How do you choose a good food supplement or herb. Sometime it can be confusing as you look at the many supplements that manufacturers produce today. Most people do not realize that food supplents do not have to be tested before you take them. That fact should make you all shutter.
After all we take vitamins to aid in keeping us healthy. I thought that the comments from Dr. Steve Chaney one of my favorite experts in the area of health and nutrition, has some interesting points about what to look for in choosing a good supplement.
“A number of you have contacted me requesting a clear explanation of the Shaklee Difference.
“I understand your frustration. I have looked at the literature and web sites of many of Shaklee’s competitors.
“Most of Shaklee’s competitors excel in marketing. Their web sites and literature tell compelling stories. Every company claims to have the highest quality standards and products backed by outstanding science.
“They all claim to be the best.
“So what is it that truly distinguishes Shaklee from the rest?
“In my opinion there are five things that make Shaklee stand out from the crowd.
“#1) Integrity: To me integrity means three things:
– No hype or false claims. One reason why other companies are able to tell such compelling stories is that they feel free to make claims that they cannot back up with clinical studies (more about that next week).
Shaklee does not resort to hype or false claims in promoting their products. Shaklee has never been asked by the FTC or FDA to retract any of their product claims – something that cannot be said for many of their competitors.
2) No testimonials. One reason why other company’s web sites are so compelling is the testimonials.
In evaluating testimonials you need to understand that the placebo effect is close to 50% for things like pain relief, energy and feeling of well being.
That’s why I always ignore testimonials unless they are backed by sound science.
3) No paid endorsements. Endorsements are commodities. They are bought and sold.
That’s why I always ignore endorsements by doctors and professional athletes.
So what is the bottom line for you as a consumer?
My recommendation is to pay very little attention to testimonials and endorsements.
And, of course, remember those venerable words of wisdom “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn’t”. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Just use your common sense.
“#4) The Golden Rule. I know that sounds kind of hokey, but by that I mean:
– Shaklee’s commitment to only make products of proven benefit.
Some of you may remember earlier fads concerning chromium picolinate and colloidal minerals. The current fads seem to be magic water and exotic juices.
Shaklee has looked at all of those products. They could have made lots of money from marketing those kinds of products, but there was no good evidence that they actually worked – that they provided a real benefit to people using them. So Shaklee chose not to make those products.
– Shaklee’s commitment to only make products that will do no harm.
“Some of you may remember those weight loss products containing ephedra (ma huang) from a few years ago.
“Shaklee evaluated ephedra for their weight loss products. It is effective at increasing metabolic rate, but it also causes arrhythmia – it kills people.
“That was abundantly clear from the scientific literature at that time. Of course, Shaklee chose to not use ephedra in their weight loss products. But many of their competitors used it – until enough people died that the FDA stepped in and banned ephedra.
– Shaklee’s commitment to make their products as natural as possible. We are exposed to too many toxic chemicals in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Because of that I prefer to avoid artificial ingredients in the supplements that I take.
“I have seen the list of artificial ingredients that Shaklee will not use. It’s the size of a small telephone book.
“And that list includes sucralose. While many experts will assure you that sucralose is safe, other experts aren’t so sure.
5) My rule of thumb is to not knowingly consume any artificial ingredient unless it has been in the food supply for at least 20 years and is still considered safe.
“If you think about it, we have been assured by the ‘experts’ that other artificial ingredients were safe only to have the FDA announce years latter “Oops – we were wrong”
“I prefer to avoid the ‘Oops’ factor.
“Shaklee’s list of ingredients that they will never use also includes GMO ingredients. Again, this is a controversial area, but I believe that there are too many unresolved environmental and health concerns around GMO foods.
“So what is the bottom line for you as a consumer?
“It is difficult for the layperson to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an ingredient or product, but you can become a discerning label reader.
“I would recommend avoiding supplements containing artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners (including sucralose).
“And for food products (shakes, bars and gels) I would also recommend avoiding them unless the label specifically states that they use non GMO ingredients.
To Your Health! Dr. Stephen G Chaney