What Makes a Supplement Reliable, Safe and Effective?

Due to the fact that today’s farm produce is becoming less nutritious than decades ago, supplements have been continuously popping out of the market.

Unfortunately, most of these pills don’t give what they promise, which is why it is crucial that you scrutinize your options, making sure that you get the best value for your money.

Ensuring that a supplement is reliable, safe and effective is not as simple as looking at the labels and knowing which country it came from. Instead, consider factors such as quality assurance, therapeutic dosage, phytochemical analysis, the reputation of the company, and independent laboratory results.

If you are in the market for the best nutritional supplement, here is a list of what makes a dietary supplement effective, safe, and reliable. Make sure to choose one that meets all these criteria.

1. Excellent company reputation

In any industry, reputation is a huge factor. Buy supplements only from companies with excellent reputation and integrity.

Do not just base your decision on what the company promises and their self-proclamations. Instead, check what reliable people are saying about it. You can look at social media channels, health forums, and retail stores. Of course, opt for a brand that is respected by health professionals, and one that has a loyal customer base.

Read through the website of the company so you can learn more about them. The “About Us” page should tell you who is behind the company, along with their credentials. This should also provide their physical locations – tangible factors that you can visit if you still have doubts.

2. Quality assurance

Check if the supplement contains seals of quality. This means that the product has undergone proper certification to ensure that the ingredients are of high quality.

A product made at a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility is a beneficial supplement. Be aware that GMP facilities are compliant with standards that are similar to what the US Food and Drug Administration for pharmaceuticals has mandated. This means that the product is labeled truthfully and isn’t contaminated.

Furthermore, make sure that every ingredient has been tested by reputable laboratories; this can be confirmed by the presence of COA or Certificate of Analysis. Having this certification indicates that raw materials are free of contaminants, such as lead, pesticides, fungus, molds, traces of any prescription drugs, and mercury.

Most importantly, the product must be certified by a valued third-party QA institute like NSF International and Consumer Lab. These organizations verify products to ensure that they are safe and have the correct labeling.

3. Ingredients that have already been proven to work

After checking the ingredients the product has, determine if they really are beneficial to your health. Read reliable third-party sources to make sure that the information on vitamins, minerals, and natural substances present in the pill is backed by studies and research.

You should also look for inactive ingredients, such as flavorings, colorings, coatings, and binders. Though some may be required to effectively bind all the ingredients together, some are unhealthy and unnecessary. Stay away from supplements that contain too much sucrose and artificial flavors because these will not make the pill effective.

Furthermore, the product must have an expiration date as this indicates the potency of the supplement. In fact, its presence is already a good sign.

4. Therapeutic dosage

Therapeutic dosage refers to the minimum amount of the vitamin or mineral to deliver great benefit. For supplements with only one ingredient, the amount in each serving must be mentioned on the label. The same is true with those having several ingredients – everything must be clearly stated.

Companies using their competitors as an alibi for not mentioning all the combined ingredients (though is a legitimate argument) should be avoided.

A product developed by expert researchers is a great product. They are aware of the therapeutic dosage of each ingredient so it can enhance the benefit of the others. That is why you may see some products containing patented ingredients. Niagen, Purenergy, and Immulina are examples of these.

5. Value for your money

Make sure that you get what you have paid for. This means that the manufacturer must put more of their resources into the research and development of effective, safe and reliable products than into marketing. This may be evident in their websites through the publication of their own research. So take time to read these studies to learn more about the product.

6. Independent lab results

Looking at independent research labs is also a must. This is an excellent way of knowing if the supplement has been tested for product purity, label accuracy, projected efficacy, ingredient safety, and nutritional value.

Reputable laboratories are supplied by companies like Chromadex with reference standards for accurate testing. These include botanical reference materials, phytochemical reference standards, and research grade materials.

With plenty of dietary supplements being sold on the market today, you must be an informed consumer. You would want to spend your hard-earned money on something that will help make you healthy. So equip yourself with the crucial things you must look for in a supplement.

Visit the manufacturer’s website. Read through reputable third-party sources, like lab results. And consult your physician before taking vitamins and other supplements, especially if you have a medical condition. It may contradict the effect of your prescription medications.

With a bit of research and common sense, you will surely end up taking an affordable supplement that will boost your health and well-being.


Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex. He oversees research, strategy and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets.