Supplements: Are All of Them Safe?

Supplements: Healthy or Not?

It's Complicated

Food, medication, doctor visits, sleepless nights, stress: in today’s world it’s amazing we can cope with just our day to day activities. Everything seems overwhelming, but more and more of us understand one thing: health always comes first. 

Supplements are an appealing way to make your days better and boost your health and mental health. The media tries to convince us that it is fine to take some pills because they are just supplements, that they would “help anytime, anyone”. You have to understand that this is not entirely true. For the best health results, the right products have to be used correctly in order to provide the nutrients each individual needs.

Unfortunately, people trust television, commercials or anything online, especially because supplements are not required to be evaluated by the FDA, meaning there’s little regulation of this type of product. This means that companies are allowed to promote their products, relying on certificate of analysis (COA) or influential brands to give their products an appearance of quality.

Who holds these companies accountable? Who makes sure that the supplements are safe? Who checks if they even contain what they claim? 

Well, no one. The moment people find out exactly what they took is after they’ve already taken them. And usually, it’s because they become sick or get a test showing an illegal substance.

Starting to see some glaring holes in this process?

We did too.

Marty Donovan, our pharmacist and clinical nutritionist, first encountered this issue back in the 90s. At that time, we were only a pharmacy, we filled prescriptions, but we always knew the side effects. We knew how the drugs interact with other drugs and with food.

For us, it was not the sales that mattered, but actually helping people achieve their health goals with the products that we know are safe, made to very specific guidelines, consistent, each pill has to be exactly the same every time. 

Customers came to us wanting to be healthier, wanting to use supplements to feel better, and we knew: our brand was going to be the place they can always trust.

People need to understand that when it comes to supplements, you can’t just buy randomly from an ad you saw on Facebook, without checking exactly what the brand offers you or if you can trust them. 

Buying supplements shouldn’t be the same process like clicking on the first ad you see of a clothing item, and purchasing it impulsively. You might not get what you need or have the results you think you will. Or, and this seems to happen more frequently, it looks little to nothing like what was advertised. (if you want a good laugh, view r/ExpectationVsReality for excellent examples). 

In terms of supplements, not knowing what enters your system could harm or even kill you.

That may seem like a dramatic statement. It’s not. Here’s some examples:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office sent letters to four major retailers […] for allegedly selling store brand herbal supplement products in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels[...] The letters come as DNA testing, performed as part of an ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, allegedly shows that, overall, just 21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels — with 79% coming up empty for DNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material.

Attorney General in New York

From the products DNA tested, only 21% of them respected the label, the rest of 79% of the herbal supplements contained no plant DNA that the label claimed they would have. That is, almost 8 out of 10 products were not created out of the ingredients that people thought they were buying.

USP Labs and its principles embarked on an unmistakable course of conduct where, starting at least with DMAA, they imported numerous shipments of substances intended for human consumption using false and fraudulent [Certificate of Analysis] and other fraudulent documentation and labeling [...] an outbreak of liver injuries was associated with USP Labs’ products containing aegeline. Numerous consumers experienced jaundice and other liver-related symptoms, and several consumers needed liver transplants in order to save their lives.

DOJ

Four major retailers failed to show ANY DNA from what they claimed was in the bottle. USP Labs deliberately had fake certificates and false labels hiding ingredients that caused liver failure. These aren’t isolated incidents. Dr. Peter Cohen at Harvard conducts research assessing supplement company ingredients and compliance with FDA warnings. His vast research publications paint a clear picture of frequent and consistent mislabeling, contaminated products, and hidden ingredients.

How We Have Safe, Pure, and Potent Supplements Every Time

While there are plenty of poor supplement companies out there, there’s a few good ones too. We carefully researched and curated a variety of companies that all:

Third party test their products:

We don’t rely on companies to analyze their own products. Every supplement source is independently tested by a lab not affiliated with the company.

FDA Audited:

Many of our products are subjected to an FDA audit. This means the company is complying with their label claims.

Only available to healthcare professionals:

The majority of our products can only be carried by healthcare professionals. They are meant to be used in a health protocol.

NWC Supplements

With us, you don’t need to worry. Marty, as a pharmacist and clinical nutritionist, has gone through all the training and certifications needed to give safe, effective recommendations and use the highest quality products. Colleen, our in-house researcher who worked in research labs for 5 years, ensures every product is up to scientific standards.

Besides having the education and certifications which most consider the best assets, what we value the most is the wellbeing of our customers. We offer counseling, we explain the benefits of the products and we recommend what is best: not only in the industry, but what’s best for you.

With us, you know exactly what you’re getting. Every time.

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