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Supplements are a great way to ensure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs for optimal performance. Ideally, the majority of these needs will be met through the perfect daily diets, consisting of several servings of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, that we all follow all the time, right?
If, however, you are one of the very few Americans not following a strict non-obesity-causing meal plan at all times, supplements are a great way to supplement your questionable food choices.
But, how do you know which dietary supplements are safe, or which ones actually work? Unfortunately, the internet has created a perfect environment for drug-peddling scum bags to sell fake and/or dangerous supplements to unsuspecting victims.
This is why you should always do your research before buying any pills, powders, or creams. Search for reviews on any product you‘re interested in and try to stick to large name-brand companies.
Due to the overwhelming number of different supplements being released all the time, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) cannot possibly oversee every product, so you‘re pretty much on your own.
USP Verified Supplements
Fortunately, one organization is trying to help: U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).
The USP rigorously tests and verifies that supplements adhere to the following guidelines:
USP is an independent, not-for-profit organization. No other organization in the U.S. that tests supplements is recognized in federal law as the nation’s official standard-setting body for medicines and supplements. USP standards are enforceable by the FDA.
The only downside to the USP: It’s completely optional, and the supplement manufacturers have to pay to have their product tested. So, it’s important to note that just because a supplement doesn’t display the USP logo, it could still be completely safe and effective; it just means they chose not to voluntarily submit to the USP’s testing process.
Hopefully, as time goes on, more and more companies will begin submitting to the USP, giving you added confidence in the safety of each supplement. Until then, remember to research any product before you buy: search for reviews on Google, ask members of your gym, talk to GNC or other supplement store reps, etc.
If you‘re going to take any supplements at all, the two you should research first are Fish Oil and Multivitamins. Both provide some of the most tested and proven benefits of any modern-day "wonder drugs."
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