Supplement Red Flags

Published on: December 17, 2021


Supplements 101

Have you ever wondered about which supplements you should take, or how to know which supplement companies are trustworthy? Well, like the relationship status people sometimes admit on Facebook… it’s complicated!

First of all, supplements should never be taken in place of a healthy diet, or “just in case.”

Some dietary supplements can be harmful and hinder performance when too much is taken, or if it’s taken at the wrong time.

Supplement Safety

Supplements are no longer regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), meaning the FDA is not funded or backed to provide assurance for purity, safety, or effectiveness.

3 of Dr. Oz’s Biggest Weight Loss Lies Debunked YouTube Video

The next time you hear someone tell you a product will: “Blast your belly fat” has “Targeted fat loss” or will “Kill your cravings”…throw your red flag in the air and hold on to your wallet, cowboy!

Here are some more red flags to be aware of when shopping for your supplements (or when those infomercials come on and you’re feeling desperate):


Listen to the Supplement Red Flags podcast episode here 

As many as 1 in 10 supplements can be contaminated with ingredients prohibited in sports and, according the findings by the USFDA, approximately 75% of supplement contamination issues come from drugs not banned in sports, leaving the general consumer at risk.

These labs do the following & more to keep you safe:
•Verify that products do not contain unsafe levels of contaminants, prohibited substances, or masking agents
•Assure the ingredients on the label match the ingredients in the product
•Confirm the products are manufactured at a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) registered facility


FDA Pic showing an example of a supplement scam

Learn more about supplement safety & legitimacy here:
NSF Certified Sport:
Informed Sport:
Banned Substances Control Group:
Consumer Lab:


Be aware that just because one product is certified safe within a company, it doesn’t mean all of their products are certified safe (wicked

frustrating, we know!).

While dietary supplements can be useful for some people, we should always aim to take the food first approach because in most cases the best way for our bodies to metabolize nutrients efficiently is in their original package (not an extract or a synthetic version).

Save this instagram post as a reference for general suggestions on proper fueling before exercise to get the most bang for your buck & perform better!

#protip #supplement #supplementfacts #nutrition #sportsnutrition #fitness #athlete #nutritionfacts #redflags #healthydiet #healthyliving #registereddietitian #RD #RDtips

Post & graphic design created by Madison MacFarland for Major League Nutrition as a part of her Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Dietetic Internship sports nutrition rotation. Originally created for instagram, edited for article format by Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN.



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Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN learn more

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