7 Tips on Safely Buying Supplements for Health Online

Updated on July 27, 2020

Many people struggle to get the vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet. In fact, almost 80% of Americans are already taking dietary supplements. Before you start buying supplements online, however, it pays to do a little research.

Otherwise, you could end up with supplements that contain harmful fillers or dangerous ingredients.

Not sure where to start your search? Here are seven tips that can help you when buying different types of supplements online. With these tips, you can make sure to buy supplements that will benefit your health (rather than ones that can threaten your health instead).

Read on to learn more!

1. Consult a Doctor

Before you start searching for different types of supplements online, schedule a visit with your doctor.

Your unique biochemistry and health status can determine which supplements you need. Chances are you need different vitamins than a friend or family member does. Visiting a doctor can help you determine a supplement plan based on your unique needs.

During your appointment, ask your doctor if they can complete a blood test. Your blood work will help them determine which vitamins and minerals your body lacks. You can then use supplements to fill in the gaps.

You can also take certain supplements to reduce your risk of a future health condition. For example, your doctor might recommend you take calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, or vitamin K to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. 

Supplements can also help you function better by optimizing your overall health. If your blood work determines you’re deficient in a vitamin, supplements can help.

Are you feeling deprived of energy throughout the day? You might have a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Consulting a doctor will help you determine which supplements you need. Otherwise, you could end up buying different types of supplements that won’t benefit your health. You can also speak with a doctor or dietitian about how much of each supplement you need. 

Avoid Interactions

Before buying supplements online for the first time, you’ll want to make sure you can avoid potentially dangerous interactions.

Most people are solely focused on the health benefits of different types of supplements. However, some supplements can have a negative impact on your health. If you’re already taking medications, mixing them with certain supplements could impact your health.

Speak to your doctor about the medications you’re taking. For example, are you taking a blood thinner? You might want to avoid adding vitamin K to your supplement plan.

Mixing vitamin K with a blood thinner could cause your blood to clot. 

You’ll need to take some medications with food while you need to take others on an empty stomach. If you plan on taking an iron supplement, make sure to drink water instead of milk. The calcium in milk might have a negative influence on your iron supplements.  

2. Read the Label

As you begin exploring different brands online, don’t forget to take a look at the label. Labels are designed to appear eye-catching and compel sales. Try to ignore the marketing promises that are placed on the label.

Instead of believing everything you need, focus on the supplement facts on the back of the label instead. When shopping online, you can also read additional descriptions about the product to learn more.

When reviewing labels online, look for certifications from various organizations, including:

  • NSF International
  • ConsumerLab.com
  • United States Pharmacopeia (USP)

These certifications can help you find products that are meeting manufacturing standards.

As you review the label, make sure to check for any warnings. It’s important to know the side effects of products before making a purchase. Do any of the ingredients contain contaminants?

Does the supplement contain enough of the vitamin you need? Is there any mention of medical research on the label? Does it have an exploitation date?

Checking for this information can help you become informed before you make a purchase. 

3. Find the Best Brands

Americans spend over $30 billion each year buying dietary supplements. Before wasting your money, make sure to find the most popular supplement brands.

Start by visiting the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. This site can tell you more about each product and the supplements they sell. Look for recall alerts or warnings from the FDA, too.

You can also visit the United States Pharmacopeia website to help you find the best brands.

If you need to buy supplements from a company backed by research, you can explore this brand now.

4. Explore the Website

You can learn more about a company and the different types of supplements they sell by exploring the company’s website. First, make note if the company makes outlandish claims. Usually, a claim that sounds too good to be true really is.

Instead, look for a company that supports their claims with recent medical research and authoritative references. 

5. Read Reviews

Before buying supplements online, look for online customer reviews. These customers are consumers just like you who are looking for high-quality products. Reading online reviews can help you avoid dangerous supplements or potential scams.

You can check Supplement Reviews, Protein Daily, and the company’s Google My Business listing to find reviews.

6. Comparison Shop

Once you have a few stores to choose from, compare your options. Look for companies that offer a guarantee and return policy. It also helps to choose companies that operate in the Us and list specific safety standards.

If you have any questions, look for the site’s customer service number. 

7. Avoid Dangerous Ingredients

Before buying vitamins and minerals online, make sure to review each product’s ingredients. Try to avoid potentially harmful ingredients like bitter orange, kava, or chromium. These ingredients could cause adverse effects like heart attacks and liver damage. 

To avoid potentially dangerous side effects of products, you can check the FDA’s tainted products list.

Shop Smarter Than Ever: 7 Tips for Buying Supplements Safely Online

When buying supplements online, take your time. Remaining selective can help you avoid a potential scam. With these tips, you can find the products you need to supplement your health.

Start shopping with these seven savvy online shopping tips today!

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