Where do you buy your supplements? If you're like most Americans, you probably pick up supplements at your local drugstore or a big box retailer. If want a better grade supplement, you might go to a health and nutrition store. The truth is, if you’ve been buying supplements outside of a medical grade retailer, you may have been getting subpar products packed with fillers and ingredients not listed on the label.
The New York Attorney General's Findings
In February 2015, the New York Attorney General issued cease and desist orders to four of the major retailers that sell herbal supplements. The letters issued instructed retailers that they must stop selling adulterated or mislabeled supplements to the public. The orders were the result of product testing that the AG's office conducted.
The AG's office purchased samples of seven supplements from Walgreens, Target, Walmart and GNC. Here are some of the results they found:
- Echinacea - No echinacea was found in supplements purchased at Walgreens, GNC, or Walmart. Most Target samples did contain echinacea.
- Saw Palmetto - Some samples, purchased from Walmart and GNC, had saw palmetto in them. Most of the samples at Target contained saw palmetto. All samples taken from Walgreen's contained saw palmetto.
- Ginseng - No ginseng was found in samples purchased from Walmart, GNC, or Walgreens.
- Valerian Root - Samples purchased at Target contained no valerian root.
- Ginkgo Biloba - None of the samples purchased at any of the four retailers contained any ginkgo biloba.
- St. John's wort - None of the samples purchased at any of the four retailers contained any St. John's wort.
- Garlic - Garlic supplements purchased at Walgreens contained no garlic. One sample, of many, purchased at Walmart contained garlic. Samples purchased at GNC and Target did contain garlic.
What Was Found In The Samples?
The retailers were using a variety of fillers and potential allergens in these supplements. Some of the ingredients they found include:
- Wild carrot
One of the ironies of the findings? The garlic supplements purchased at Walgreens had no garlic in them. The echinacea purchased at the same retailer had garlic in it, but no echinacea. The St. John's wort bought at Walgreens also contained garlic, but none of the key ingredient.
What Does All This Mean?
There is no regulation of supplements within the United States. This allows retailers to put anything they want into the supplements and label it however they please.
The only way around this potential issues is to use medical-grade supplements that are guaranteed to contain the key ingredient. You can get these medical-grade supplements through Matrix Age Management in Amarillo, Texas. Stop wasting your money on supplements containing miscellaneous filler materials, and ensure you’re purchasing supplements with dietary and nutritional value.