Confused About Which Vitamins to Take?
Have you ever gone into a health store, warehouse, or drug store, and looked at all the different vitamins and or supplements on the shelf and became confused about which vitamin to take? If so you are at the right place.
Click here to check out a video on why we should supplement.
The Food Supplement Industry
There has been an explosive expansion in the food supplement industry in the last few years. Many companies have sprouted up everywhere making food supplements a very big industry.
With little or no scientific expertise, the strategy of these new companies is to purchase cheap bulk raw materials from a wholesale distributor and then either manufacture the products themselves or pay the distributor to do so.
Such supplements, numbering in the hundreds, may be inexpensive (some are, some aren't), but their quality is suspect. A high quality supplement requires high quality ingredients plus the scientific know-how to create an effective delivery system.
The Supplement Industry is a Complex Science
The truth is nutrition is a complex science. To make a high quality food supplement requires a substantial investment in research and development.
Companies that spring up overnight cannot and do not put the required resources behind their products. They tend to invest their money in market research, not in scientific research required to create quality products.
Consequently, their supplements simply cannot compete with the quality of those produced by a larger, more established, scientifically grounded company that has years of experience under its belt.
The very bottom line, be it vitamins, televisions, drugs or clocks, is this: "Will it work for me? Can you prove it before I buy?"
You Need Good Research and Development
What we are discussing is the very life breath of all science research and testing. A company's claims for its food supplements are only as good as the research to support these claims.
It is also a fact, however, that most of us know little about the big business of food supplements. This, unfortunately, makes us easy marks for the polished salesperson of variety of products, some perhaps helpful, but others certainly less so. How can we choose our supplements wisely and avoid relying on the advice of some fast-talking salesperson with a pharmacy to peddle?
There are Five Criteria for a Quality Supplement
There is no need for you to be fooled by a deceptive label or a salesperson's hype. You can see for yourself whether a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement meets our five criteria for quality. You yourself can make an informed choice. And then, once you have found a company that makes a high quality multi-supplement, you can pretty well depend on the rest of that company's product line being of equally high quality.
There are five guidelines for reading a multi-label and finding the best product. I want to share these guidelines with you.
This is the first step to take in eliminating a number of products on the market today. For this reason I have chosen to spend a little extra space going over the criteria for a high quality multi-supplement.
I encourage you to test any multi you are now taking or plan to take by these five simple guidelines. I believe the results will surprise you.
Five Criteria to Look for in a Quality Supplement
#1. Check that all 23 essential vitamins and minerals with established Percent Daily Values (%DV) are listed on the label.
#2. Make sure all eight of the B vitamins are supplied in amounts equaling at least 100 percent of the %DV. Proportions of one B vitamin to another should not vary by more than 500 percent. For example, if you find a supplement that supplies three percent of the %DV for biotin and 600 percent of the %DV for thiamine, you can pretty easily guess which vitamin is more expensive. Often a manufacturer will not list all the B vitamins on a multi label. You can assume the reason is that the multi does not contain all the B vitamins. Reject It.
#3. Note that biotin and folic acid are both supplied at 100 percent of the %DV. These two vitamins are the most expensive to put into a multi-supplement. If a manufacturer leaves either of them out, or if they are present only in insignificant amounts, you can be sure the only reason is to save the company money - at your expense.
#4. Check the copper to zinc balance. Ideally, these two minerals should be present in a one-to-one ratio based on percentage of %DV. In other words, look for 100 percent of the %DV for zinc and 100 percent of the %DV for copper. If the company is paying attention to micro-mineral research, these ratios will be very close.
#5. Make sure the multi supplies adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium. These are bulky minerals, and they are difficult and expensive to compound into a tablet. Sometimes a company will include one or the other but not both. Check to see that your multi provides you with appropriate amounts of both calcium and magnesium.
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Find Natural Supplements
If you will use these five guidelines when you shop for a multi supplement, you will be able to select a high quality product.
The aim is to purchase supplements that are in harmony with nature and as close as possible to our definition of natural nutrients.
How to Identify a Quality Supplement
How to Identify Natural Nutrients Because there is such an emphasis on natural today and because all manufacturers want their products to sell well - many products are labeled natural. But how valid is that term?
Perhaps the supplement has been processed with high heat, or perhaps only a small portion of it is natural.
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Don't Be Fooled by False Advertising
Don't be misled by clever wording or even vivid pictures of fruit or grain on a food supplement label.
The last question is one of the most important. To have an article published in a reputable journal is a good indication of its worth.
Why is't so Important to Find the Best Quality
Choosing a food supplement is a much different selection than buying, say, a TV. We can pretty well tell when our TV is not working properly. If it malfunctions, we can have it fixed. We can probably get a loaner to replace it while it is in repair.
There is some inconvenience to be sure, but it certainly doesn't affect our health or well being.
What Can Happen If You Chose an Inferior Brand
A mistake in purchasing food supplements can have some long-term, possibly painful consequences in the years to come.
Take calcium for an example. Suppose you are one of those people who cannot tolerate milk products, or just do not care for them.
When you supplement with calcium, you must trust that manufacturer for much of your calcium intake. What if the delivery system is improper or the form is difficult to absorb?
Most of us would have no real way to determine if the supplement is adequate for our needs until a problem occurs. The possible problem in this case could be osteoporosis (porous or brittle bones).
Your first knowledge of a problem could be the breaking of a bone. An X-ray of the fracture would indicate the break and also the osteoporotic condition. Low calcium intake can be a problem of significant proportions. Some 20 million Americans have osteoporosis.
More than 50 thousand older women and many older men die each year in the United States as a result of hip fracture complications.
Advantages of 100% Natural Supplements
Other advantages of natural nutrients include the following:
The enzymes are not radically altered in processing by high heat or harsh chemical solvents.
Harsh fillers and binders that impede absorption are not used.
Nature's balance is kept as closely intact as possible.
After considerable thought, we came to the conclusion that selecting a food supplement is a much weightier decision than selecting a car. Our reasoning is that if a car does not work properly, we will find out quickly enough and have it fixed or traded in. We know when a car is not doing what it is supposed to do (at worst, it doesn't get us where we want to go) - and we can correct the problem. Granted, it may cause some annoyance or aggravation, but the problem is not irreparable.
What Do the Experts Tell Us
Experts tell us that one in four Americans already have some form of cardiovascular disease. One in three Americans eventually will develop cancer.
If we fall prey to the ravages of heart disease, cancer or stroke - the tree top killers in the United States today, our later years can be years of misery.
Anything we can do now to prevent succumbing to these diseases later should be considered seriously.
In some cases taking food supplements may help protect us against these dreaded diseases.
How to Spot a Good Company
It has been found that the quality of a company's multi-vitamin is a very good indicator of the quality of that company's entire product line.
How to Tell A Good Company
If a company produces a poor multi, you can pretty well rule out the rest of that company's supplements. But if a company produces a high quality multi, you can pretty well count on the quality of the rest of its supplements.
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