American supplements may contain nothing.

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I was recently informed that supplements produced in the USA have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for many years now. There is no US body charged with guaranteeing that supplements contain the active ingredient at the advertised dose.

They might contain the advertised ingredient but at a much higher dose. They might contain an entirely different active ingredient or something poisonous. They might contain nothing at all.

I now feel like an idiot. I have been buying US supplements for a long time because, wait for it, they are cheaper than supplements from the EU (where there is quality control). Wow. I wonder why.

I had a terrifying experience last year with a 1mg melatonin tablet from America (bought on Ebay). I woke up in the night with tachycardia worse than I've ever experienced. I discovered online that melatonin can indeed cause ventricular arrhythmia but I can't help wondering if the dose I took was actually much higher than 1mg or if it was some other substance altogether.

Oh, well, I'll never know now. I suppose all I can do is buy supplements exclusively from the EU until Brexit ruins that as well. (PS American friends, this is no slight on your country, just your supplements...)
 

CFS_for_19_years

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Four Websites List Quality Products and Companies
http://www.supplementquality.com/testing/Quality_seals.html
This one includes 1564611580413.png


Before you give a black eye to American-made supplements, I would urge you to take a look at several voluntary programs that some American vitamin manufacturers subscribe to:
https://www.consumerreports.org/vit...usp-verified-and-other-supplement-seals-mean/
These are four of them:





There is more information about each one on the page I linked above.

Let's take the third one - U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP):
What is United States Pharmacopeia?
http://www.naturemade.com/usp#leR7tFuTOH4biHie.97
Here's a list of some of the products that USP has verified:
https://www.quality-supplements.org/verified-products/verified-products-listings


Several brands voluntarily participate in the USP Dietary Supplement verification program:




Here are products that ConsumerLab has tested:
https://www.consumerlab.com/

Information about NSF International certification
http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resourc...ins/selecting-dietary-nutritional-supplements
NSF International certification can be verified on their search page:
http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resourc...ins/selecting-dietary-nutritional-supplements

Garden of Life has NSF Certification:
https://www.gardenoflife.com/conten...nsf-certification-no-1-selling-multivitamins/

If you see a supplement that interests you, try to see all sides of the label and look for one of the four emblems above.

If you are looking for exceptional products then Integrative Therapeutics is the brand that a lot of naturopaths use, and their products tend to be on the expensive side:
https://www.integrativepro.com/How-to-Order
Q.Are your supplements FDA-approved?
A: The FDA does not approve supplements, (so beware of any brand or supplement claiming to be), however, despite what some may claim - the FDA does have regulatory guidance for the nutritional supplement industry. They regulate the ingredients, the “final product”, and all claims that a manufacturer makes on the label under a rule known as the “Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act” (aka “DSHEA”). They also perform inspections within manufacturing facilities, in order for brands to obtain “Good Manufacturing Practices” status. At Integrative, we are one of only a few companies who manufacture both supplements, and OTC medicines, which dictates our status as a “Drug Good Manufacturing Practices” audited facility. A rare attribute of excellence within the industry.
 
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CFS_for_19_years

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Thank you very much! I was after all buying the cheapest brands available, so perhaps that'll teach me you get what you pay for /o\ Will look through all those soon.
The three manufacturers that take part in the USP program are some of the "cheapest" brands available. Look for NatureMade, Kirkland and TruNature.

Garden of Life is also very affordable.
 

HowToEscape?

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Supplements are in practice unregulated by the FDA. The FDA can act regarding a supplement -only- if it is found to contain a substance defined as a prescription drug or has caused multiple severe events AND those events have been traced to the supplement, which requires a fair bit of detective work. Considering that there are thousands of supplement companies, there’s little oversight in practice.

They’re exempt because a small number of influential politicians had supplements as a pet project, creating a law known as DSHEA. DSHEA amounts to, essentially, “sell anything you want provided you can find a milligram of it somewhere in nature”. Well, Nature is prolific and makes everything from LSD analogues to plutonium (the latter in quite small quantities now but not always; there were natural nuclear reactors in early geologic time). In practice it means ‘sell anything you want, provided it’s not scheduled as a controlled substance’. eg you can’t sell real ‘roids but you could get away with designer similars.

