What Are Fake Supplements?

What are fake supplements?
What are fake supplements?

What Are Fake Supplements?

How common are fake supplements and what are fake supplements? You might think that it is not that common.

In 2015, The New York Times reported that several top-selling vitamin and supplement brands at several national retailers “did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.”

“Tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.”  Ref

Tom Mower, Chief Product Formulator from Sisel International says it is common practice to fairy dust supplements. 

“But often I see just a fairy dusting of an active ingredient. Too little amount to do anything but there for a label claim. (it is like putting an eye dropper of gasoline in your car tank and expecting it to go anywhere) This is why I say almost all products are over hyped and under perform. “

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for supplements to contain heavy metal containments, like lead or arsenic. 

The FDA provided an update to consumers, stating that “The Food and Drug Administration has found nearly 300 fraudulent products… containing hidden or deceptively labeled ingredients.”

Be cautious of buying supplements on Amazon and Ebay. 

Amazon has recently admitted that fake copy supplements have been sold on their site. They also state that they don’t test supplements so it’s up to you to feel confident that you trust the sources and manufacturers. Ref

Unfortunately, you don’t know what you are buying when purchasing online.

Just because you find a “professional-grade” product on one of these sites doesn’t mean it’s not counterfeit.

If you purchase from these sites, you run the risk of either paying for fillers or potentially taking something harmful.

As mentioned above Amazon can make no guarantees. Make sure you know exactly who is manufacturing your supplements and what sort of quality control promise they make.

Ebay also does not independently test the supplements sold by third party vendors. 

How to Tell if You’re Buying Professional-Grade Supplements

According to Functional Medicine expert Jill Carnahan, MD, you’ll want to search for products citing “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).” 

The most reputable manufacturers must comply with strict Current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations enforced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

“Why GMP is required?

Good manufacturing practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.

Poor-quality medicines can damage health

A poor quality medicine may contain toxic substances that have been unintentionally added. 

A medicine that contains little or none of the claimed ingredient will not have the intended therapeutic effect.” Ref

Other questions to ask:

  • Does the manufacturer test raw materials for quality?
  • Does the manufacturer test raw materials for potency?
  • Does the manufacturer test for contamination of raw materials?

To do this a quality manufacturer will conduct:

  1.  Full panel micro testing for pathogens
  2. Elemental Analysis including Heavy Metal Testing
  3. Thin Layer Chromatography for identification of botanicals (to make sure raw materials/ingredients are the strength and type of ingredient/herb they are supposed to be).

Sisel International test for Quality, potency, and contamination using the 3 methods highlighted above. Sisel go the extra step and even ensure the packaging and bottles are safe. 

What about the safety of the containers supplements are sold in?

Tom Mower states that “most plastic bottles contain toxic or potentially harmful ingredients that leach out into the product they contain, Sisel uses a special plastic under special mfg conditions to ensure they bottles are safe and non-toxic.”

What are Fake Supplements Warning sign!

Shoppers should also pay attention to the therapeutic dosage amount of the active ingredients. In order for a supplemental ingredient to work as advertised, it must be formulated with an amount of that active ingredient that exceeds the therapeutic dosage requirements. Minimum levels are required at least otherwise it will not deliver the advantages it promises. Avoid supplements that don’t list ingredients separately or that don’t contain enough of the ingredient to be considered effective.

Finally, use common sense when shopping for supplements. Read reviews online; speak to friends and family to see if anyone you know has tried the supplement you are considering; look up the Better Business Bureau for the rating of the manufacturer; and always check out the company’s website to see if there are any red flags associated with the firm. 

If you are looking for safe, high-quality supplements, Sisel International ticks all the right boxes.

Buy Products