For millions of Canadians health products are a part of day-to-day life. They do wonders for our health and well-being. From supporting our immunity and reducing health risks, to improving our mood and helping with sleep, the benefits of using natural health products are endless. But so are the choices—multivitamins, fish oils, probiotics, vitamins, herbal remedies, the list goes on. And on top of that, there are literally hundreds of brands to choose from for each product category. In fact, Canada has over 60,000 health products in the marketplace. With so much variety and selection, how do we really know if we are making the right choices and buying products that are safe, natural and effective? What do we need to know as buyers? Here are 5 quick facts that will help empower you to become a more confident and informed consumer.
1. Natural health products are regulated
Canada is an awesome country and Canadians really do care for their health. Consumer groups and citizen advocates are always pushing to improve Canada’s health landscape. As a result of this, our government implemented the Natural Health Products Regulations in 2004. It requires all health products to be licensed by Health Canada. Each product is assessed for safety, efficacy and quality.
2. The secret is in the number
If Health Canada deems a product to be safe, effective for its claims, and manufactured according to high quality standards, the product is issued a Natural Product Number, or NPN for short. Make sure whatever natural product you are buying has an NPN on the label. You can usually find it on the front panel. If it’s not there, the product is not approved!
3. Don't believe everything you see (or don’t see)
Sometimes companies will omit information from product labels to encourage you to buy their product. For example, clever marketing tactics can be used to downplay any warning statements required by law. Want to know the real truth? Go on Health Canada's online database for NPNs. Enter the NPN and you will see all the information that Health Canada has required the company to display on the product’s label. You can access the database right here:
4. Some things are too good to be true
Another way to improve sales is to boost product claims. This is a common practice but in some cases it's unlawful and very misleading. Be wary of words like anxiety, cancer or diabetes. If a company claims their product can treat, prevent or cure what you would consider a serious disease, it's probably too good to be true. Check the NPN at the link mentioned above and it will tell you exactly what claims the product is approved to make.
5. Buy pure, green, safe and fair!
Canada is full of thousands of wonderful companies that genuinely care for your well-being. Sometimes it's hard to pick them out. Try out Vitarock.com for your health product purchases. We take care of all the leg work so you don’t have to—screening all products to fulfill our promise of providing products that are pure, green, safe and fair. You can look for the NPN number right on our site. Just select any natural health product to see if it has an NPN (located just underneath the price information). Have a look at Cold-FX, for example.
Happy, safe shopping!