You should always be able to refer to studies and tests so you know exactly what’s lurking in your supplements.

Here’s a breakdown of the commonly used tests that’ll give you a better understanding of the investment, time and effort made by the supplement manufacturer.


1. Open-clinical trials

Both the testers and participants know which treatment is being used. This isn’t the most appropriate for distinguishing unbiased results, but can be useful and simple when giving two or more similar treatments and administering two or more similar products to determine effectiveness.


2. A single blind study

Here, the labcoats are already aware of the nature of the procedure and are in possession of facts. The testers are not allowed to introduce bias, but there is a risk of influence by interaction of the researchers that is commonly known as researcher bias. Of all trials, a single-blind test carries the most risk because the tester may have an assumption of the result and could influence the behavior of the subject, consciously or subconsciously.


3. Double blind study

Researchers and participants have no idea whether the participants belong to a controlled or open test group. This reduces bias, placebo or preconceived notions that could misconstrue the results.


4. Triple-blind study

Here, the person administering the treatment is blinded to what is being provided. Also, it can mean that the patient, tester and statistician are blinded. The rest of the group that are monitoring the response may be unaware of the intervention being given in the controlled and study groups. It places an additional layer of security to prevent biased influence.


5. Double-blind placebo controlled trial

This is the gold standard, providing dependable findings without bias introduced by either the subject or the researcher. The subject and researcher have no idea if the test ingredient or a placebo has been administered, ensuring accuracy. A participant’s personal assumptions or beliefs cannot undermine the validity of outcome. It also prevents the researcher’s expectations from influencing the test results.


6. Peer review

The research is reviewed by other independent experts in the same industry and often published in academic journals. It is important for establishing a reliable body of research and, without it, the finding will often be treated as suspicious. Very few customers refer to these studies before purchasing any supplements. Before you buy your next tub or tablet, look what kind of research has gone into it so you can make a calculated decision.


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