Warning Signs Your Vitamins Aren’t Going To Work

You regularly buy vitamins and supplements to improve your health and vitality, but will they perform the way you think they will? Here are the warning signs to watch out for when purchasing supplements.

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The label boasts more than 100 percent of the US RDA

More is better, correct? Not so fast, warns Sreekant Cherukuri, MD, an otolaryngologist in private practice in Munster and Hobart, Indiana, who runs a website called SmartCeuticals. “If any vitamin or mineral states that it contains more than 100 percent of the US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for that nutrient, stay away,” he says. Fat-soluble vitamins—namely A, D, E, and K—are stored in the body and can accumulate and cause harm.”High doses of certain fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin E have been linked to cancer.” Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamins B and C, when taken in too-large doses, will just leave your body in urine. “Your money literally goes down the drain.” These are some of the vitamin mistakes you may not realize that you are making. If you take vitamins or supplements, check the label to make sure the US RDA is 100 percent or less.

The pitch sounds too good to be true

Vitamin and supplement manufacturers are not allowed to make claims that their product can reverse, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition, but that doesn’t mean they don’t or won’t. “If the claim is outrageous and suggests the product is indicated for any disease as opposed to general health, that’s a warning sign,” Dr. Cherukuri says.”If it sounds too good to be true, walk away. They won’t help and they may harm.”

The bottle doesn’t have a legit seal of approval

It’s a good idea to look for third-party validation that says what you are buying is actually in the bottle. The “US Pharmacopeia Verified” mark, ConsumerLab Seal of Approval, or an NSF seal are good signs that you are getting what you paid for. “I’d be highly skeptical of any other seals as many companies may create fake ones to gain your trust and your business,” says Dr. Cherukuri.