We understand that attempts to keep up with all the latest information about which health products you should (and shouldn’t!) try can truly make your head spin. Claims abound about living longer, losing weight, looking younger, strengthening your immunity, reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer, and so much more.
When it comes to vitamins and supplements, oftentimes the data just aren’t there to support these claims. And yet, companies continue to race to get the latest, greatest miracle cures to local shelves. So how do you separate fact from fiction? By going to a trusted source — Cleveland Clinic Wellness.
A Source You Can Trust — The Prescriptive Wellness Committee
The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise recognized the need for more truth and guidance. That’s why we launched, in 2009, the Prescriptive Wellness Committee (PWC). The PWC is composed of an impressive multidisciplinary team of doctors and medical experts including board-certified internists and family practitioners; specialists in women’s health, cancer, and integrative medicine; pathologists, pharmacists, exercise physiologists, dietitians, and other wellness experts. Its purpose is to research and evaluate vitamins, supplements and medical products. Committee members determine whether sufficient evidence exists to support safe, acceptable patient and consumer use. Wellness products recognized as safe are made available for purchase at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness retail storefronts and at our online wellness shop. Cleveland Clinic’s Prescriptive Wellness Committee is the only medical board in the country affiliated with a major hospital to offer this type of comprehensive product review.
We realize that more and more consumers are buying vitamins and supplements as a preventive measure. But with all the brands, offerings, and claims, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. Our goal is to make it easier for you to identify and purchase what you need — from a trusted source. The PWC provides truth and guidance to help you make informed decisions when purchasing vitamins and supplements.
The PWC Review Process
When considering products, committee members begin their review with evidence-based information from leading scientific journals written and published by experts in the fields of alternative and complementary medicine. Our own experts then carefully consider product effectiveness and safety, discuss product merits and disadvantages, and vote on a rating. The committee’s rating system, developed specifically for these reviews, highlights at a glance the level of research evidence available about the effectiveness of each product.
Safety at a Glance
The PWC rating system allows readers to identify, at a glance, the level of evidence found for each product.
+3 Strong Evidence of Effectiveness. The evidence in humans shows overwhelmingly positive benefit. Our team is highly confident about its therapeutic potential.
+2 Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness. Several well-designed studies in humans have shown positive benefit. Our team is confident about its therapeutic potential.
+1 Slight Evidence of Effectiveness. Preliminary studies suggest some benefit. Future trials are needed before we can make a stronger recommendation.
0 Level of Effectiveness Unclear. More studies are needed before we can make a recommendation.
-1 Possibly Ineffective and/or Toxic. Our team does not recommend this product because either clinical trials to date suggest little or no benefit or the potential toxicity may not be worth the risk.
-2 Definitely Ineffective and/or Toxic. The science does not support any benefit. Our team suggests that you consider other alternatives.
As a true measure of its commitment to quality control, the Wellness Enterprise sends representatives to supplement manufacturing plants to familiarize themselves with the best available manufacturing processes. Members have found significant differences in the quality of products from different locations, even when dealing with reputable sources.
While purchase price is never a factor in the decision-making process, the team makes a concerted effort to offer a range of differently-priced products from a variety of companies. Wherever possible, the PWC increases consumer choice by approving at least two qualified suppliers offering the same type of product.
Shopping at Cleveland Clinic Wellness
Many dozens of approved vitamins and supplements are available at our online wellness store and in Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness retail storefronts, including probiotics, antioxidants, fish oils and vitamin supplement combo packs. You’ll also find a large assortment of approved medical devices, such as light therapy boxes to treat seasonal affective disorder, feedback monitors for lowering blood pressure, aromatherapy for relaxation and many different kinds of exercise equipment. With the approval of the PWC, new products are continually being added.
Whenever you order online at clevelandclinicwellness.com, you can take advantage of free shipping on most orders over $40.