‘I’m a Supplement Formulator, and Here’s What You Need To Know About Choosing High-Quality Vitamins’

When shopping for high-quality vitamins, it can be hard to weed out the sub-par options from the best of the best—considering they essentially all look the same on the outside. (If only it were as easy as picking out a new favorite sweater.)

Usually, trial and error (and a little bit of finger crossing) ends up being the go-to method for finding the ones that serve you best. But, if you actually know what to look for in high-quality vitamins, you can save yourself the time, money, and well, even more time waiting on results.

So how can you decipher the good from the bad apples of the supplement aisle? Take it from an expert. "[To me, high quality means] adhering to excellent manufacturing standards, utilizing the best ingredients, and ensuring supplements meet purity and potency requirements to support supplement facts and label claims," says Manmeet Salh, quality standards scientist for Nature Made.

Nature Made checks off all of those boxes with its slate of high-quality vitamins that have all received the USP Verified Mark. What, exactly, does that mean, you ask? Well, it's kind of like being verified on social media—only the legit accounts earn a blue checkmark—but in the supplement world, it means they've gone through extensive, multi-step testing to ensure they're legit.

To explain the ins and outs, we asked Salh to dish on what really gives a supplement what it takes to make the cut into your routine—and he says it all comes down to multi-step, third-party testing.

Through the USP Dietary Supplement Verification program, supplements are completely evaluated—from the manufacturing process, raw materials, dietary supplement specifications, and test methods, as well as stability data, which evaluates whether the supplement will meet all of its claims through the end of its shelf life. All you have to do is go on the USP site to check out whether your supplements hold up—simple as that.

Plus, the entire point of starting a supplement routine is to reap the benefits, right? So, it's a pretty vital step to ensure you're actually getting the real stuff in your tablet. (This sounds like a "duh" moment, but you'd be surprised.) Making sure what's listed on the label matches what's inside the bottle is another way the USP verification process has your back.

"High-quality vitamins manufactured by Nature Made begin at the ingredients level," Salh says. "Supplements are manufactured following the cGMP requirements and tested to ensure it will meet label claim through shelf life." This means your supplement will keep doing its job the way it's supposed to until that expiration date comes—and you have high-quality ingredients (and testing, of course) to thank for those benefits. Now, that's what we call high-quality.

Top photo: Getty Images/supersizer

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