10 Common Vitamin Buying Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Did you know that at least 50% of children under five years suffer from vitamin deficiencies? This problem continues into adulthood as 92% of Americans experience at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency.

If you or your loved ones need to boost your health, you’re probably considering buying vitamins online or from a store. But with so many options available, it’s hard to know which ones to take.

You can even get more confused as there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about vitamins. As a result, you may end up making common vitamin buying mistakes.

To make buying vitamins easier, we’ve compiled a list of 10 mistakes and how to avoid them. Keep reading to learn more about the common pitfalls when buying your vitamins. 

1. Not Seeking Your Doctor's Approval

While vitamins are generally safe, it's important to speak with a medical professional before starting any new supplement regimen. Consulting a doctor is especially vital if you have a preexisting health condition. Otherwise, you could be putting your health at risk.

Additionally, certain vitamins can interact with medications you may be taking. So it's best to err on the side of caution and get the green light from your doctor before starting anything new.

Simply schedule a quick appointment with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or supplement routine. The doctor can help you determine whether the vitamins you're taking are right for you and ensure they won't interact with any medications you're on. 

The doctor's advice is especially vital when looking for prescription prenatal vitamins like CitraNatal B-Calm. These vitamins minimize pregnancy-related nausea and provide nutritional support for both mother and child. However, you should only take them under the care of a doctor to ensure they're the right fit for you.

2. Not Checking Online Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews can alert you to any potential side effects or issues with the vitamin. For example, if many people say they experienced nausea after taking a vitamin, it's probably not the best choice for you.

When buying vitamins online, you should pay attention to the vitamin store website. If there are no online customer reviews, that's a major red flag. The company is likely trying to hide something.

You also need to ensure that the website is secure. You don't want to risk your personal data by paying to a website that's vulnerable to hacking. If the website has outlandish claims about curing serious diseases, that's another reason to be wary.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to only buy vitamins from reputable online stores with many positive reviews. Make sure to read the customer reviews before making a purchase.

3. Not Comparing Vitamin Prices

With so many options for vitamins on the market, it can be tempting to purchase the first brand you see. However, vitamin prices can vary widely. Taking the time to compare products can save you significant money in the long run.

When it comes to vitamins, you usually get what you pay for. This doesn't mean you have to break the bank to get a good quality vitamin. But it does mean that you should know how prices compare between different brands.

Don’t just go with the first vitamin store website you find. Instead, take the time to visit several websites and compare the prices of the vitamins you’re interested in. This way, you’ll be sure to find the best deal.

4. Not Taking Vitamins as Directed

When taking vitamins, it's important to follow the directions on the bottle. This precaution may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do it.

Taking more or less of a vitamin than directed can lead to serious side effects. For example, taking too much vitamin A can cause liver damage while taking too little vitamin D can lead to bone loss.

Additionally, you need to take many vitamins with food to ensure your body properly absorbs them. So if you're not taking them as directed, you may not be getting all of the benefits they have to offer.

To avoid this mistake, take your vitamins as directed. If you're unsure how to take them, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

5. Not Reading the Ingredients List

While it may seem like a hassle, taking the time to read the list of ingredients can help you avoid wasting your money on vitamins that don't contain what they claim. Understanding the ingredients will also help you avoid potential allergies or side effects.

For example, if you're allergic to seafood, you'll want to avoid vitamins that contain fish oil. And if you're pregnant, you'll want to avoid vitamin A supplements.

Some ingredients can be harmful if taken in large quantities. For example, many vitamins contain large amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners. These can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.

By reading the ingredients list, you can ensure you get what you expect from your vitamin supplement. Furthermore, you can prevent potential health risks by avoiding products that contain harmful ingredients.

6. Not Checking the Expiration Date

You may not realize it, but vitamins have an expiration date. This is the date after which the vitamin will no longer be effective.

Vitamins can lose potency over time, so taking expired vitamins is a waste of money. Not checking the expiration date before taking a vitamin could mean you're not getting all the benefits you expect. It could also lead to side effects if you take expired vitamins.

Always check the expiration date before taking a vitamin supplement. If the vitamin has expired, don't take it. Remember to store your vitamins in a cool, dry place to help them stay fresh for longer.

7. Not Buying in Bulk

If you take vitamins regularly, it can be cheaper to buy them in bulk. You'll have a supply on hand, and you won't have to worry about running out.

Most vitamin stores offer discounts when you purchase multiple bottles of the same product. So if you know you'll need more than one bottle, it's worth buying in bulk.

Of course, you'll need to ensure that you have enough storage space for the vitamins. And you'll also want to check the expiration date before buying in bulk. But if you can make it work, buying vitamins in bulk can save you money in the long run.

8. Disregarding Health Warnings and Recalls

Counterfeit vitamins could harm you or not provide you with health benefits. This is why you should always look for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health warnings and recalls.

The FDA and other health authorities regularly issue health warnings about specific products that may be harmful. They also recall products that don't meet their safety standards. The FDA also gives warnings about vitamins that may be contaminated.

Ignoring these warnings and recalls could put your health at risk. So it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest information about your vitamins.

You can do this by checking the website of the FDA or your country's health authority. They will usually post any warnings or recalls for vitamin supplements. You can sign up for email or text alerts to receive updates about recalled products.

9. Not Knowing What You Need

You may be tempted to buy vitamins randomly by making assumptions about the supplements you need. However, this could be a mistake.

For example, you may assume you need more vitamin C during the winter to avoid getting sick. But according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is no evidence that taking extra vitamin C prevents colds.

Before you start taking any vitamin supplement, it's important to do your research. Ask yourself whether you have a deficiency or whether there are benefits to taking the supplement.

You can talk to your doctor or a dietitian to get their professional opinion. They can help you figure out if you need to take any vitamin supplements and, if so, which ones would be best for you.

10. Getting Carried Away By Trends

Nowadays, it seems like there's a new trend or fad diet every week. And when it comes to vitamins and supplements, it can be tempting to jump on the latest bandwagon to boost your health.

However, this is often a mistake. Just because a vitamin is popular on social media doesn't mean it's right for you. Some vitamins may even be harmful if you take them without knowing what they do.

Trends come and go, but your health is always important. That's why it's crucial to do your research before buying any supplement, rather than blindly following a trend. See if scientific evidence supports the claims about the vitamin.

Ask your doctor for advice, and pick a reputable brand. Only then can you be sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck and that you're not just following a fad.

Avoid the Common Vitamin Buying Mistakes

Making these common vitamin buying mistakes could be costly and dangerous for your health. So it's important to be informed and cautious when buying vitamins. Follow our tips on avoiding these mistakes, and you'll be on your way to getting the most out of your supplements.

If you’re looking for more helpful tips, browse the rest of our blog.