Supplements can help you live a better life. However, not all supplements are created equal. We launched a portion of our Advanced Living movement to review supplements to help ordinary people separate good supplements from bad ones. The very word supplement means to enhance something, or complete it when adding an extra element to the mix.
Of course, supplement reviews are only as good as the supplement review process. That’s why we created a systematic review process that aims to remove bias and emphasize scientific evidence and facts.
We believe our review process is among the best in the industry primarily because we pride ourselves on learning from the best of the best. There is a long list of credible, authoritative, and trustworthy models to follow for how to do things right, honest and transparent.
Our review scores are closely linked to real scientific evidence, not junk science or over-hyped customer testimonials. From reading about why we do what we do, to our timeline story, to making sure you read our full disclosure and research process blueprint, let's open up the digital dialogue on how we go about reviewing supplements in 2020 and beyond and what you can expect from the Advanced Living team as a whole.
How We Choose Supplements to Review
We choose to review the supplements that are gaining traction within the industry. While many of these supplements are beneficial to consumers, we also frequently review supplements that have failed to live up to user expectations. Our goal is to create a comprehensive, trusted source of information about the most trending, time-sensitive announcements and controversial topics of interest.
Cutting the hype in half, filtering out the fluff and keeping a careful eye on claims like “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” made by some supplement companies, the Advanced Living team closely evaluates statements of effectiveness with a keen interest in encouraging realistic user expectations and company transparency.
Supplements with potentially harmful ingredients, excessive dosages of certain components, or unclear ingredient lists seldom escape the watchful eye of our research team. While we review supplements of all kinds, we seek to paint a full picture of the products we choose to evaluate, including both their strengths and their flaws.
Our 10 Step Supplement Review System
While the Advanced Living supplement review process could be distilled down into three steps of curating, creating and circulating, in order to provide a looking glass perspective of how we go about crafting up easy to read, consume and digest every supplement reviewed by our website goes through our air-it-all-out 10 Step Supplement Review System:
- Step 1) Initial Identification and Research
- Step 2) Fundamental Product Analysis
- Step 3) Ingredient Overview
- Step 4) Dosage Analysis
- Step 5) Deep Dive Into Scientific Evidence
- Step 6) Analysis of Competition
- Step 7) Company Analysis and Fact-Checking
- Step 8) Supplement Testing and Analysis of Customer Reviews
- Step 9) In-House Fact-Checking and Comparison
- Step 10) Final Review, Formatting, and Publication
Initial Identification and Research
We check press releases daily to spot the newest supplements on the market. We also receive daily emails from supplement companies alerting us to new product releases. We scan supplement news websites and contract our insider industry sources to ensure we’re ahead of the curve.
After identifying a new supplement we’d like to review, we do basic research to ensure it meets our criteria, then move onto the next steps.
Fundamental Supplement Analysis
During the fundamental product analysis phase, we answer the most important questions about the supplement, including:
- What does the supplement do?
- How does the supplement work?
- Who is the supplement marketed towards?
- Who can benefit from the product?
The difference between good and bad supplements often comes down to ingredients. Some supplements use transparent ingredient dosages and high-quality, organic sources. Other supplements contain proprietary formulas where all ingredients are hidden.
We dig deep into all available sources of information to provide readers with an in-depth analysis of the ingredients that make or break all popular supplements. We place an emphasis on peer-reviewed studies to determine the function and effectiveness of each ingredient in the supplements we review.
Even supplements with amazing ingredients sometimes end up including too little of the magic components to make a palpable difference in the lives of users. This is why we conduct extensive research into the dosages of ingredients within
We analyze each ingredient dosage, making sure that the dosages are transparently listed by the supplement manufacturer. We note these dosages as we move onto the next step, where we'll use them to establish the effectiveness and evaluate the scientific consensus of the supplement.
Deep Dive Into Scientific Evidence
We check studies in peer-reviewed journals to verify the supplements’ ingredients will work as intended. Obviously, the best studies are human-based, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials using the same dosages used in the supplement. However, we’ll also check in-vitro studies, animal studies, and other studies to verify any possible benefits linked to the supplements’ ingredients.
Analysis of Competition
A supplement might work great – but there might be identical supplements that do the same job at a cheaper price. Our readers want the best, so we analyze how each supplement compares to its competition.
It’s not all about price: sometimes, a supplement does a good job – but there are other supplements that offer higher dosages, more proven ingredients, and other benefits. We want our readers to get the best option on the market for whatever their goals may be.
Company Analysis and Fact-Checking
There are good and bad supplement companies. We emphasize good supplements from reputable companies. Does the supplement manufacturer list the manufacturing location? Does the company disclose its ingredient sources? All these factors and more help to establish the legitimacy of the companies behind the supplements we choose to review.
We don’t just take the company’s word for it; we fact-check. We contact our industry sources, contact the company, and complete other steps to ensure the company is being honest.
Many companies claim to use organic ingredients, for example, but this organic label is meaningless because it’s not certified organic. Other companies claim to manufacture the supplement in the United States, for example, when most of the supplement is manufactured at a low-quality facility in China.
Supplement Testing and Analysis of Customer Reviews
Wherever possible, we prefer testing supplements ourselves. In many cases, our editorial team will sit and test the supplement for taste, texture, and other qualities. Ideally, we test the supplements over a multi-week period to verify their stated benefits.
In-person testing isn’t always possible, which is why we also check customer reviews online. What kind of experience did customers have with each supplement? How did customers feel about the taste? Did customers access the targeted benefits of the supplement?
We use a proprietary system to identify fake reviews. Once you know what to look for, spotting fake reviews is easy – and fake reviews are extremely common in the supplement space.
In-House Fact-Checking and Comparison
Up to this point, each member of our editorial team has completed each step on his or her own. We perform independent research – then compare notes. Yes, this leads to many situations where two of us have read the same study or performed the same work. However, there are also plenty of differences within our research methods and analysis.
Our editorial team has a diverse background across health, science, academia, supplement manufacturing, and marketing. This diverse background lets us analyze supplement reviews with a unique eye.
We combine, condense, and edit all of our work to create a master review copy.
Final Review, Formatting, and Publication
After extensive deliberation, we reach the final phase. We format our review in a way that makes the most sense to readers. We want our readers to be able to scan the review for relevant information quickly. We may add infographics, tables, charts, and other visual aids to our reviews.
After one final fact check by our editorial team, we publish the supplement review on our website.
We are not a medical organization and we do not provide medical advice. Although we receive consultation from certain professionals, our content does not constitute a medical diagnosis, or does our content substitute information provided by specialists, nutritionists, doctors, and other experts.
We urge you to always consult your physician or registered healthcare adviser before taking any supplement, especially if you are taking any prescription medication. Supplements may interact with prescription medication, and a registered healthcare provider can give you the best possible advice based on your unique physiology.
Top Consumer Protection Websites
For extra protection against scams, make sure to bookmark these worthy sources designed and developed to help safeguard consumers while taking action against companies guilty of unfair market practices:
- Federal Trade Commission
- State Consumer Protection Offices
- National Consumer League
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Consumer Reports
- Clark Howard
- Elliott Advocacy
- Truth In Advertising
- Consumer Watchdog
We encourage readers to contact us with any questions, concerns, or complaints.
We read every email we receive. Make sure to read over our entire disclosure page and read the our story where we also over the top reasons why we use affiliate links and what we do with the commissions earned in order to support our team, growth and future projects of helping the world do Advanced Living right.