Dr. Chris D’Adamo, PhD, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Dr. Brian Cornblatt, PhD, Medical Director at Nutramax Laboratories and developer of the clinically trial-backed Avmacol line of products, believe that in order to gain consumer trust, the supplement industry must raise the bar when it comes to product quality and accountability. They say that begins with clinical research and third-party testing to demonstrate product safety and support claims made on labels.
By putting more focus on the right types of clinical studies and quality testing, manufacturers would develop much needed scientific support for its products and also help consumers make better informed decisions about what they are putting into their bodies.
Dr. D’Adamo said professionals and consumers should keep three things in mind when selecting dietary supplements: “First, does the product have safety testing? And I don’t mean the ingredients in the product, the actual finished product. Does it have safety testing? Is it third-party lab verified for purity? So the FDA does regulate dietary supplements as foods, but they don’t regulate the purity, but there are lots of companies that go the extra mile to do this third-party testing. And then finally, the clinical research, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years at the Center for Integrative medicine.”
With poor diet being the leading risk factor for early death across the globe, nutrition education for doctors is crucial. Dr. Cornblatt argues that more nutrition education among doctors is needed.
When he was in medical schools in the 1990s, Dr. Cornblatt said had just one week of human nutrition education. “I learned more about parasites in the Nile River than I did about nutrition,” he said.
When shopping for supplements, Cornblatt suggests calling the 1-800 number on the back of the bottle. “Call them up, find out if they've done any studies, and if so, ask if they can send you a copy. If not, I’d literally run from that product.”
To hear more tips on how to better navigate the supplement aisle, watch the full interview.