Lack of Regulation Can Make Buying Nutritional Supplements Hit or Miss

Many people think that the FDA regulates nutritional supplements the same way that they do drugs but that is far from true. The rules for creating and selling supplements are far less stringent than with medications. As long as the main ingredients haven't been proven harmful, they can be sold. Naturally, this leads to some serious issues at times, such as the banning of ephedra products a few years ago. Ephedra was perfectly acceptable until it started causing serious health problems, even fatalities in some cases. Only then was it withdrawn from the market.

The thing is with dietary supplements, including vitamins or herbal concoctions, is that they are treated more like a food than a drug since most are derived from food. Even synthetically engineered vitamins are treated as if they are nothing more than what we would normally eat. Years of clinical trials and research studies must be done before a pharmaceutical company can bring a new medication to market but supplements are not required to follow these rigorous standards. Unfortunately, this lack of research and regulation can lead to some serious issues for the consumer.

One issue that is fairly common is problems caused by overdosing on certain vitamins. Some vitamins are water soluble and not stored in the body's tissues, like vitamins B and C. Your body simply uses what it needs for the day and any amount over that is flushed out of the body. However, fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and D will build up in the body as the excess is stored within our fat cells and liver for future needs. Excessive amounts of these vitamins can cause illnesses and even fatal toxicity. Yet some supplements are marketed with recommended dosages far beyond the level recommended.

Another problem is the consistency from brand to brand for nutritional supplements. Since there is so little regulation on the industry, one brand could have very high quality ingredients that are consistent while another brand may provide little actual benefit and the amount of active ingredients could vary from bottle to bottle. There is no requirements for quality testing on these products, at least in the United States, so manufacturers can get away with a lot when creating new supplements.

Fortunately, the most reputable manufacturers of supplements are quite good at self-policing. The top brands will have their own voluntary quality control methods to ensure consistency and quality of their products. The industry leaders will also conduct studies about the efficacy and dosing of their products so that they can produce the safest products possible. When considering a nutritional supplement, you should make sure that you only purchase the highest quality products from well-known, reputable supplement manufacturers.

Using products from a market leader, like Herbalife Intenation, means that you know there is a huge Nutrition Advisory Board who are ensuring the very best best, the safest, the most effective products possible and that the products have been passed by the health regultions of the authoriites in each of the more than 70 countries where they are sold.

Sometimes size of the suppliler is important as they can afford to put the money and research into getting it right.

Warren Tattersall has been a full time nutritional consultant for over a decade and works with people all over the world to help them improve their health, increase their personal energy levels and to use supplements to assist with diet related health issues.

This site has many helpful tips about nutrition and free health plans to reduce your high blood pressure and help you with a healthy heart. Not only will you get valuable cardiovascular problems health tips about fish oil for cardiovascular health, but you can also get free A-Z of Heart Health ebook download from

To have a free personal consultation with him to learn how incorporating nutritional supplements may improve your health concerns just visit “The Health Success Site” and download the free health report available there, or email to request a personal one-on-one consultation by email or phone.

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