It’s easier than ever to buy supplements online, but we may want to think twice before doing so. A study warns that buying supplements on Amazon can be dangerous to health.
Researchers at the University of Mississippi tested 30 immune support supplements purchased on Amazon and found that only 13 contained what the product label claimed. That is, less than half.
Supplements can be expensive, but many people feel that they are a worthwhile investment because they assume that the products comply with the label; for example, they help the body fight disease.
Labels don’t tell the truth
To find out, the researchers searched Amazon for the keyword immune in all departments, then filtered the results by “featured” to see which products came up. The researchers then chose the top 30 dietary supplement products that were rated four or more stars.
The researchers purchased a sample of each product. The first step was to see what the product labels said on the product, that is, the list of ingredients. The researchers then tested the products to find out what was actually in the bottle and compared those results to what the labels said.
After testing 30 supplements, researchers found that 17 products had inaccurate labels , 13 labels listed ingredients that were not detected in the actual product, 9 products contained substances not listed on the labels, and 15 product labels had “scientific-sounding” claims. ” that used terms like “research-based” or “research-backed,” but there was no substantial evidence to support those claims.
That is, consumers who bought any of those 30 Amazon products had a good chance of being duped.
Are supplements on Amazon regulated?
There was no regulation for supplement manufacturers in the United States prior to 1994. That year, the government created the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which said that dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors could not market products that were adulterated or mislabeled.
The law is still in force; however, supplements are not yet required to be approved by the government for safety or efficacy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also not required to approve the labeling of supplements. The manufacturer is responsible for making sure that their products are safe and legal, and that any claims they make on labels are accurate and not misleading to consumers.
However, the precise labeling of supplements is still ultimately left to the manufacturers.