Health advice and opinions are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean everything you read is trustworthy. At WellnessVerge, we’re dedicated to bringing you only the expert information you need to make the best choices for your health – without the confusing fluff. Here’s how we do it.
Weeding through marketing jargon around health and wellness products requires knowledge, research, and a bit of savvy. It can be a time-consuming and unwanted challenge for the average consumer to tease out the facts from fiction.
At WellnessVerge, we are truth seekers. We create content intended to help you determine what’s best for your health. Our expert content creators lend their years of experience to our product reviews and articles to help you make informed decisions with confidence.
For every piece of content that we publish, we ask ourselves this question: “Is the reader going to feel confident and empowered in their ability to make informed decisions because this page exists?”
We are committed to helping you lead the life you want by empowering you to learn about your health decisions in a simple way. We break down complex topics so you can better understand the “why” behind your purchases.
Our Editorial Team
Our editorial team is made up of expert registered dietitians with extensive, real-world clinical experience.
Each of our writers specializes in a unique area of nutrition, helping us bring you the most up-to-date and evidence-based information infused with expertise and unbiased perspective.
The information on WellnessVerge is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
All articles, including text, graphics, and images, are meant for general information only.
While the content on this site is created by health professionals, it does not substitute personalized medical recommendations and treatments.
The professionals featured on this website provide content for informational purposes only that does not replace recommendations made by your healthcare provider.
You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained via this site with other medical sources or your physician.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read or accessed through this site.
Each piece starts with an in-depth review of the latest research on the topic. Our team is highly trained in evaluating clinical research.
We only use primary references for our articles, including peer-reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.
After a deep dive into the topic, our expert writers then combine the research with their personal professional experience to craft a useful piece designed to give you an honest evidence-based product review.
Each piece is written by a topical expert and reviewed by a member of our research team to ensure that we only publish the highest quality, most accurate content.
We also understand that information and science are always evolving, so we routinely evaluate our existing content to ensure all information and recommendations reflect the most current research.
At WellnessVerge, we will always pursue the truth. We work hard to eliminate bias and remain objective while making a personal connection with our readers.
Our goal is to provide actionable takeaways to help you make decisions that align with your values and goals and are backed by science.
Our team of experts developed a unique rating system to help you effortlessly compare similar products. The goal of the editor’s rating is to create consistency and fairness between products so you can easily compare them on important variables.
Dietary Supplements Rating Methodology
First, it’s vital to know if any of the claims made by the products are supported by strong clinical evidence, so we started with an evaluation of the data.
Product safety is also of critical importance and, although we cannot vouch for the manufacturing practices of all the brands we review, we can evaluate the potential for side effects of the ingredients.
With each product purchase, you are investing in your health, so we want you to feel comfortable deciding if your investment is worth it. The value for the price attempts to strike a balance between product effectiveness and price.
Finally, brand transparency allows you to evaluate if the brand is trustworthy with its claims and practices. Here we evaluate return policies, third-party testing, and how easy it is for consumers to report a problem with the product.
Here is a detailed breakdown of our editorial rating:
Support for claims
- 5-stars: There is strong evidence to support every claim. 100% of ingredients are supported by strong evidence and at least one robust randomized control trial (RCT)* with humans.
- 4-stars: There is strong evidence to support at least 75% of the claims/ingredients or one RCT with humans.
- 3-stars: 50% of the ingredients or fewer have strong studies to support claims. Or all ingredients have weak evidence (small studies) to support claims.
- 2-stars: Claims for most ingredients only on animal/lab studies.
- 1-star: No evidence at all.
- 5-stars: Minimal risk for serious side effects for anyone.
- 4-stars: Minimal risk for serious side effects for most healthy people.
- 3 stars: 1 to 2 potential side effects to note.
- 2-stars: Contains allergens/serious side effects.
- 1-star: Significant concerns about side effects for healthy people.
Value for the Price
- 5-stars: Worth it (priced right, high-value product).
- 4-stars: Possibly worth it (high price, the value might be high).
- 3-stars: Maybe worth it (high or moderate price/but the value might not be there).
- 2-stars: Probably not worth it (high price and/or low value).
- 1-star: Way too expensive (not worth it).
