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Supplement Buying Guide

woman looking at herbs and supplements
March 2, 2015 (Updated: August 16, 2018)
Lily Moran

Every so often, the media likes to spark a bit of hysteria among buyers of nutritional supplements. The latest “scandal” to ripple through the supplement industry came on the heels of a report released in February by the Attorney General of New York.

DNA testing was conducted on several samples of herbal products (including St. John’s wort, ginseng, echinacea, and saw palmetto) from four major retailers in New York. The tests showed that generic store brands sold by these chains either did not contain the actual nutrient or included ingredients not listed on the label—peas, rice powder, and houseplants among them.

The Attorney General requested that the companies provide details on the production, processing, and testing of the supplements sold in their stores.

While there’s some debate about the accuracy of the DNA testing, I applaud the Attorney General for his actions. We do need stricter quality assurance in the supplement industry. Sadly, you just can’t trust many of the nutrients you find on store shelves.

Nutritional supplements have become huge moneymakers over the past couple of decades. In 2012, the industry pulled in $32 billion in revenue. So you can understand why everyone wants a piece of the pie.

Unfortunately, the thirst for green often leads to some unethical companies getting in on the game. They may promise you the world in that small, beautifully designed bottle, but the nutrient itself seriously lacks quality. Or worse, it can hurt you.

This is the main reason I started my own line of supplements. Every day, I “prescribe” dozens of nutrient combos to help prevent or treat diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and so much more.

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I want my patients to have easy access to high-quality supplements and nutrients. You shouldn’t have to worry about harmful ingredients or impurities. You should know what to look for when buying supplements.

It’s easy to get swayed by cheap prices, impressive health claims, or fancy packaging, but there are several points to keep in mind.

Know what you’re looking for

These tips will help ensure you get what you pay for when you’re supplement shopping:

  • Reputable manufacturers should formulate their products using ingredients backed by solid research. You should be able to find product specifications on the company’s website or by calling customer service. If you can’t, or if a representative isn’t willing or able to share it with you, then don’t give them your business.
  • The manufacturer should thoroughly test the product for purity, potency, and contaminants. The raw materials need to be tested to confirm they are the “real deal” and the finished products should be analyzed to make sure they contain the exact amount of the ingredient listed on the label. Newport Natural Health tests raw materials and final products for all these reasons. We also check for bacteria, heavy metals (such as lead and mercury), and other impurities. If the batch doesn’t pass, it gets destroyed.
  • Look for a manufacturer that stands behind its merchandise. They should guarantee your satisfaction and offer a generous return policy. Anything less than 90 days makes me think they’re hiding something.
  • While the law does not require it, trustworthy companies will stamp an expiration date on every bottle. First, you don’t know how long it has been sitting around. But more importantly, many nutrients (such as vitamin C) have short shelf lives. You don’t want to bring home a vitamin that has lost its potency.
  • Examine the label. All supplements contain inactive ingredients, such as binding agents or transport “helpers” that move capsules or tablets through the digestive tract. However, avoid buying anything that contains artificial coloring, flavoring, and sweeteners, sugar, and other unnecessary chemicals and fillers.

I make sure that Newport Natural Health products meet or exceed all quality and safety standards. But YOUR standards are the most important.

So in the rare case a buyer is not satisfied, returns are very simple.

My name is on every Newport Natural Health bottle, so my reputation is on the line. Literally! You can bet that I want all of my patients and customers to be 100 percent satisfied in every way.

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