Dietary supplements craze: Are supplements worth buying?

Posted at 4:03 PM, Aug 13, 2019

The supplement industry is a billion-dollar one, and from beauty gurus, influencers and YouTubers, everyone is talking about the must-have supplements. According to the FDA, 3 out of every 4 Americans take a supplement daily.

More and more supplement companies have created online vitamin quizzes. Essentially, users answer a few questions regarding your health needs and the company will curate a vitamin regiment for you.

Care/of and Hum Nutrition offer short 5-minute quizzes. After taking their quizzes, the companies recommended a variety of vitamins costing over $50. Vitamins include probiotics, iron, calcium, B12 complex and more. The results can be compelling, but it can also be very expensive.

"I think a lot of supplements are unnecessary and most people can meet their needs through a healthy diet," says registered dietician Stephanie Thomson.

Before filling up your medicine cabinets, Thomson says it might be a total waste of money.

"Supplements are not regulated by the FDA,” Thompson explains. “So, you don't know what’s in these supplements. They might not be getting what think they are getting, or they could be contaminated."

Unlike drug makers, supplement manufactures do not have to submit proof of safety or efficacy, before bringing their product to market.

If you chose to take a vitamin or supplement, Thomson says to consult with your doctor first.