How to Buy Vitamins Online Safely for New Users
Micronutrient deficiencies are incredibly common and affect around 2 billion people worldwide. If your body doesn’t get the vitamins and nutrients it needs, it could cause infections and contribute to severe illnesses.
Are you exploring the benefits of vitamins for the first time? Before you buy vitamins online, it’s important to take these steps. By taking the necessary precautions, you can make sure the vitamins you purchase are safe.
Otherwise, you could end up with an inadequate or even dangerous product.
Keep reading for eight tips that will help you buy vitamins safely online.
1. Know What You Need
About 31% of Americans are at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia. These vitamins include A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate to name a few. While many Americans are vitamin deficient, you probably don’t need the same types of vitamins as your neighbor.
Before you buy vitamins online, it’s important to know what you need. Otherwise, you could end up taking too much of a single vitamin. In some cases, taking too much of a vitamin can cause health concerns.
For example, taking excessive amounts of iron can cause iron toxicity or hemochromatosis. When left untreated, hemochromatosis can increase your risk of heart failure, diabetes, liver problems, and cancer.
However, not enough of a certain vitamin can cause problems, too. Vitamin B-12 deficiency, for example, can leave you without energy. If you’re not getting enough iron in your diet, your hair might start to thin.
What foods have you cut from your diet? Are you following a keto, vegetarian, or vegan lifestyle?
Vegans are at a higher risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegetarians might not get enough protein, which can impact their iron, vitamin B, and zinc intake. These vitamins are essential for hair growth.
Make sure to choose vitamins based on your lifestyle and dietary restrictions.
If you’re not sure which vitamins to buy, visit your doctor beforehand.
2. Check With Your Doctor
Visiting a doctor is an essential step when determining the types of vitamins you need.
Before your appointment, take the time to track everything you eat and drink. Your doctor will likely ask you questions about your lifestyle and diet. A list of what you’re eating can help them determine which vitamins are missing from your diet.
Your doctor can also determine the types of vitamins you need based on your:
- Family history
- Current medical state
- Future risk of developing certain medical conditions
- Diet and exercise regimen
Your future lifestyle can also indicate which vitamins you need to add to your routine. For example, a woman who plans on getting pregnant will need to take folic acid. Folic acid can help your baby develop.
Other prenatal vitamins include iron for placenta and fetus development. Your doctor might also suggest you take calcium and vitamin D, or a woman’s multivitamin designed for mothers-to-be.
Are you trying to build muscle and burn fat? You might want to consider taking calcium, biotin, iron, and omega-3. Vitamin D and B12 are ideal for muscle development, too.
Does your family have a history of osteoporosis? You might want to take calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong.
Are you experiencing any unfamiliar symptoms like insomnia or fatigue? Let your doctor know. They can suggest different vitamins based on your health needs.
Checking with your doctor before you buy vitamins online can help you make smarter purchasing decisions.
For example, ask your doctor if the vitamins on your list can cause any side effects. Talk to them about determining the right dose for your body, too.
Your doctor can also indicate if any of the vitamins on your list will interact with a medication your own. Speaking with your doctor can help you make adjustments to your medications to avoid dangerous interactions.
Rember, your health needs are unique. Speaking with your doctor instead of trusting everything you read can help you avoid potential side effects.
Remember, certain vitamins can interact with different medications.
For example, if you’re already taking blood thinners, you shouldn’t take vitamin K. Combining these two substances could cause your blood to clot.
The food you eat can interact with the vitamins you’re taking, too. For example, you shouldn’t drink milk while taking an iron supplement. The calcium in your milk could have a negative impact on the iron.
3. Read the Label
Does the promise on the label seem too good to be true? Ignore it. These labels are designed to draw buyers in.
You don’t have to believe everything you read. Instead, turn the label over to check the supplemental facts. You can also read the description to make sure the product suits your needs.
While you’re at it, make sure to look from certifications from different organizations:
- NSF International
- United States Pharmacopeia (USP)
These certifications aren’t a guarantee that the vitamins you’re choosing are safe. Instead, they indicate the products contain all the ingredients listed on the bottle and meet proper manufacturing standards.
Choosing a product with one or more of these certifications will also give you peace of mind. To earn these certifications, a product has to avoid using harmful contaminants.
As you review the product’s label, make a note of the name of the vitamin. Look for the manufacturer’s contact information, too. Then, take the time to review the list of ingredients.
If you’re wary about a certain ingredient, research the adverse effects it can cause.
Don’t forget to check for an expiration date on the bottle. If it doesn’t have one, continue your search.
4. Determine the DRI
During your doctor’s visit, speak with your doctor about the daily recommended intake (DRI) for the vitamins you need. Your current health condition, age, and gender all determine how much of a certain vitamin you need to take.
You can check this list of DRI recommendations for each vitamin’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Remember, your DRI depends on your unique health needs. If you’re unsure how much of each vitamin you need, consult a doctor.
5. Choose Reliable Brands
Don’t choose the first brand you come across. Instead, it’s important to know how to look for reliable vitamin brands.
First, check the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Their website can help you learn more about each vitamin and supplement on your list. They also provide information about warnings, recalls, and alerts from the FDA.
If there’s a brand on your list that has numerous recalls, cross them off your list.
The USP website can also provide a list of participating companies they trust. Choosing products on their list will help you find reliable vitamin brands you can trust.
6. Check The Site
Before you buy vitamins online, which website are you shopping from? Some websites are straight from official manufacturers. Others are from cheap, untrustworthy sites.
Many of the latter sell products that contain fillers, which won’t benefit your long-term health.
First, avoid websites with claims that seem too good to be true. Some websites will promise they can help you avoid COVID-19 or guarantee they’ll help you lose weight.
As you explore the types of vitamins on each site, look at their products. Are they transparent about the ingredients in each one? Do they provide information and resources you can use?
A trustworthy website will offer references and back up their medical claims with verified resources.
If you have any questions, look for the website’s contact information. If they don’t allow you to speak with someone, cross that website off your list.
7. Read Up Reviews
Before you buy vitamins online, you want to do your due diligence. One of the best ways to find peace of mind is to read reviews from customers. These are consumers just like you who want to find the best products online.
Reading reviews can help you avoid harmful or useless products. They can also help you dodge scans.
While you’re online, head over to Supplement Reviews. This website can tell you about different types of vitamins and point you toward reliable vitamin brands. There’s also Protein Daily, which can help if you’re an athlete looking for vitamins.
Are you researching a specific brand or company? Check the Better Business Bureau or their Google My Business listing. Make sure the company doesn’t have any complaints filed against them.
8. Know What to Avoid
Before you click “Add to Cart,” it’s important to know there are some ingredients you should avoid. These can include:
- Contaminated L-tryptophan
- Bitter orange
- Hydrogenated oils
- Magnesium silicate
- Magnesium stearate
- Sodium benzoate
- Titanium dioxide
Some of these ingredients can cause liver damage and other dangerous effects. Take the time to explore the FDA’s list of tainted products, too.
You can also research ingredients using pubmed.com (the National Institute of Health).
Stay Safe: 8 Tips to Follow Before You Buy Vitamins Online
Want to stay safe and improve your long-term health? Make sure to review these tips before you buy vitamins online. With these tips, you can avoid dangerous products and only buy the best!
With the right vitamin regimen, you can improve your overall health. Stay happy and healthy with these tips!
Ready to take high-quality muscles that will support your health goals? Explore our shop today!