When shopping for supplements you want to select a brand that has the USP Verified seal. The seal is awarded to dietary supplements that have been tested by U.S. Pharmacopeia an independent not-for-profit organization. Although their standards are enforceable by the FDA.
For a supplement to bear the USP's stamp of approval the vitamin manufacturer voluntarily submits (and pays for) their product to be tested. All supplements are tested on the following criteria:
- What's on the label is in fact in the bottle—all the listed ingredients in the declared amount.
- The supplement does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.
- The supplement will break down and release ingredients in the body.
- The supplement has been made under good manufacturing practices.
The mark is a lot like a "clean bill of health" for your supplements. Let's be clear here, the seal assures the quality of the product not the effectiveness of the supplement's health benefit claims.
Fit's Tip: Be sure that the supplements you buy have the USP mark/seal/logo. If the product has just the word "USP verified" on its label the manufacturer thinks their product would pass inspection, but the supplement has not been actually tested.