Year after year, Americans spend around $35 billion on vitamins, minerals and botanicals. These substances give guarantees and promises to be health-giving. Alarmingly, most of these substances actually do nothing at all for the consumer. According to Craig Hopp, deputy director of the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health the list of dietary supplements that have well-established benefits is not as long as most people might think.
“It’s a short list,” says Hopp. “Ginger for nausea, peppermint for upset stomach, melatonin for sleep disruption. And fish oil does seem to show some promise for cardiovascular disease, although some of the data is conflicting.”
Carol Haggans, a scientific and health communications consultant with the Office of Dietary Supplements, shed some light on vitamins and minerals. Haggans says folic acid does reduce risk for fetal neural tube defects, Vitamin B12 does help in people over 50 and daily multivitamins can decrease some disease risk.
The bottom line: supplements can help fill a nutrient gap. But some experts feel there is not enough compelling evidence that using supplements improves health outcomes. Even worse, some dietary supplements have been found to be incredibly harmful. There is no requirement that supplement companies establish safety before they market their products; they are only required to report serious adverse events.
While the FDA does monitor those reports, it is still stepping in after the fact. Little safety information is available on the active ingredients in many supplements. This makes it difficult to know what damage supplements can do. And, as previously mentioned, only serious adverse events are required to be reported to the FDA.
What does this mean for supplement companies that do offer quality products? It makes it difficult to operate smoothly. The uncertainty of the supplement industry makes it difficult for companies to secure the services they need. Traditional lenders shy away from the industry and getting payment processing is next to impossible for many.
More and more supplement companies are turning to alternative lenders to get the business funding and payment processing solutions they need to operate smoothly, grow and keep customers’ information safe. Through a vitamin supplement merchant account, for example, merchants gain access to processing and funding options in as little as 24 hours.
A high risk provider will not penalize you for incurring chargebacks and will help you minimize any risks. If your company is navigating the uncertainty of the supplement industry, a merchant account can help you achieve the success you deserve.
Author Bio: Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest rated high risk merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.