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Editorial Guidelines

Our goal is for our company blog Illuminate Health to be the premier online resource for research-based health information.

Here are the editorial guidelines that our organization is publicly committed to in regard to the health content we publish:

Unbiased, Always

Illuminate Labs selects products to review based on consumer interest and requests. We don't engage in sponsored reviews, which is where a brand pays a publisher for a review. This allows our reporting to remain unbiased and focused on the facts.

We only recommend products if there is published medical research backing the efficacy of their formulation, and no toxic or sensitizing additive ingredients which we believe may pose a risk to human health based on clinical trials.

Credentialed Medical Professionals Backing All Content

All content we publish is written or reviewed by credentialed medical professionals. Our team members consist of doctors, PhDs, dermatologists, a psychiatrist, a psychiatric advanced practice nurse and an RD who leverage their decades of training and experience to provide you with the most accurate health information.

Sources From Medical Research

Wherever possible, we cite clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals in our articles to back up our position. Especially when evaluating health claims or formulation safety, our goal is to only provide definitive recommendations one way or another when there is clinical data to back it up.

Preferential Linking to Free Versions of Citations

We believe that published medical research should be free for the public to access, and we recognize that most consumers don't have the disposable income or interest to purchase access to a medical journal.

That's why, whenever possible, we link to the free version of a medical source that we cite in our articles. If the same research exists in a free article in one journal and a paid article in another journal, we will always preferentially link to the free version.

Content Continually Refreshed

We aim to revise all content published on Illuminate Health to ensure it's still up-to-date and medically accurate. If any new information or research emerges about a topic we reviewed, we will update the article with the relevant new information.

Our editorial process involves reviewing all articles which were published a year or more in the past, and updating them to reflect any new information.

How We Qualify Trusted Sources

We categorize external links from our website to other sites in two ways: "Trusted Sources" and regular links. 

Trusted Sources are visually represented with a lighter hyperlink color and a checkmark icon. Trusted Sources fall into one of four categories:

1) Medical Journal – Research published in a medical or scientific journal is the gold standard for research on health topics. We typically cite medical journals with a peer-review process which reduces bias in the results.

2) Educational Institution – Many educational institutions like Harvard Medical School directly publish their own research, and this category of research is typically non-sponsored and thorough.

3) Government Research – Governments often fund and publish independent research to advance basic science. This type of research is typically more general than that published by medical journals or educational institutions.

As an example, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes data on the nutrient levels of various foods and food products which we've quoted in several articles.

4) Independent Research Organization – There exist organizations that conduct independent research on health topics, which are typically non-profit. ConsumerLab is an example of an independent research organization that we've cited before.

Display Ads Policy

Illuminate Labs does not necessarily endorse any of the companies advertising on our site. To eliminate any potential bias, we partnered with one of the largest ad placement firms in the U.S. that handles automated bidding for ads on Illuminate Health and our articles. This method ensures we're unaware of which brands are advertising on our site, which removes any potential bias.

It also automates the ad process and allows us to spend our time researching and writing articles, instead of negotiating with companies looking to advertise on our site.

Monetizing our content with ads allows us to continue to fund the research that goes into Illuminate Health articles, and allows our articles to remain free to access.

Blog Article Tagging Policy

On the Read Next feature of our blog, we add descriptive article tags to the suggested articles for user convenience and context. These tags occasionally reference health conditions such as diabetes and medical phrases such as "blood pressure support."

These tags are not health claims and do not suggest that the subject of the review is effective for treating those health claims. Rather, these tags describe the general topic and the health claims made by the article subject.

As an example, a dietary supplement which purports to reduce cholesterol may be tagged with a "cholesterol reduction" tag. This does not suggest that this product effectively reduces cholesterol; it just means that the brand or product being reviewed claims it does.

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