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Supplements are critical to the modern American diet. But understanding the ins and outs of the industry is key to ensuring quality emerges on top.
April 17, 2016
It was some time between embracing healthy, nutrient-dense foods and waking up to toxins in my cosmetics that supplements took over my medicine cabinet and sundries bag. Somewhere on that ever-complicated yet increasingly inspiring path to wellness—one filled with choices and pitfalls, improvements and setbacks—that I began to believe in the power of those powders and pills as one vehicle to help drive me in the direction of a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps, as is the case for many supplement users, it started based on faith—the belief that an ingredient used for thousands of years, found in nature, could help me feel my best.
Since starting to use supplements, my appreciation for, understanding of and curiosity about them has evolved—and my commitment has grown based on the burgeoning research supporting supplements’ prowess. Thanks to more consumers taking control of their health—empowered by healthy ingredients and natural products, rather than pharmaceuticals, able to take a proactive approach to health rather than a reactive one—awareness is much more widespread and so is usage. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed more than 20 years ago; it regulates supplements as food and protects consumers’ access to supplements as a holistic way to support health and wellness. Today, we can purchase a range of research-backed ingredients and supplements at health food stores across the country.
As a result, 68 percent of American adults now take supplements, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, and more conventional doctors are recommending them, too. With that said, also like many consumers, I have realized the importance of taking a critical eye in order to ensure I am getting a safe, high-quality products. There is still a lot of confusion around how to achieve this, and plenty of unanswered questions that need to be addressed in order to instill consumer trust and confidence, and help the industry continue to flourish.
To address these questions and build trust and transparency, we felt the time was right to join together as an industry to explore the supplement world’s greatest challenges—and opportunities. Through our Inside the Bottle initiative, we brought together leading experts and influencers to help us better understand and communicate these issues. Why does the modern American lifestyle require supplementation? How are supplements regulated (yes, they are regulated)? What’s to make of the negative reporting about supplements?
We kicked off our initiative in January when we invited passionate people from eight companies to join in spirited dialogue about where the supplement industry is and where it’s headed. The insights that emerged helped us to identify areas that demand more education. We’re exploring the power of supplements to support health and wellness—and the better-than-best practices that separate the good from the great players.
Over the past three years, I’ve found myself in fields and farms, labs and manufacturing facilities that shed light on the skilled, inspiring happenings in this industry. These are the stories so often shaded under the dark cloud of negative headlines, yet ones that deserve to be told. Stories of integrity, transparency, science, education—and, most of all, of people, companies and retailers committed to providing us with the tools we need to thrive. At the same time, we recognize that there are tough challenges facing the industry and we are not shying away from those—fragmentation, confusion, negative or misleading media, bad players (kudos to Nutrition Business Journal for taking a hard and skilled look at this topic in its Dark Issue).
Whether we are addressing the good or the bad, knowledge is power. And that’s why I couldn’t be more excited to announce the launch of this program. This content is, first and foremost, a good read that taps the knowledge of experts from across the supply chain—and that will empower you to make more informed choices about supplements. Ultimately, there are many complex issues the supplements space faces. And the only way to get a deeper understanding is to take time to take a look inside the bottle.
Download your copy of Inside the Bottle: Understanding Supplements Today below, and stay tuned as we continue to roll out supplement education all year. #InsidetheBottle
Download your copy below.
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