A 2021 study by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) revealed that 80% of US adults take dietary supplements, with the largest motivators in using them being "Maintaining my health" and "Energy". The most popular supplement types included herbal and botanicals, sport and weight management, and vitamins and minerals, with the majority of users saying they trust the safety of their products. However, supplement products can become contaminated with unsafe or harmful substances. Even "all-natural" or plant-based ingredients may still contain naturally occurring steroidal and stimulant compounds.
Our research has shown that up to 1 in 10 supplements sold on the market are contaminated with some form of stimulant or steroid prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). These banned substances have the potential to lead to several health risks once ingested. Even if contamination levels are low, taking dietary supplements every day, multiple times per day can increase these levels and lead to adverse side effects.
Contamination is typically inadvertent. Informed Choice has found the main sources of contamination to occur during the supply chain process.
The CRN recommends all supplement users should choose third-party tested supplement products certified by a third-party program, like Informed Choice. Through our retail monitoring and supplement testing program, alongside our third-party oversight of manufacturing facilities and processes, we help reduce the risk of impurities and banned substances entering products. This not only ensures that the products you consume have been manufactured to recognized international standards, but it also limits the likelihood of you taking unsafe or banned substances.
Informed Choice has created a go-to educational tool to promote education surrounding the taking of dietary supplements.
The Dietary Supplement Guide outlines:
Know your products are safer by looking for the Informed Choice quality mark when purchasing supplements.
The Informed Choice certification is a voluntary program for reputable supplement brands who wish to register some, or all, of their products and carry the Informed Choice mark on those products. Currently, Informed Choice tests over 22,000 samples a year and has over 400 products certified from companies around the globe. Supplement users who see the Informed Choice logo on a product can be assured it has undergone rigorous checks and third-party testing to minimize banned substance contamination risks and ensure it is safer for use.