- 5-stars: Must meet all criteria: clear contact info, good return policy/ money-back guarantee (at least 60 days), third-party testing**.
- 4-stars: One of the above missing.
- 3-stars: Two of the above missing or uses misleading labels (e.g. GMP-certified, FDA-approved).
- 2-stars: No returns allowed or no return policy posted, no contact info, no third-party testing or uses misleading labels (e.g. GMP-certified, FDA-approved).
- 1-star: No clear return policy, contact info, or testing.
* Randomized Control Trials are the “gold standard” of research. They involve comparing two experimental groups where one group receives the intervention and the other a placebo. This is the only way you can evaluate if a supplement or product works. These are usually required for pharmaceuticals, but not always for dietary supplements.
** Third-party testing is a voluntary investment and certification achieved by some supplement companies and they will bear an obvious mark in this case. Companies are required to test their own products for quality and safety in accordance with the FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Some supplement companies will use misleading claims that are either standard requirements for the industry (nothing special) or don’t directly reflect the product itself and are therefore meaningless to the consumer.
Having a second pair of unbiased eyes on the product, through third-party testing, helps brands and their consumers evaluate and trust the quality and transparency of the ingredients.
The major independent testing bodies for dietary supplements are NSF International, Consumer Lab, BSCG, Informed Sport/LGC, USP, and Clean Label Project. Each of these organizations offers different types of testing (i.e. some test for athletic banned substances in addition to basic contaminants). If a product has been tested by one of these organizations, it will bear a seal.
- 5-stars: At least 3 RCTs to support methods in the diet (study must be on the SPECIFIC diet, not similar diets) or FDA approved.
- 4-stars: 2 or more RCTs.
- 3-stars: Diet philosophy based on existing methodology, but no RCTs on the specific diet.
- 2-stars: Diet philosophy based on limited research or animal studies.
- 1-star: No evidence to support the program.
Easy to Follow
- 5-stars: Extremely easy to follow, all meals included.
- 4-stars: Easy to follow, minimal cooking/meal prep involved or involves some prepackaged meals.
- 3-stars: Moderate to follow, may require some cooking/meal prep or moderate lifestyle modification.
- 2-stars: Challenging to follow – must eat all meals at home or the program has a limited variety.
- 1-star: Difficult to follow, involves significant meal prep and/or lifestyle change.
Customizable to Diet Preferences
- 5-stars: Completely customizable, can be modified for any food allergy or preference.
- 4-stars: Mostly customizable, can be modified for most food restrictions or allergies.
- 3-stars: Allows for more modifications but may not meet the needs of every allergy or food preference.
- 2-stars: Allows for some modifications, but difficult to follow for people with food restrictions or allergies.
- 1-star: Unable to modify, not possible to follow for those with food restrictions or allergies.
- 5-stars: Does not eliminate any food groups.
- 4-stars: Eliminates 1 food group.
- 3-stars: Eliminates 2 or more food groups or relies on packaged meals that must be purchased from the diet provider.
- 2-stars: Very restrictive, difficult to sustain long-term.
- 1-star: Impossible to sustain even short-term.
- 5-stars: Minimal risk for serious side effects for everyone.
- 4-stars: Minimal risk for serious side effects for the majority of the population.
- 3-stars: Safety concerns for specific categories.
- 2-stars: Safety concerns for most of the population.
- 1-star: Dangerous or serious safety concerns for everyone.
Value for the Price
- 5-stars: Completely free.
- 4-stars: Inexpensive, less than $100/month (minus the cost of food), and effective.
- 3-stars: Higher cost, over $100/month (minus the cost of food) but good value and effective program.
- 2-stars: High cost and not sustainable.
- 1-star: High cost, not effective.
Level of Accountability
- 5-stars: Completely personalized program with individual highly trained counselor available (RD, MD, RN, etc.).
- 4-stars: Personal “coach” available, not a trained professional.
- 3-stars: In-person group coaching available.
- 2-stars: Virtual coaching available.
- 1-stars: No accountability, you are on your own.
We Welcome Your Feedback
As part of our ongoing commitment to improving our content, we want to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments about our articles, please ask.
We want to ensure you have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your health.