It seems as though every month there is another news story about supplement companies involved in some kind of scandal. These stories can include fraudulent claims, illegal actions, and even drug trials conducted illegally. The public has become supplement companies quite distrustful of the companies that produce these supplements, due to the fact that most of them don’t make any effort to prove that their products are safe. This definition, while admittedly broad, still casts a net on what exactly a supplement is, and therefore many supplement companies have come to make and distribute different supplement products for consumers to take. After all, who can we trust with our health?
One of the most popular types of supplements is a ‘private label supplement’. A private label supplement is one that is manufactured by a third party company (such as a nutritional supplement company) and has the same nutritional content as the products of the parent company but without using their logo or promoting their products in the same way. In many ways it is almost identical to taking a ‘generic’ vitamin. For example, nutritional supplements such as gummies are frequently offered at a discount online. They are not subject to the same stringent quality control measures as the nutritional capsules produced by the company themselves. In other words, they contain basically the same ingredients, just in a different package.
Many supplement companies offer both generic and private label products. Some companies also sell competitor’s supplements, at reduced prices. There is no standardization of what constitutes a supplement, so some companies might produce a fat burner, but then call it a ‘fat burning supplement’. However, not all private label products are alike – it is important to read the ingredients list of each one carefully to make sure you are buying an actual supplement. Some manufacturers simply include the term ‘essential’ in the ingredients list, even though this does not mean that it contains essential vitamins or other nutrients.
Private labeling in the dietary supplements market has been illegal in the United States since the FDA introduced regulations in 1996. The Dietary Supplements Practices Act regulates the content of dietary supplements, defining what can and cannot be included on the label. It is important to remember that the Nutrition Claims column must be supported by reliable and accurate data and clinical studies that support the product claims. This information is required for every supplement that is marketed for general distribution. It is also recommended that you check the food and drug administration website for the supplement that you are thinking of purchasing.
There are many sites on the internet that review the various dietary supplements available. Some of the drug administration websites even allow you to search for clinical trials that have been conducted on the vitamins being reviewed. Clinical studies are done by unbiased researchers who follow up on the results of previous studies. If the company is able to show that their product is effective, then they can legally call it a dietary supplement and sell it as such. This means that any profits that the company makes will go back to the research and development department, not to the company that markets the product.
In order to be sure that you are getting your money’s worth when you buy or take dietary supplements, it is critical that you do your homework. Consult a health care provider before taking any vitamins or mineral supplement. They will know what they are good for and what they are not. They may also be able to provide you with further information on the nutritional content of a particular supplement. If a healthcare provider tells you that a particular vitamin is not good for you, chances are that it is not one that your healthcare provider would recommend.