What do researchers say about your supplements?

With literally thousands of dietary supplements on the market, how can you tell the difference between one brand and another? And does it really matter? “Yes! Just because their labels look similar, and the ingredients appear to be the same, the ingredients inside the bottle can vary significantly”, advises holistic pharmacist Sherry Torkos in her new blog. “If you’re going to take a supplement, make sure you choose one that will do what it’s supposed to.”

Torkos explained why it’s important to take the time to research brands so that you know which one to take, why you’re taking it, and which ones you may want to avoid completely. One of her top tips is to determine which brand was used in the research being cited. “Be sure that the brand you choose contains the clinically studied ingredient,” she recommends.

For instance, she writes: “Did you know that most of the major research studies on the health benefits of L-theanine (a supplement used to manage stress and improve focus) were conducted using Suntheanine? Some companies market generic L-theanine products but do not have the research to back their claims.”

Examples of these studies, which have been ongoing for many years, include L-theanine’s sleep benefits for boys diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood, and the effects of L-theanine on memory.

Torkos also encouraged readers not to choose a supplement based on price, pointing out that, “some vitamins are more expensive because of company’s higher marketing and advertising costs, not because of higher-quality ingredients. Conversely, however, cheaper products may be filled with additives and lower-quality ingredients.”

And she cautioned readers to always buy from a reputable manufacturer. “Ask your pharmacist or health food store adviser for a recommendation, and to explain why it is their preferred choice. You’ll be armed with even more knowledge the next time.”

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