Shopping for supplements online can often end up being more bewildering and stressful than necessary, especially when considering different brands you’ve never tried before. The fact that this industry is unregulated means you’ll never be 100% sure that what you’re buying is the real deal or some useless placebo pills!
One of the biggish and popular brands of dietary supplements is called Designs for Health, and in this review I’ll run through some of the basic (positive and negative) things you should know about this company and their products.
About The Company
Designs for Health was established in 1989 by registered dietitians Jonathan Lizotte and his wife Linda. Together with a team of nutritionists and healthcare practitioners, the company started out offering nutrition counselling services. They later shifted gears and focused their efforts toward production and distribution of nutritional products.
DFH is currently one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements in the United States with a wide range of products under their line.
They are located at 980 South St, Suffield, Connecticut.
Work Environment (If you care!)
One of the main considerations that many consumers take into account when deciding where to spend their money is how well the employees are treated and compensated by the company.
Going through some of the reviews and ratings from current and past employees of Designs for Health, posted at Glassdoor and Indeed, there is a mix of positive and negative feedback with the general sentiment being mostly positive.
Some of the things their employees praised are unstressful work, friendly co-workers, good pay and commitment to quality.
On the negative side, some employees complained about lack of proper training as well as poor communication and collaboration with management.
All in all, Designs for Health seems to provide good work environment and conditions that most of their employees appear to be satisfied with.
Product Quality and Testing
Most of Designs for Health’s products are manufactured in their own FDA inspected, GMP compliant facilities located in Arlee, MT and Henderson, NV.
The company boasts about their stringent quality control measures and guarantees the authenticity and quality of both raw ingredients and final products.
They do not mention the sources of the raw materials used in their supplements, but like most other manufacturers, they probably source the majority of their raw materials from China.
Standard product identity, purity and safety lab tests are conducted on each batch of their products. They do not publicly provide any certificates of analysis or lab results.
So, do DFH supplements really live up to their premium quality promise?
Most of their customers report being satisfied with the quality of the products, but I did spot a few complaints about half-full powder containers and capsules. Such technical mistakes do occasionally happen with other manufacturers, but I’d expect a better job from a company that puts so much emphasis on quality control.
Note: Some buyers on Amazon reported receiving old/expired and damaged bottles. This could be Amazon’s fault though since they are responsible for fulfillment.
Claims, Efficacy and Adverse Effects
Designs for Health offers a variety of branded formulations with multiple ingredients as well as single-ingredient supplements under different categories. Product labels are professional with no tall, unscientific claims.
You must keep in mind, however, that the suggested uses and benefits of nutritional supplements are largely based on traditional uses and preliminary scientific research and studies. None of these products has been approved by the FDA for their intended use, nor is there a conclusive evidence that they actually deliver the claimed benefits.
Efficacy does vary from one user to another based on many factors. Some people who tried DFH supplements didn’t get the results they were hoping for.
Some users also complained about adverse effects after taking certain DFH products, such as upset stomach, nausea, headache and others.
Although they use ingredients that are considered generally safe and well-tolerated, your body may respond differently to some substances and you may notice some unwanted side effects.
You should always check the label (supplement facts) of the product you intend to buy, take note of the listed active ingredients and “other ingredients”, and do your own research to make sure none of the ingredients may potentially cause problems for you. Or better, you can ask your doctor for advice.
Arguably the biggest disadvantage of this brand is the premium price tags, so if you are looking to save money on your supplement purchases, you are looking in the wrong place!
The word “overpriced” appears repeatedly in customer reviews, but there are some justifications for their high-end prices:
Unlike other brands that outsource manufacturing to cut costs, Designs for Health operate their own manufacturing facilities. They hire several healthcare professionals. And they invest a lot of money in marketing their products to doctors and healthcare practitioners across the country.
It’s up to you if you want to spend your money on a premium brand. If you are on a tight budget, there are cheaper alternatives out there.
I think some of their specialized formulas are worth the investment, but I’d probably go with a less pricey brand if I were just looking for vitamins!
Where to Buy Designs for Health Supplements?
Besides Amazon, several online nutrition stores sell DFH products. One of the good places that carry this brand is PureFormulas. They offer free shipping and excellent customer service — check them out!