Americans love supplements! Roughly half of us use them. We spent $11.5 billion on supplements last year, and that number is consistently climbing.
In one sense that’s a good thing: it indicates we are interested in being healthy, and are trying to do something positive.
But on the other hand, are we getting our money’s worth? Are all those supplements doing any good? Or are they perhaps doing harm? How can we know? Are we using supplements as an excuse to continue living an unhealthy lifestyle?
I’m not a fan of the US Food and Drug Administration, but I do believe we need to use science rather than hype to make decisions on what we put into our bodies. Anecdotes don’t convince me. Scientific research has its limitations, but it’s still the best we have in answering the question, “Is Product X safe and effective?” The FDA is, right now, the best we have – and they don’t control the supplement industry except when they make specific statements claiming to treat or cure disease.
Consumer Labs is a private company that does offer some independent evaluation for the plethora of nutritional products available.