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What's In Your Supplements? Be a Smart Consumer

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What's In Your Supplements? Be a Smart Consumer

Recent research has made customers wary of the supplements at their natural health retailers, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Recent research has made waves in conventional media leaving some customers wary of the supplements at their natural health retailers, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Contamination and substitution?

A new study published just last month by BMC Medicine showed a dark side of some natural health products, when researchers tested 44 herbal products from 12 unidentified companies to make sure that the products actually contained the ingredients listed.

What they found instead was contaminants and fillers not listed on the label in one-third of the products. As the study’s abstract states, “According to the World Health Organization, the adulteration of herbal products is a threat to consumer safety.”

What’s a health-conscious consumer to do?

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. The truth is that not all natural health products are of equal standards, but there’s nothing to fear if we inform ourselves and choose brands with an exceptional commitment to product quality.

For instance, as Mackie Vadacchino, CEO of A.Vogel Canada, explains, “There are high quality herbal products that have been thoroughly tested in clinical environments and that have been approved and licensed by Health Canada. The study could have been a great opportunity to educate consumers about the differences in natural products instead of tarring the entire industry with the same brush.”

Dr. Eccles, a lead researcher from the University of Cardiff, UK, who has worked with A. Vogel, elaborates, advising to look for natural health companies that have clinical trials published in the public domain backing their products—showing the proof that their products work.

In A. Vogel’s case, not only are they licensed by Health Canada and have a large, independent clinical trial for their Echinaforce product under their belt, but they also “undergo more than 500 quality control checks from seed to bottle.” Inform yourself and understand what you’re buying and consuming. It’s an empowering thing!

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