Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.
Nutritional supplements are notoriously unregulated, meaning that companies can make false claims about their products and put inactive ingredients in their formulations. As bad as this may sound, it has happened.
So, who can you trust? The most effective way to evaluate any product claims is to examine the science (if any) conducted on it. Some companies may conduct in-house scientific testing and often advertise their “findings” on their website or social media. Yet, the most trusted and respected form of science is called peer-reviewed.
But what does being peer-reviewed mean to patients? We’ll define what the term means and review what research must undergo to achieve this status.
In a nutshell, a peer-reviewed publication is what the name suggests: a scientific investigation thoroughly analyzed by at least two other independent researchers (peers) in the same area of study. More specifically, the peer review process is a form of quality control intended to weed out poorly researched work in order to maintain a scientific journal’s integrity. But to fully understand what becoming “peer-reviewed” is, it’s necessary to understand the distinction between a piece found in a widely published periodical or on social media and a bona fide scholarly article.
Before a newspaper or a magazine publishes an article, an editor checks it for, among other things, readability by a large audience. It then undergoes a fact-checking process to ensure that the writer’s story is correct and that any facts or statistics used in the article haven’t changed. There is usually one person designated to do this, and often, the author, editor or fact-checker is not an expert in a particular field.
When a scholar sends their research for publication to a journal, the editor ensures that it’s written for an audience of researchers, which means it’ll contain terms typically understood by experts. But instead of sending to one person for a fact-check, the journal’s editor sends these findings to peers as an extra step in the publication process.
“Peer-reviewed publication is a scientific investigation thoroughly analyzed by at least two other independent researchers (peers) in the same area of study. More specifically, the peer review process is a form of quality control intended to weed out poorly researched work in order to maintain a scientific journal’s integrity.”
The method of peer-reviewing can be complicated and lengthy. According to the American Psychological Association, here are the four steps of the journey:
MacuHealth’s motto is “Embrace the science,” and completing the peer-review process is a significant test of scientific integrity. There are over 30 peer-reviewed publications that support the effectiveness, bioavailability, and safety of MacuHealth’s formulations, which speaks to its dedication to science. Despite the length of time it takes to be peer-reviewed, it’s vital for the safety and trust of its customers.
When researchers evaluate MacuHealth in their studies, and the results of them are peer-reviewed and ultimately published, it gives eye care professionals and patients confidence to trust its claims and realize the supplement’s health benefits. Its willingness to undergo this process is a vital part of what sets MacuHealth apart from the competition.