How to Spot Fake Health Supplements


The use of dietary supplements has been increasing amongst adults in America. A survey by the CDC showed that the use of supplements has increased from 48.4% from 2007-2008 to 56.1% in 2017-2018. Supplements have usually been seen as a quick and easy way to augment a person’s daily nutrient intake. However, supplements are not regulated by the FDA or any other medical body.

That means that manufacturers don’t need to prove that their supplement actually works, only that it’s safe to use. It’s easy, therefore, for unscrupulous manufacturers to create and sell fake supplements. It’s quite a common scam, and even Amazon had to warn consumers that a fake version of the supplement Align had been sold to customers. 

So, with all these fake supplements floating around, how do you tell which are real and which are fake? Here are some useful tips to make sure that what you’re buying is the real deal and not just a bottle of snake oil.

Do Your Research

Make sure to thoroughly research the supplements you want to buy. It’s probably best to stick to established brands with known track records. But if you want to try something a little off the beaten path, see if you can find any online reviews from reputable sources. For example, checking out’s review of Mind Lab Pro is a great way to find out for yourself the pros and cons of buying Mind Lab Pro, rather than just going in blind and hoping for the best.

Getting recommendations from friends and family will also help. But take those with a pinch of salt. Unless they’re a qualified nutritionist, their opinion might not be based on hard facts and science.

If It’s Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

There’s a supplement on the market for almost every conceivable type of ailment. Many of these often promise instant fixes and quick cures. Ignore these claims. The more outlandish the benefits, the higher the likelihood of the supplement being fake. Because manufacturers don’t actually have to prove what they’re selling, they can say anything they want about their products, even if they know it’s not true. Legitimate manufacturers will have more sedate and reasonable sounding claims.

Have a healthy amount of skepticism when you browse through the supplement section of your favorite health food store. Common sense is your best defense against people trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money.

Check The Packaging

Just like banknotes, real supplement bottles have several identifying features that aim to prevent counterfeiting by making it easy to spot a fake. When you buy a bottle of supplements, check the label, the seal, the nutritional info, and the company logo to make sure everything is above board. You’d be surprised how many fake supplements don’t even take the time to make sure everything is spelled right. Real products go through countless rounds of vetting and checking before they go to market. Typos, wrong words, or missing information is a sure sign that the supplement isn’t from a trustworthy source.

Go Directly to the Manufacturer

If you’re buying something from a third-party seller, always check directly with the manufacturer on the product specifications. This will help you sieve out fake supplements that are branded with real company logos. Check the company website to confirm that they do in fact carry the product that you’re trying to buy. If the product isn’t there, it might be worth holding off on your purchase for a few days while you get in touch. The company itself will probably be grateful that you brought an illegal rip-off to their notice.

Talk to Your Doctor

Before you start taking anything, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor on how it might affect you. Especially since your doctor will probably be able to tell whether a supplement is real or not. Everyone is built different and reacts differently to things. Even legitimate supplements can have ingredients that will be harmful to you. Fake supplements often contain harmful chemicals and toxins that can end up causing a lot more damage. Make sure to protect your own health by checking in with someone who knows better. 

These days, people are busier than ever and unfortunately, health always seems to come last on our list of priorities. It’s no surprise that health supplements are becoming more and more popular. However, do remember that they are just an extra source of nutrition and should not be your main source of healthy vitamins and minerals. Supplements alone are not enough to sustain your health. Make sure that you’re eating them in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise. Supplements can be a helpful and effective way of getting nutrients. But they aren’t, and shouldn’t be, your main meal.


How To Manage Hair Loss When You’re In College

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Experiencing hair loss at any age is disappointing, but losing your hair in college just seems unfair. Although it’s normal for some people to start losing their hair at a young age, if it’s happening to you, there are ways to get around this seemingly unavoidable situation.

1. Look into hair transplant options

If your hair loss is more than just a few strands here and there, look into hair transplant options like FUE and FUT.

FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) is an extremely popular hair loss restoration method that transplants hair from one area and grafts it onto another area without leaving a scar. This method transplants one hair follicle at a time.

FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) is equally effective, but transplants a large strip from your scalp, which leaves a scar around your head.

There are pros and cons to each method, and you can find out which method is right for you by scheduling a consultation with a local clinic.

2. Hide your hair loss

You might have an easier time hiding your hair loss, at least while you’re on campus. It’s not a permanent solution, but it will make you feel more confident.

Obviously, you’ll need to use some kind of hat to hide your hair loss. If hats aren’t usually your style, consider it an opportunity to revamp your style. You’ll get the most coverage from a knit beanie, which works great during winter. However, when it’s hot, a beanie isn’t practical.

You’ll get the next best coverage from a fitted baseball cap since they tend to sit lower on your head than fedoras or cowboy hats. A fitted baseball cap will also cover the back of your head since there won’t be an adjustable strap.

The other thing you can do is walk around with your sweatshirt hood on. Like a beanie, this will only work when it’s cold, but it’s still an option.

3. Try to grow your hair back naturally

We’ve all heard stories about people who regrew a full head of hair by taking vitamins. It’s hard to believe these stories are true, and for the most part, they’re very likely exaggerations. However, people have been able to regrow their hair without surgery.

Generally speaking, people who regrow their hair by changing their diet and lifestyle are usually experiencing temporary hair loss because of an underlying condition. For example, certain thyroid conditions can cause hair loss. When a person corrects their thyroid function, their hair sometimes grows back.

