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Take Caution When Purchasing Supplement Online

August 9, 2019 by

Amazon recently held its annual “Prime Day” to celebrate their dedicated membership. This annual event offers special sales and exceptional prices on certain products for people who pay the annual fee to be a Prime member. At the end of the event, some customers received an email letting them know that some of the supplements they had purchased were likely counterfeit items. The email referred to Align, a popular brand of digestive health supplements. It urged consumers to stop using this supplement immediately and throw away the item. Amazon confirmed that this email came from them, but they are unaware of exactly how many consumers were impacted by the counterfeit products.

Because the supplement industry is highly unregulated, counterfeit products often seep their way into the market. Amazon has had a history of issues with third-party sellers who are offering counterfeit products through their website. However, in this most recent instance, it was an Amazon merchant who sold counterfeit probiotics under the brand name Align, which is owned by Proctor & Gamble.

Amazon has since stated that they investigate every claim they receive of potentially fake products completely, usually partnering up with the affected brand to uncover the truth. When a counterfeit product does penetrate the market, Amazon claims to take immediate action by removing the item from their website and permanently blocking the seller, and moving forward with legal action. Amazon also stated that they notify any customers that were possibly impacted by the problem and refund their money.

Supplements are all manufactured differently, which is why it is important to research a product as much as you can before buying it and consuming it. Supplements should not be used in place of a healthy diet of whole foods, however, they can be beneficial and a lot of supplements are necessary for almost everyone to take. When you are looking for high-quality supplements, be on the lookout for these characteristics to ensure you’re making an informed choice:

It is close to its natural form.

Look for supplements that are made from whole foods or have whole food ingredients. Try to avoid supplements that are entirely synthetic and contain additional chemicals or additives.

Third-party testing is key.

Buy from brands that use independent third party labs to test their products and check the raw materials that are used to make sure there are no contaminants in them. Also, make sure that a third-party is confirming the correct recommended dosage.

Look at industry standards.

You only want to buy from companies that follow industry standards for quality assurance. These standards include ISO 9001, which ensures the company manufacturing the supplement has its customers’ best interests in mind and does continuous evaluations to improve upon the products they sell. ISO 17025 refers to the standard for which the labs in which the supplements are created hold accreditation to be able to be deemed technically competent. Finally, Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications are designed for those who are responsible for complying with the standards for developing and manufacturing products.

How careful was the production?

You want to be sure that the utmost care and precautions were taken throughout all of the phases of the supplement’s production, starting with the harvesting of its ingredients, then going through the manufacturing process, testing to ensure correct potency, and finally testing for quality control.

Look at the company’s reputation.

Buy products from companies that have a positive reputation of creating high-quality products that have led consumers to report experiencing positive results after using.

Read the labels.

Read everything on the product carefully because companies must declare any processing agents that they add to their supplements. Look for supplements that contain the fewest ingredients.

Unfortunately, counterfeit products continue to be an issue, especially when shopping online. Make sure to do your research before committing to buying something, particularly if it is a product that you will be ingesting or will impact your health in some way. If you are spending money on supplements, you want to make sure that they are high-quality and worth the money that you are willing to pay to gain the benefits that the supplement claims to be able to provide.

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