HOW DO YOU SELECT GOOD QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS?
We are living in a health-crazed society. There are so many different companies out their selling so many different vitamins and supplements. So how do you know which brands are good and which are just a waste of money?
Here are some questions and answers to guide you:
Q. How do I know what is in my vitamin; can I trust what the label says?
A. Unfortunately, some manufacturers’ labels do not accurately reflect their supplements’ contents and there is very little legal pressure for them to do so. Nobody is proactively watching out for consumer safety, much less monitoring label claims or ensuring efficacy. Manufacturers are legally obligated to formulate their supplements to only 90% of their label claim (Do you find that shocking?). Since they know they probably won’t get caught, some formulate to only 60% (or less) of claim. That means that what you see is not necessarily what you get, and poor quality products may contain ingredients and impurities never listed on the label.
Your best bet is to buy from a company you trust and educate yourself about the products you buy. For instance, call your supplement company and ask them questions about their formulation standards, ingredient sources and bio-availability tests. If you get lots of marketing hype and little useful information look elsewhere. (You have to listen carefully because they can make it sound really good when it’s not).
Q. How can I be sure I am digesting & absorbing the vitamins I take?
A. Individual supplement manufacturers may conduct their own dissolutions and bioavailability tests, or may pay to have them conducted by third-party labs. Good manufacturers will also take care to supply nutrients in dosages, combinations and ratios that encourage their proper absorption and interaction. Know your supplement company - their philosophy, formulating, testing and quality-control methods - that’s your best guide.
Q. What should I look for in a multivitamin?
A. ABOVE ALL look for a a reputable dietary supplement company. “Reputable” means they have their products analyzed and tested by third-party independent labs and that they have developed their products with quality and optimal health (vs. just high profit margins) in mind.
Don’t assume that just because a multi is a best-selling brand and shows 100% of most Daily Values that it is a good product. Some of the leading brands, and yes, even some very expensive ones, offer poor quality formulations that ignore important nutrients and use cheap ingredients. A good product will contain natural vitamin E (d-tocopherol vs. synthetic dl-tocopherol), won’t skip on expensive ingredients like biotin, and won’t overlook important trace minerals and amino acids.
There are good quality supplements out there. You just have to do your own due-diligence and not depend on marketing hype as your method of selection. GOOD LUCK!