Dietary Supplements: It’s All So Confusing

Which Dietary Supplement Should I buy?

Dietary Supplements: I get so confused.

In the United States, over 55% of adults, over the age of 20, have taken dietary supplements in the last 30 days as reported by the CDC.

The use of supplements increases with age and is more prevalent in women.

Generally speaking, older adults have less disposable income but they are buying the largest amounts of supplements.

As most of us know, supplements can get pretty pricey.

What are the important things to consider when purchasing a supplement so that you are getting your money’s worth?

First of all, banish the thought that there is a perfect supplement company. There isn’t.  On the other hand, there is a lot of crap disguised as supplements.

I have to say this: Choose food before you choose a supplement. While a supplement will give you a large amount of one nutrient/herb in a dose, food gives you a lot of nutrients in one item.  It’s also less expensive even if you are buying organic. AND…you can’t out supplement a bad diet/

The Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Dietary Supplement

1. Why are you looking for a supplement/herb?

a. Should you be seeing a provider instead of guessing what you need?

b. Are you trying to lower your cholesterol? Maybe looking for something for sleep? So many options.

2. Don’t look for the cheapest brand. These generally have lower quality ingredients and you will not get your desired effect. In fact, you may get an effect you didn’t desire.

3. Do some research before you buy a supplement. A great place to start is This site has a lot of science-based, free information.

4. What forms is it available in? pills, liquids, chewable, capsules, spray. There are pros and cons to each.

5. Look for the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) or NSF on the label to assure quality manufacturing.

Choose You Dietary Supplements Wisely

There are many more things that could be added to this list.

Don’t do this! Run out and buy something based on a Facebook, Twitter, or another post, especially if it’s not posted by an expert. Who is an expert? They probably have several initials after their name and/or have written a book. If you don’t want to do the research, ask someone knowledgeable to do it for you. To do it right, they would need to know some of your medical history, like why do you want to take this?

LTM Consulting Health & Wellness LLC is available to help you with your supplement decisions.

Theresa Lohman RN, DNP, FNP-BC, NBC-HWC

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