Super Important: Most Supplements Don’t Contain ANY of the Listed Ingredients.

This isn’t remotely related to the topics I normally cover, but it’s something we need to spread the word about. I first heard about this back in 2015, but since the information hasn’t spread to the general public yet, I want to give it a signal boost. This is stuff you NEED to know so you can make informed choices.

 

Summary:

A study was conducted of a bunch of herbal supplements from big name drug stores like Target/Walgreens/GNC. Scientists tested the DNA of the pills and concluded that 4 out of 5 of the bottles contained ZERO traces of the ingredients listed. For example, a bottle of “Ginseng” would be tested and they’d find it full of random fillers like rice powder or asparagus (researchers also noted that wheat would be found in products advertised as “wheat free” — yikes!).

How is this possible? Well, it’s because there are laws in place that prevent the FDA from regulating supplements (see John Oliver sketch for more info). Normally, it would be illegal for food companies to participate in false advertising, but on the FDA’s website, it states very clearly that the FDA isn’t allowed to regulate the advertising of supplements. Scary, huh?

FDA

John Oliver presents a more entertaining version of what I’ve been discussing:

Now, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I still take a multi-vitamin every day, even though I really wonder if it’s a waste of money. And I know many people who have anecdotal evidence that their Fill-In-The-Blank has improved since taking XYZ. That’s fine–I’m not judging you or trying to tell you how to live your life. Just because many of these products are fraudulent, doesn’t mean you haven’t found a good one. But be careful out there and realize that you can’t always trust the label of those supplements you’re buying.

More links about this topic (Including the good news that GNC pledged to improve their standards and will even submit reports to the NY attorney general to prove it!):

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