Although vitamins and supplements are not regulated by any government agency or organization in terms of their efficacy or even their authenticity and purity, just about everyone I know takes them, and many people even swear by them. The HSA states on their website that “unlike medicines which contain potent medicinal ingredients, health supplements are currently not subject to approvals, licensing or registration before being sold in the local market.” Many people are unaware of this warning, and believe that as long as they buy from local stores, they are buying a product that has been tested and found to be safe and effective. Online sources, for many, are considered unsafe. However, there really is little difference since all supplements, no matter their source, are not regulated, but if you buy from local “brick and mortar” stores, such as Guardian, Unity, GNC, or Holland & Barrett, you may be spending 10-50% more than if you buy online. The selection online is also more vast.
The two online shops that I regularly use, both of which have reasonable shipping rates to Singapore, are iHerb and Vitacost. You can get 100 capsules of fish oil for $5 (USD). These are my go-to gifts at Christmas time for colleagues and relatives. They’re inexpensive and (hopefully) convey the message “Hey, I care about you because I care about your health.” Both online shops have a wide variety of multivitamins, supplements, and herbs. They also have personal care and grocery items. You can get organic lip balm for as low as $0.50 (USD), a 1L bottle of coconut oil for $20 (USD), along with a wide array of organic makeup and shampoo.
I’ve ordered from them over the last 3 years and both shops have always been reliable with delivery usually taking only about a week. If you use the following referral code, you can get a $10 discount off your first order. It helps me out too, as I get a discount on my next purchase, making it a win-win for everyone.
- Vitacost referral link (when you’re ready to buy, just click on this link and activate your $10 code)
- iHerb coupon code (click on this link to get $5 off at checkout, or manually enter in the code “FUZ092” at checkout)
Disclaimer: I have to mention that vitamins and supplements are not for everyone, and that certain vitamins and supplements may be harmful, especially when combining them with prescribed medications or other vitamins and supplements, using them inappropriately, or using them in place of prescribed medications, even if they are labeled “natural” (after all, tobacco, cocaine, and arsenic are natural substances). According to the HSA, “dietary supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or alleviate the effects of diseases.” Please consult a qualified health professional if you have questions regarding whether a particular vitamin or supplement is right for you.