Are You Educated about the Supplements You Take-Buyer Beware Safety May be an issue

Becoming Educated about the Supplements You take is Vital. I just read an article by consumer reports that listed 12 ingredients in supplements that they labeled dangerous.

The article is vague at best with very little evidence to back up its claims. However, I would tend to agree with the article in this one supposition:

“What consumers might not realize, though, is that supplement manufacturers routinely, and legally, sell their products without first having to demonstrate that they are safe and effective.”

Can this be a problem? Absolutely it can. The article writer clearly believes it is a regulatory issue. I do not.

I believe it is a personal responsibility issue. I had to do my research before I found the products we have used safely for about 16 years. We use many of the products listed in this consumer reports article:

We do not see any of the ill-effects they talk about in our family. We have 9 in our family and using a medication or even going to the doctor is not even on our radar. I suppose we would if the situation called for it…but we never have had to do so.

You would be amazed (I truly mean AMAZED) at what we have overcome in our family through the use of good quality herbs and supplements. When I get some more time I may start a section on my blog just sharing stories of how we have dealt with hundreds if not thousands of issues in our lives.

From birthing at home to completely caring for each of our own health issues as they come up along the way, I could share stories that you would think are unbelievable. To the average “go-to-the-doctor” sort of person I guess maybe they are.

There is an entire world available to people that they really only have a vague concept of.

This is true of the article writer as well. Consumer Reports did their “due-diligence” but they missed so much that they could have said. They shared a couple of stories that I believe they were looking for in order to satisfy their slanted views. If their views were not slanted, then the article would have been written far more objectively.

Are some supplements dangerous? YES!

It is pretty simple. In fact…I don’t believe you could actually come up with a list of the “dangerous” ones. It depends upon the supplier  and the manufacturer.

Just as most people would not “connect” and do business over the internet without having established a bit of trust with a particular company or person…so you should never purchase supplements from a company or individual you do not trust.

If everyone simply followed that guideline…the number of quality issues would nearly disappear.

When we use a supplement it is because we trust the source. I used to own a store that sold primarily herbs and supplements. I had dozens if not hundreds of sales people come in and tell me how their products were the “best” in the marketplace.

They would leave me samples and then I would thank them and send them on their way. I would do some simple muscle testing (I will have to explain or create a video later explaining what this is) first and then either throw them away or follow up and contact the individual company that manufactured the product.

I was used to dealing with companies that had extensive quality control tests and measures in place. I was astounded at how little quality control tests are actually done for 98% of the products out there.

The primary company we used (and still use) does hundreds of quality control tests. The best I found in my years as a store owner and following up on the products brought to me is a company that did two (2)…most not doing any at all…simply relying on the suppliers for the quality.

So…you can imagine the possibilities of how bad most supplements actually have the potential to be. I’m not saying that all are…or even most are. In fact…I would say there are a great deal of decent supplements out there.

The problem is “how do you know” given the fact that most companies do little quality control testing. The answer is…you are just gambling because there is no other way to be sure.

Government regulations are not the answer and I have many reasons for believing this (after all it worked so well with BP (a highly, highly regulated industry) and the gulf fiasco recently. We don’t need to talk about the pitfalls of regulation right here but it is important to understand that the best way for you to know if you are taking a quality product is to do your own research and due diligence.

It is truly up to you, not the government or anyone else, to figure out which supplements are going to be safe and effective and which are not.

Here is a check list:

—Use what have been used for years by others. For instance we have used particular products for 16 years with babies, children, adults and pets. We have never had a questionable thing happen with the products we use.

—Call the companies and find out what testing they do. They should have a list of 100-200 tests that they perform at their facility. Perhaps at another time we can cover some specific tests and what they mean.

—Find out who the founders, the CEO, the President etc. are and see if you can find anyone who knows these people. The integrity of the leaders is super important.

—Don’t make your primary reason for purchasing be pricing. If a company does not do quality control…their products are not going to cost nearly as much as a company that does. It is a simple fact of life that it costs money to do these things. You have to pay for the equipment, the researchers and the facilities to do these things.

—If you can…visit the facilities and get a personal tour. Also…visit their home offices if you can as well and get a feel for the atmosphere and the type of people employed there.

—Do research about safety complaints relative to particular companies. I am sure you will find something on any given company. Be careful not to believe the skeptics out there because their motivation is simply to make all supplement companies appear in a bad light.

—Do research about effectiveness of a company’s products. Are the testimonials believable or hype? You need to figure that out. A lot of this comes down to trust issues as well.

—Use Common Sense and find people who truly know what they are talking about to help you figure out how much and what would be helpful.

You Truly NEED to take responsibility for YOUR own health and figure these things out.

Out of the 12 items listed in the article (aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltsfoot, comfrey, country mallow, germanium, greater celandine, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe) we use at least two-thirds of these on a fairly regular basis. Any herb or supplement if overused can have negative effects…that is simply common sense.

All of these items have their place when they are manufactured or processed safely with plenty of quality control measures behind the process…but they can be overused or mis-used and that can create problems.

It does take a pretty good amount of mis-use or over-use for these things to be dangerous in general…but that is why you must learn about what you put into your body.

We don’t use medicines of any kind because I have done research and figured out that they are truly dangerous. There is plenty of government regulation surrounding prescription drugs and even taken in the amounts recommended to be safe I believe are terribly dangerous. Good thing we have someone looking out for us…right?

There are hundreds of thousands of people who die every year as a result of medications being dangerous. Some of these are because of human error but most because of adverse affects. Then there is a whole host of people who stay alive but are affected adversely immediately and long term.

If anyone ever truly wanted to study this one problem alone…the numbers would be staggering…beyond, I believe, what we could even imagine.

So…my “due-diligence” steps above would also relate to anything you put into your body.

Anyhow…I did not intend to wake up and write this post but I read the referenced article above from Consumer Reports and I needed to respond. I hope you found it helpful and would appreciate you leaving a comment and sharing it with your friends, family and followers.