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a third of supplements are fake?
Nov 13, 2013

Hi Nelson, what do you think of this recent study, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/science/herbal-supplements-are-often-not-what-they-seem.html?_r=2&, which found that a lot of the supplements sold contain fillers or none of the advertised supplement at all? This makes me not want to buy any supplements any more! But how do we deal with this fact, especially when some of us need these vitamins and minerals?

Response from Mr. Vergel

It does not surprise me. That is why it is so hard for me to deal with daily emails from people who ask my opinion about certain brands of supplements.

We have a lot of freedom of choice in the United States and most of us want less regulation, not more. But when it comes to supplements I am tired of the abuse that industry has been displaying towards customers buying their products. The FDA does not regulate or spot check supplement ingredients since they are not equipped to do so. The supplement industry should be better at policing its members on quality control but they do not. A few bad apples can ruin things for the rest.

Over 90 percent of supplement companies care little about generating data from studies. They make claims that are allowed on their bottles as long as there is a small footnote that says "these claims have not been reviewed by the FDA". Many use data from studies done in rats to extrapolate to humans.

For a small membership fee, ConsumerLabs.org lists results of analysis of different products and companies. That is the only place we have to at least see some data on ingredients. For study data, I use Examine.com .

You can also ask members of my group on ExcelMale.com since many are very savvy about supplements.

In health,

Nelson Vergel



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