Have you ever subjected yourself to a late-night infomercial marathon? Concentrated to sell you on pretty much anything, these demonstrations advertise clothing that make you look thinner, like-magic stain removers, get-rich-quick schemes and more. There are a variety of questionable products and a little bit of skepticism is expected. Perhaps you’ve purchased a similar item yourself, only to discover later you’d fallen victim to a scam. You’re not alone.
Just about everyone has been scammed at some point. People experience deception for a number of reasons: they’re trusting, they’re desperate, they’re greedy. But some of the most popular scams (weight-loss supplements being a large one) involve issues that can really affect you: money and health.
When health is involved, our actions typically result from desperation. What would you do to shed those last few pounds, or to look younger or cure a disease—just about anything, right? If simply swallowing a pill or slathering on a cream is all it would take, how quickly would you turn over your hard-earned money? Unfortunately, there is no miracle supplement.
Many companies make bogus, unsubstantiated claims about their products, and hopeful consumers believe them. This results in frustration and disappointment when the advertised benefits don’t appear.
Don’t fall victim to a supplement scam! To protect yourself, keep these three tips in mind:
1. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Use common sense. If a supplement claims it will treat or cure disease (or common problems like hair loss, acne, sexual dysfunction, etc.) don’t buy it. These claims are illegal, and miracle pills don’t exist.
2. Investigate the Company
Research as much as possible. It’s a good idea to choose publicly traded companies, which are regularly audited, because you can easily obtain information about their manufacturing practices and more.
3. Research the Product
If you’re serious about finding the best supplement, study ingredient labels. Was the product produced using pharmaceutical manufacturing standards? Are nutrient ratios consistent with current scientific research? Learn as much as you can about a nutrient before purchasing a supplement.
If you’re not sure about a supplement, ask your physician or pharmacist before purchasing it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This blog is written exclusively by employees of Vitacost.com. Vitacost.com and writers of the VitaBlog have a material connection to any links contained within. This disclosure is made in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.5 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”