What’s worse than not taking your vitamins when your doctor prescribes them? Taking unsafe, potentially hazardous vitamins from shady manufacturers just because they were cheap!
Now, there’s no harm in looking for affordable vitamins if you want to save money, but making price the primary deciding factor when making a purchase decision for vitamins can be potentially hazardous to your health (and your wallet in the long run!).
All Vitamins are Not Created Equal
The first and foremost thing you need to understand is that dietary supplements are not approved by the government for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. That means, everything you find in the market is produced by brands and corporates without having passed through some sort of standard testing for approval. The only time the government does intervene is when a supplement contains a new ingredient which needs to be tested for safety. Also keep in mind that the government’s role, if any, is to conduct tests of these new ingredients only for safety purposes and not for effectiveness. So let alone effectiveness of a vitamin, you first need to make sure that the cheap vitamins you think you’ve gotten at a bargain are safe for consumption! With no particular testing being conducted at the manufacturing stage, this can be quite a challenge.
According to Consumer Lab, a product testing authority in the industry, up to 30% of vitamins have a quality problem! If you’re very serious about your vitamins you can also subscribe to Consumer Lab for a certain amount and get up to date data on how various brands are faring in the lab’s tests.
Americans Love Cheap Vitamins
It’s no secret that American’s love to take their vitamins! More than half of adults in the nation are hooked on to vitamins. Vitamins sales have seen a 4 percent annual growth over the last decade. Now, as consumers have more information about health and wellness, they continue to reduce their visits to the doctor and rely on vitamin pills to keep them healthy. While things are looking good for vitamin manufacturers, the end consumer is vulnerable to fall prey to the promise of cheap vitamins. That too, not just with respect to price!
Despite the fact that studies (and common sense) suggests that regulating your diet and living a healthy lifestyle where you’re getting enough exercise is the best way to stay healthy, we have become accustomed to making use of vitamins.
How Can Cheap Quality Vitamins Harm You?
You’re taking vitamins because you need them. You want them to work and you want them to help you recover or maintain your health. But there’s a whole lot about vitamins you need to know in order to find a product that you can trust will benefit you.
The important thing to understand is that with no regulatory body in place, the standard of vitamins that you can possibly purchase from the market vary greatly from one company to another. This is a pressing issue because the quality standards of the vitamins you are consuming will greatly effect how well it is absorbed and utilized by the body. In other words, you could find the exact same blend available in the market from different brands but the difference in quality of those two blends can be substantial!
As a consumer, you have no choice but to assume that the vitamins you are purchasing contain the potency that has been listed on the label. However, according to government stats, only 90% of the vitamin potency listed on the label has to be in a product at the time of shipping. The problem with this is that vitamins start to lose their potency the minute its manufactured. The poorer the manufacturing processes are the weaker the vitamin will be. In fact, its possible for vitamins to lose up to 50% of their potency due to bad manufacturing processes. How you store the vitamins after they are manufactured and how old they are also effect their potency. Both these things are also not regulated by the government. So not only can vitamins “go bad”, they can also have adverse effects on your health.
How to Make Sure you Buy Quality Vitamins Only
If you want quality vitamins, you need to play it smart. Now that you are aware of the basics of vitamins and this industry, here’s what you can do to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
Be Aware of Replica Products
Brand A has Multivitamins but is selling for $20. Brand B too has the exact same Multivitamins with the exact same blend but is selling for $10. Which one will you buy? Here’s where most consumers make the mistake of going for the cheaper product thinking that it’s the exact same blend. As stated above, it’s the manner in which that blend has been prepared that makes it effective, ineffective or hazardous! Hence, being aware of replica products and the cheap vitamins trap is the first and foremost thing.
Be Aware of Deceptive Labeling
When it comes to buying vitamins, you need to spend some extra time and effort on reading product labels clearly and carefully. Before purchasing, you need to know what the label actually means and be able to compare product labels from different brands and tell the difference between an honest product label and a deceptive one.
Manufactured at a GMP Compliant Facility
Remember it’s the brand behind the supplements that you’re trusting when buying vitamins. Just how good are their manufacturing processes? Always find out whether the products are manufactured and packaged at a GMP Compliant Facility and that identity testing is conducted on all raw materials. Keep in mind, brands that do operate at a GMP Compliant Facility will always proudly proclaim that they are and those that don’t will try and conceal the fact.
Certificate of Analysis for Raw Materials
Even before manufacturing comes into play, the process of procuring the right kind of raw materials has a big impact on supplement quality. You want to make sure that the brand you’re trusting with your money and your health procures its raw materials from the most reputable suppliers and actually obtains a Certification of Analysis on its raw materials.
Look for Independently Lab Tested Vitamins
Its easy for a brand to proclaim that they’re producing high quality vitamins and selling them cheap. But just how good are they in terms of quality? This is where independent lab test results can play a key role in helping you determine whether or not you should trust a brand. Organizations like Consumer Lab, USP and AOAC have developed up to date methods to test these products for purity and efficacy. Any worthwhile brand would ideally be pursuing this strategy and would be very transparent about their report results to earn
Still Want to Buy Cheap Vitamins?
It might sound like you need to do so much research in order to get a worthwhile product but its your health we are talking about here! You definitely wouldn’t want to risk buying cheap vitamins for the sake of getting a bargain deal and forsaking all other important information. Having said that, you can still save up on vitamin costs by availing deals, coupon codes and discount offers that reliable brands put out. However, before you look for bargain deals, you first have to do the hard work of finding a brand you can trust.