You can start a supplement company in your spare room, right now. Just get the packaging equipment, buy ingredients from China and then get to the important stuff: invent a marketing angle and advertise. You’re in business!

I use several things that fall into the supplement category, as best I can tell they’re from outfits that are voluntarily inspected to Pharma standards. None were found on health sites, via internet ads, etc. One of them was formed specifically to package meds recommended by my doc. That one provides ingredients lists with quantities, you could source all the stuff separately and make your own. Were I to try assembling all that and researching the suppliers myself it would never get done. So far, I haven’t been poisoned and the various stuff seems to have effects consistent with what the labelled ingredients.

But in general, the US supplement industry is barely more regulated than patent medicines in the 19th century. While you’re not likely to find an Elixir Sulfanilamide or a RadioThor today, you might find something poisonous, especially in body-building stuff. Not long ago a few people needed liver transplants due to one such miracle muscle booster, it was a blend of proteins, steroid analogues and dog-knows-what blended in someone’s garage on Long Island. Well, not all got the transplants, a few died straight off.
 

Carl

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Oh, well, I'll never know now. I suppose all I can do is buy supplements exclusively from the EU until Brexit ruins that as well. (PS American friends, this is no slight on your country, just your supplements...)
I have to pull you up on this! Maybe you do not use Milk Thistle extract. Well the EU gave drug companies the power to ban the sale of any herbal medicine that they want to. The British government, the last Labour government, implemented THMPD and drug companies have since banned the sale of Milk Thistle extract because it has medicinal properties and competition with some of their medicines.

I leave it there for now but there is so much more about how the EU is undermining people's health and often claiming it is for public health reasons. I dislike the EU and hope that we leave ASAP but with remain MP's blocking it, it might not happen and the EU will continue to undermine your health and stop you purchasing herbs that you need.

Herbs have a big part to play in countering antibiotic resistance and the drug companies are doing very little (sweet fa) treating these infections. Just wait a bit for when CFS is proven to be caused by bacteria. I have know for years!
 

Sarah94

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I have to pull you up on this! Maybe you do not use Milk Thistle extract. Well the EU gave drug companies the power to ban the sale of any herbal medicine that they want to. The British government, the last Labour government, implemented THMPD and drug companies have since banned the sale of Milk Thistle extract because it has medicinal properties and competition with some of their medicines.

I leave it there for now but there is so much more about how the EU is undermining people's health and often claiming it is for public health reasons. I dislike the EU and hope that we leave ASAP but with remain MP's blocking it, it might not happen and the EU will continue to undermine your health and stop you purchasing herbs that you need.

Herbs have a big part to play in countering antibiotic resistance and the drug companies are doing very little (sweet fa) treating these infections. Just wait a bit for when CFS is proven to be caused by bacteria. I have know for years!
You can definitely buy milk thistle in the UK.
 

pamojja

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I have to pull you up on this! Maybe you do not use Milk Thistle extract.
You can definitely buy milk thistle in the UK.
It's faceted. I painfully found out Austrian customs can confiscate and fine any supplement from an US shipment, where they find any ingredient also present in drugs. Minor transgressions judged by the custom officer €50,- a piece, otherwise 260,-, on repeat a hefty fine of 2600,-. Happened to me already with Sillimarin, Nattokinase, Alpha-lipoic acid and TMG. There isn't a blacklist, they just compare the ingredients to a list of all available drugs in my country. The absurdity of all this is, that each of these ingredients are openly available in supermarkets, at rediculous low doses though. Germany is alledgedly even more strikter than Austria, confiscating even vitamin C, though 100g bottles available in suppermarkets there too.

However, having to pay a 260,- fine for a bottle of TMG costing only 10,- I repealed. Using a EU high-court ruling that distincts very clearly between medications and supplements, in that it needs 2 qualifyers: first by function (an ingredient having physiological effects), and second by designation (it claims to heal; no FDA disclaimer on the bottle).

Therefore in all these 'illegal' medicine import confiscations and fines (practically impossible to do legally for a privat person), it is actually the local Government not following the EU rules. My repeal would have to be processed within 1.5 years, they simply avoided the issue by letting it pass and expire, the charge dropped. Phoning the officer, she even agreed this Austrian ruling seems just to protect Austrian pharmacies.

