The Supplement Database
Every solution starts with a problem. The problem with today's supplement industry is that many, if not most, products marketed to the masses are not based on actual science. They're based on marketing hype and pushed by those who are too smart to use these substandard products. The Supplement Database is an easy way to research supplements in order to make a more educated decision on what is effective for a specific goal.
How to Research Supplements
There are very educated individuals and groups involved in real, peer-reviewed research, into the efficacy of supplements. Peer-reviewed journal articles should be the only source of supplement research. Your personal trainer, blog personality, or favorite Instagram influencer (remember influencers' central role in the failed Fyre Festival) all have OPINIONS on what works. Many times, those "opinions" are paid advertisements that allow the famous to push bad products onto the masses.
Peer-reviewed journal articles are written after conducting an in depth experiment that tests a well researched hypothesis. These experiments are done on a group of real individuals. The results are carefully interpreted using advanced statistical models before researchers reach a scientific, fact based, conclusion.
The two best search engines for peer-reviewed journal articles are: Google Scholar and Pubmed. You can start with an easy search such as: whey protein supplementation. You can refine your search to include a more specific goal: whey protein supplementation strength or whey protein supplementation endurance. The problem with this approach, and why most people would rather just listen to Instagram influencers, is that it's time consuming and sometimes difficult to find and interpret this information.
What does The Supplement Database do?
The Supplement Database does most of the work for you. It translates conclusions from peer reviewed journal articles into easy to understand ratings on a supplement's claims. Does whey protein increase strength? Does garlic extract improve immune function? Does creatine improve mood? Currently, The supplement database rates 1487 claims on 137 supplements. These ratings are based on information from 738 studies.
The Bottom Line
Americans spend more than $30 billion1 per year on supplements. Many of those products fall far short of what they promise to do. There is a lot of great research out there to help you make more educated supplement decisions. Unfortunately, the research is not always consumer friendly. The Supplement Database is a tool that helps you save money so you can more effectively reach your nutrition, fitness, and health goals. Begin your research by looking at all the supplements in the database.
- Garcia-Cazarin, M. L., Wambogo, E. A., Regan, K. S., & Davis, C. D. (2014). Dietary Supplement Research Portfolio at the NIH, 2009–2011. The Journal of Nutrition, 144(4), 414-418. doi:10.3945/jn.113.189803