Confused by Choosing a Supplement?

Sounds so easy right?!?!? It all started because I ran out of my normal Costco vitamins and thought about switching to something better. I thought it would be easy. I mean how hard is it to choose a vitamin?!?!

There were only two hard requirements going in: (a) something that was specific to men’s health and (b) no harmful ingredients. Everything else was open to negotiation.

Doing a quick search and looking at the options on Amazon, GNC, bodybuilder.com, and vitamin.com, I was overwhelmed by the complexity and sheer numbers of options available. Each varied in price, content, and (I’m assuming at this point) quality. Price was the only factor easy to assess as the other two seem to require a doctorate to understand.

Quality is important. I’ve also always been leery of purchasing overly-cheap vitamins or supplements that could contain heavy metals or other dangerous impurities.

What to do?!?!

Cue the research montage. I began digging for articles hopefully reviewing or ranking the top men’s vitamins available. There’s no way this is a new problem. Sadly most of what is out there is garbage. A lot of the “articles” are just aggregators of purchase options (proving affiliate links of course) with little or no detail about the products. The only two decent hits were an article on Men’s Health which was pretty vague and a site called Labdoor.

I had never heard of Labdoor before but it’s pretty cool. Here is information about who they are from their site:

Labdoor is an independent scientific and technology startup. Labdoor’s investors and partners include Rock Health and Mayo Clinic, two top healthcare not-for-profit organizations, along with investments from angel investors like Mark Cuban and leading venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Aberdare

Being skeptical, the next question of course is: how do they make money? Also on their site they they explain they receive a commission from the linked sellers for each sale purchased directly through the site and also through affiliate links. They have a link for every product they review. Hey everyone needs to make money at least they are upfront and honest about how they do.

I have no relationship nor receive any money from Labdoor, only found the site to be extremely helpful and wanted to share. They have categories for multivitamins, multivitamins for men, kids, pre-workout supplements, even information on the best green tea extract. If they don’t have a ranking for what you’re looking for, you probably shouldn’t be taking it.

Not only are there rankings but for each product reviewed they offer specific information on it’s Label Accuracy, Product Purity, Nutritional Value, Ingredient Safety, and Projected Efficacy.

The information is detailed including, for example, any ingredients on watchlists for being potentially harmful are specifically listed. It does get a little confusing how these affect rankings however. Per Laboor’s CEO “… we do not treat all watchlist ingredients equally. We take into account the overall body of evidence for and against an ingredient like AceK and try to project the overall health risk. In this example, we have AceK coded as a moderate risk (better than saccharin, worse than sucralose).”

Since they form their own ranking on what is most harmful (which is not shared on the site), the rankings become a little more opaque. That’s okay though. Labdoor lists every ingredient on the watchlist for each product so you can make your own decisions. I’m just pointing this out in case so you don’t just go by the rankings blindly.

The site was beyond helpful for me and thanks to the information posted on on the site I changed my originally selected vitamin from MET-Rx Active Man to the Rainbow Light Men’s One due to Labdoor’s higher ranking of label accuracy (meaning it actually contained what it stated) and ingredient safety. And per serving, the Rainbow light was much cheaper ($0.17/serving vs. $0.37).

Definitely check out the site and look at what you’re taking. It might be really good but there might be something better out there.

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