use of Artri King products, since the agency issued its first warning about an Artri Ajo King product on January 5. 2022”, the agency says in a consumer warning.


Beware of cheap vitamins, experts warn. “So is it worth spending more to get the best quality? In my opinion, yes. There is no comparison,” says Dr. Robinson. “What is the cost difference? Centrum multivitamins cost an average of 10 cents per tablet. A pharmaceutical grade such as Xymogen Active Nutrients costs around 16 cents per capsule. Is it worth the difference of 6 cents a day? In my opinion… absolutely. Pharmaceutical grade supplements can only be purchased through a licensed healthcare provider.

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Even the best quality vitamins cannot replace a healthy lifestyle, doctors say. “Evidence shows that a healthy diet and exercise are the best way to ward off disease; a vitamin cannot replace these benefits,” says Eric Rimm, associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Certain subgroups, including women of childbearing age trying to get pregnant, may need specific supplements, like folic acid and omega-3s.”

Mast Ferozan

Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer passionate about making science and research-based information accessible to the general public. Learn more about Ferozan

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