A 2019 study by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) revealed that 77% of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, with the largest motivators to take them being "Maintaining my health" and "Energy". The most popular supplement types included herbal and botanicals, sport and weight management and vitamin 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 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 sports 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 supplements that have been tested and certified by a third-party program, like Informed Choice. Through our retail monitoring and 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, it also limits the likelihood of you taking unsafe or banned substances.
Know your products are safer by looking for the Informed Choice quality marks.
The Informed Choice certification is a voluntary program for reputable supplement companies 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 600 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 testing to ensure that it is not contaminated with banned substances and is safer to use.