Where did you buy your last supplements? Or anything for that matter? For 77% of supplement purchases alone, Amazon reigns supreme. But Amazon isn’t always the one selling or shipping those supplements, so what happens when a third-party seller decides to sell something that is expired, fake or mislabeled? The answer might surprise you.
As many as 82% of bodybuilding supplements, 69% of CBD products, 52% of herbal and dietary supplements, 49% of single and multivitamins, and 44% of botanical supplements are mislabeled. Mislabeled supplements can have more or less of the active ingredients listed on the label, include unlisted ingredients, including pharmaceuticals, and lack one or more of the ingredients listed. Mislabeled products aren’t just a ripoff, they can be dangerous, as well.
In 2018 there were more than 5000 incidents where supplement use resulted in a call to poison control. Suspected vitamin overdoses have increased by 35% since 1999, and 20% of liver damage is attributable to herbal and dietary supplements. What’s more, nearly one in three people who take these products are at risk of adverse medication interaction.
The tech we rely on to give us access to things we need, especially right now, can be used for nefarious purposes like selling things that are known to be harmful. What’s more, these services make it easier to sell things accidentally, which are harmful, such as expired supplements that are sold by third-party sellers that buy out businesses that are going out of business, among other things.
It’s important to do your homework whenever you buy anything online, but especially something you will put into your body. Avoid buying from third-party sellers if you can, but especially those that don’t specialize in supplements. Make sure you trust the vendor you are doing business with and check for things like independent verifications.
Learn more about avoiding dangerous supplements online from the infographic below.
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Last Updated on February 3, 2021.