If you don’t know the cause of your hair loss, it’s worth looking into natural solutions to regrow your hair. It never hurts to test out all possibilities. People do get results from natural remedies.

4. Shave your head

Next to a beanie, shaving your head will cover your hair loss, at least for a few weeks. You’ll have to share frequently, but with electric clippers, that’s easy.

Shaving your head will give you a new look if you’re used to having hair, and that’s okay. Maybe it’s time to embrace a new style.

5. Work on your self-confidence

Sometimes life brings us opportunities to do the inner work necessary to become more self-confident. Hair loss can be a fantastic opportunity to build self-confidence and train yourself out of looking for approval from others.

A lack of self-confidence is nothing to be ashamed of and it’s quite normal. Both men and women are impacted by hair loss.

Let’s face it, we’ve grown up with the idea that our worth is somehow connected to our looks. When we start losing our good looks and the aging process becomes noticeable, we naturally feel like we’re not good enough.

The perception is that losing your hair is something only old people do, and although most would agree that old people are valuable members of society, we’re never really ready to be one of them.

If you’re feeling self-conscious because of your hair loss, use the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self-confidence to the point where you don’t even think about your hair.

Think about all the famous actors, musicians, and entrepreneurs who have visible hair loss. Did you ever notice it before? Probably not. Consider that the only person paying attention to your hair loss is you. Most people don’t notice or care when people have visible hair loss; it’s just a normal part of being a human.

Don’t let hair loss control your life

Whether you hide your hair loss, get a transplant, or shave it all off, keep building  your self-confidence; it will come in handy in the long run.


Of Swords and Sailors: The History of Anime


The anime industry is an art behemoth. From giving breakout roles to many an aspiring professional voice actor and young artist, to becoming a household classics and creating pop culture icons, the mark that this genre of media has left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. The current anime industry is worth over 20 billion dollars, and although its largest industry is in the Asia-Pacific region, the fact of the matter is that the industry is growing quickly and has managed to find its way to audiences all over the world.

Although many are now familiar with the seemingly endless stream of flashy sword fights, giant robot transformations, and stunning visuals that have managed to make their way out of animation studios in the past few decades, how many of us can actually claim to know the origins of this medium?

 Humble Beginnings

Japanese style animation (shortened down to the modern term anime) as we know it today largely became popular around the 1960s with the establishment of Mushi Productions, run by Osamu Tezuka. Naturally anime has existed for much longer, however. Prior to the end of World War 2, most Japanese animated productions were aimed for commercial or propaganda purposes. The first few theatrical releases of Japanese animated films were made in the vein of Disney movies (which were also popular in Japan). These films were made with children as their target audience and were meant for a Japanese audience. As such, the films often contained many references to Japanese culture and often featured fantastical adventures. 

Another factor in the 60s which further pushed anime to the forefront as a medium of entertainment in Japan was the popularization of television entertainment. Anime studios began producing serialized content that would be released in a weekly format. Many of these shows such as Sally the Witch (story by Mitsuteru Yokoyama) and Cyborg-009 (story by Shotaro Ishinomori) were adapted from manga (Japanese style comic books) which were popular at the time. These animated productions by Toei were a hit with Japanese audiences and helped to encourage more studios to take on the production of this medium. 

The Overseas Market

Astroboy was arguably one of the first major animated exports from Japan to the U.S. It first touched down on American soil in 1963, and with the efforts of Fred Ladd, it was aired on NBC. The show became a cultural touchstone for many generations down the line, but at the time its creator (Osamu Tezuka) remained largely unknown to its overseas audience. 

Another major landmark in the spread of anime outside of Japan was in 1968. Animation studio Tatsunoko created Speed Racer (also known as Mach GoGoGo), which became a hit with its Japanese audience and then was brought over to the U.S. by Peter Fernandez. Other influential figures who made efforts to adapt anime for a Western audience included Carl Macek and Sandy Frank. 

However, these early releases were heavily adapted to suit Western audiences. Not only did the Japanese of the original productions have to be dubbed over in English, but the scripts were also heavily edited, and parts of the shows were also censored in order to follow the guidelines set by the networks. While this produced many hilariously poorly edited scenes that have become iconic memes in their own right, it also took a rather long time for audiences to begin demanding the original versions, if nothing else than simply as a matter of principle.

The Trials and Successes

Despite the economic turbulence that Japan experienced in the 90s (due to the bubble economy) and again in the 2000s (the world wide economic crunch), the anime industry has managed to endure and even flourish. That is not to say that it was all smooth sailing. Both economic crises led to many studio budget cuts and also caused many talented animators to have to leave the industry due to the lack of profitability. In addition, the rise of the internet also allowed for the rise in online piracy and distribution, which led to a further decline in the industry’s profit margins. 

Nonetheless, many anime series and films have also found widespread success that allowed the industry to survive. Series such as “Dragon Ball,” “Sailor Moon,” and “Bleach” found audiences and ardent fans all over the world, and have gone on to influence many more anime series. Not to mention the critical acclaim of certain animated films such as Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, which won itself the Academy Award For Best Animated Feature Film in 2003, Japanese Academy Prize for Picture of The Year in 2002, and Hong Kong Film Award for Best Asian Film in 2002. The success of early anime was doubtlessly the gateway that allowed the industry to flourish in the way that it has now. 

Anime has been a valuable medium for creators in Japan to express themselves and find a voice even on an international stage. The anime industry is continuing to succeed on a global stage and shows no sign of slowing down. As Japanese society and animation technology develops, we can only wait with bated breath to see what this industry will continue to surprise us with.