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Three Ways Fake Supplements Cause Harm

What's the harm in fake supplements?
What's the harm in fake supplements?

I've been fighting a losing battle for years. In the health and fitness industry, there are hundreds of companies that promote supplements to fix whatever problem you're dealing with.

Supplements that claim they can help you lose weight, gain muscle, look younger, feel younger, live longer and have a better sex life. They use fake testimonials, carefully targeted social media advertising campaigns and slick websites to make you believe, this time it's going to work.

Over and over I keep reminding people that the vast majority of these products are worthless and many are dangerous. But then I get push back from the true believers. They ask, what's the big deal? Who cares if someone buys a supplement that ends up not working?

These are the three ways fake supplements harm you.

The first thing fakes do is cheat you out of time. When you buy a worthless supplement, the problem that you're trying to take care of is ignored. The longer something goes untreated, the worse the problem gets.

Ignoring a problem won't make it go away. Take a worthless supplement and often the problem gets worse, causing you more pain until a legitimate procedure is started. For people dealing with life-threatening problems, the time you waste on a worthless supplement can mean the difference between life and death.

When you have a problem, go to the experts. You wouldn't ask a baker for advice on how to do your taxes would you? Medical questions should be dealt with by medical professionals. You might not like what they have to say, but generally prescriptions from a doctor are based on clinical evidence of what will help. If you don't like the recommendation, a legitimate doctor will encourage you to get another medical opinion.

Clocks waste time.
Fake supplements waste time.

The second thing fakes do is steal your money. When you buy a worthless supplement, it's often something that can't be returned. Once you figure out it isn't working, you still need to spend money on what really works, unless you waste even more money on another scam product.

There are billions of dollars a year spent on worthless vitamins and supplements. Those billions could have been spent on legitimate, clinically tested and proven treatments. Every dollar you spend on a bogus product, helps the company that makes that crap stay in business to defraud more people.

The third thing fakes do is create confusion in the marketplace. They market themselves so aggressively some people only hear about the worthless treatments.

Have you ever heard of a product called Airborne? The advertisements said that if you take Airborne and enter a germy environment, you're instantly protected.

The reality is Airborne was nothing more than some vitamins, minerals and herbs. Not only was it incapable of protecting you from a dirty environment, we now know that many vitamins taken in pill form can be harmful.

By aggressively marketing something that didn't work, people ignored advice on what would.

When you go into a risky environment like an airplane or subway car, limiting what you touch and how you touch things is the best form of protection. Touching a railing and then your face, can transfer the germs from the railing to you.

You can reduce the spread of diseases by doing simple things like wiping down the handle of your shopping cart before you go for groceries. Use hand sanitizer after you've held onto supports in public transportation. Wipe down things like armrests and tray tables on airplanes.

When you leave a germy environment, wash your hands. You don't need antibacterial soap or fancy disinfectants. Just use regular soap and wash long enough to sing the “Happy Birthday” song, twice.

Each of those steps requires you to pay attention to your environment and take action. It's a little more complicated than simply popping a pill, but there's a big difference. Those simple steps work, the fake pill doesn't.

Fake supplements steal your time, your money and create deadly confusion. Stop helping them.

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