It is amazing how many dietary supplements have been introduced onto the market over the years and even more supplement companies astonishing is that so many of them are marketed through drug companies. The dietary supplements industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and a majority of that comes from just one company – Merck, which was the first pharmaceutical company to introduce a health supplement into the world. Merck would come to be known for one of the most popular and most widely distributed prescription sleep aids on the planet, Ambien.
Dietary supplement companies quickly came to realize that if they developed quality, all natural herbal-based supplements, that their profits would soar. After all, no one was making money selling sleeping pills, and the dietary supplement industry was one of the fastest growing segments in the health and wellness industry. Unfortunately, many of the supplement companies started to use the private label product label for their products just as poorly as the drug companies did.
Some supplement companies started to try and “cut corners” by adding dyes and fillers to their “natural” based capsules. While it may make for an attractive package to customers who can’t afford the real thing, this is an ineffective marketing strategy. Most consumers aren’t going to be fooled by fancy packaging. What they want to buy are effective little pills that can help them achieve their dietary goals.
The main complaint about these “generic” capsule products is that they don’t contain the same amount of ingredients as the real thing. While it’s easy to substitute ingredients into your own home made capsules by mixing some herbs together or grinding up an ingredient to create a powder, you won’t get the same results with soft gels. Soft gels are generally thinner and don’t have as large a molecular structure as harder gels do. The FDA has even banned the addition of stabilizers to hard capsules.
Another problem with fake dietary supplements is that they are difficult to read. This is especially true when you have multiple pills in front of you. Even when the packaging looks similar, the back of the bottle could have completely different information on it than what the label states. A healthcare provider will need to look at the back of the bottle to determine whether the capsule is made from a specific ingredient or not. If it isn’t listed, the healthcare provider should question the validity of the product.
As you can see, there are a few problems associated with using non-fda marked dietary supplements. Because they have to rely on other companies’ quality assurances, they are limited in what they can do. There are also regulations in place regarding how dietary supplements can be sold. Finally, most of these products are only available through a contract manufacturer. You may want to contact your healthcare provider to see if they can recommend a reputable contract manufacturer that meets all your supplement needs.