Health is big business these days. Everywhere you go on the Internet, in magazines, and on television, you get a constant stream of adverts saying that supplement X is the best for building muscle, or product Y will help you lose weight healthily. The variety of products and the benefits discussed is so vast that it can be overwhelming and confusing, and you can often feel like you should be consuming hundreds of dietary additives every day to achieve optimum health. If you want to improve your wellbeing and make the best choices, how do you know what advice you can trust, and who are just modern-day examples of snake oil salesmen?
Who is selling the product?
This is the first and most critical question. There are, unfortunately, some unscrupulous people out there who are just trying to make a fast buck out of those who are trying to improve their health. These are the snake oil salesmen, but with a little effort and knowledge about what to look for, you can soon sort the shysters from the legitimate businesses. When you find a product that sounds just right, or the sales pitch is so convincing, you feel sure it’s what you need to perk you up, just have a quick look behind the scenes and see who is trying to sell it to you. Have a look at the “About” section of the website and check the credentials of the business and anyone who is claiming to be able to advise you. Legitimate companies will be open about who they are, where they are based and how they can be contacted. If they make claims for a product, they will be able to back it up with evidence that proves, or at least indicates, that what they are saying is true. If the site has affiliates who list their medical or scientific qualifications, do a search for the person to check their credentials are real and earned from a reputable institution.
Don’t believe what the website says without looking for independent sources that can verify the claims being made. Anyone can claim to have a degree, or if they do have one, it may have been awarded by an unaccredited university or diploma mill. If the person does have genuine qualifications, this can be quickly confirmed, and then you can be reassured that they know what they’re talking about. The same is true of the products themselves. The website should list all the ingredients and where they come from, and you can then check if there has been any research done that proves the benefits of the product. That doesn’t mean that products without this kind of approval aren’t effective; research is an ongoing process, and it can take years for sufficient numbers of good quality studies to be completed before conclusions can be drawn with any certainty. It does mean that you will be making an informed decision about whether to try the product or not.
Are these products right for you?
Websites will usually have a disclaimer on them somewhere that states there are no guarantees when it comes to the effectiveness of any product, and that medical advice should be sought if you have any pre-existing conditions or if you are unsure what is best for you to use. This is placed there to protect the business from any complaints or claims, but is nonetheless sound advice. Your doctor is best placed to advise you on what supplements, medications, or dietary changes you need, and will be able to tell you if there is anything to avoid. They will have access to your medical records, and they have the expertise to make recommendations based on your history, particularly if you have an electronic patient record as part of a hies technology system. Once this has been confirmed you are then free to try any supplement you like. No drug or medicine has exactly the same effect on every person who takes it, and some people may find the benefit whilst others feel no different. As long as there is no medical constraint which would stop you taking a particular product, there is no reason not to try anything that could be helpful for your condition or that you believe could improve your overall health. Weed out the scams and charlatans as described above, then compare a range of products to see which one sounds like it might be best for you. Follow the instructions carefully, then if you find it has no effect after a decent length of time, chalk that one up to experience and try something else. Reviews for products can be helpful as pointers, but just because other people have found they benefited from taking a particular product, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Equally, just because a product doesn’t work for other people doesn’t mean you won’t find it helpful.
One at a time
In order to be sure which products are genuinely making you feel better or having an effect, start with one and only add others when you have confirmed the benefits from the first. This way you will know exactly which product is having the desired effect. Unless you know how well and in what regard your additive is working, you won’t be able to find the best additional product to take care of any other problems. When you make notes on how you’re feeling, include anything that could be termed a side effect, i.e., feeling nauseous, breaking out in a rash or having headaches.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of different supplements and dietary additives on offer, follow these simple steps to help you narrow down the options and find the ones that are best for you. Monitor how well the treatments work and what differences you note when taking the product. If you can find the right products, there’s no doubt that they can make you feel a whole lot better and improve your overall health, so persevere until you find what works for you.