Since then I try to get most supplements from US companies selling from within the EU circumventing issues with Austrian customs (https://www.lifeextensioneurope.com/, https://swansoneurope.com/, https://www.healthmonthly.co.uk/) or bulk powder providers (https://www.bulkpowders.com, https://www.myprotein.com/, http://www.blackburndistributions.com). Sadly the later probably wont be accessible after the Brexit anymore, since they all are located in the UK.

And only order from the US what's not available and made it through customs already many times through the years.

The British government, the last Labour government, implemented THMPD and drug companies have since banned the sale of Milk Thistle extract
That's what it seems you're left with after leaving the EU. Local governments protecting local industries, with no way to repeal due to other reasonable EU high-court rulings. Though GB seems to be very lax in implementing anything, I still do get Milk Thistle extract bulk powder from there.
 
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@Cheryl M
I was recently informed that supplements produced in the USA have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration for many years now.
They never were. Which is why it's wise to stick to companies that have a high level of exellence and strongly positive buyer support.
I had a terrifying experience last year with a 1mg melatonin tablet from America (bought on Ebay).
Buying ANYTHING from Ebay, let alone something that you're going to ingest, is madness and a crap shoot. Ebay is pretty much the Casbah for counterfeit and bogus products.


Stick to iHerb, and the many excellent suggestions from @pamojja and @CFS_for_19_years , posted above, before you make sweeping statements about the lack of safety of U.S. supplements, without which many of us would be in hospice or dead.
 
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nyanko_the_sane

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Given that many of us rely on supplements to contend with our various deficiencies, this is a very relevant topic.

Amazon has had ongoing issues with counterfeit supplements being sold by third parties.
https://www.wired.com/story/amazon-fake-supplements/

An article about CVS's own supplement testing program.
https://www.healthline.com/health-n...nking-vitamins-supplements#An-ongoing-project

"The Last Smile" is a dramatization I watched about a true case of corruption in the supplement industry.

Available to watch on prime video.
https://www.amazon.com/Last-Smile-Keith-Stevenson/dp/B076TDH8T6
 
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HowToEscape?

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The three manufacturers that take part in the USP program are some of the "cheapest" brands available. Look for NatureMade, Kirkland and TruNature.

Garden of Life is also very affordable.
I’ve had great experiences with Kirkland products, e.g., I bought their almonds for 3.50/lb, they turned out to be better than Whole Foods’ which cost 3x.
Costco is weird; they pay their employees so much that Wall Street complained, yet their stuff is always better than you’d expect from a warehouse store. The CEO, who is also the company founder, told WS basically “I’m the best CEO you’re going to get, I am not cutting those wages, that’s how I run my business”. It’s an under-appreciated miracle of efficiency, free markets and the owner’s personal values.
Thank you very much! I was after all buying the cheapest brands available, so perhaps that'll teach me you get what you pay for /o\ Will look through all those soon.
In the case of supplements, paying more does not necessarily translate into getting better x or y. The actual stuff in the typical supplement is very inexpensive, you're getting a fraction of a gram of it per pill. What's often different is the marketing. Plain ol' vitamin D, costs next to nothing, no profit in that. "Super-Sunny Natural Living Molecule D Plus", now there's something you can mark up. It's exactly the same vitamin of course, but targeted to different audiences with different wallet thickness. This is probably not the case with every substance on sale anywhere, but it is for most.

edit -- this might have double posted. If so, oops.
 
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I use iherb does anyone know a really good brand which is available from iherb?
What specifically are you looking for, supplement-wise?

iHerb sells just about every brand under the sun, so it's really hard to answer that question.

A few vitamin/supplement manufacturers that I've used for years and which are highly respected are Solgar, Nature's Way (every herb known to man), Country Life, Thorne (expensive), Pure Encapsulations (somewhat expensive), Vital Nutrients ...... damn. Brain crash.

This will give you a starting point.
 

Pearshaped

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@Yippeeki YOW
Im still looking for a good B-complex and a good multi-v. Some of the ones i tried were rubbish.(jarrow,NOW,thorne) so i thought i ask what brands you guys are taking ...thanks for the tips

And yes,i promise i'll let you know if i found it(the reset button). just give me 20years