|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
How To Choose A Good Quality Vitamin Supplement For You And Your Family Without Getting Ripped Off
As you may have already experienced, figuring out how to choose a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement can be a confusing and time consuming task.
The purpose of this article is to look at several important factors that you should consider when looking for a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement and to provide you with resources where you can learn more.
CONSIDERATION #1: ABSORPTION
Here is one of the first questions you should keep in mind:
Will the ingredients in the vitamin and mineral supplement you are considering actually be absorbed by your body?
There are many steps that the ingredients in your vitamin and mineral supplement (referred to as supplement from now on) have to go through in order to make it all the way through your digestive tract, into your blood stream and ultimately to the location where your body can use them.
It's a complex process and there are many opportunities for the process to not go quite right and prevent your supplement ingredients from getting to where they are supposed to. Let's look at some factors that can affect the journey your supplement takes and also affect how well your body can absorb a supplement's ingredients.
WHAT IS BIOAVAILABILITY?
Bioavailability is the degree to which a nutrient is available to the body for use. More specifically, for a nutrient to be bioavailable it must be within physical proximity to the cell so the cell can use it. Also, for a nutrient to be bioavailable it has to be dissolved in some sort of solution so that the nutrient can be transported across the cell membrane.
From a non biochemistry perspective, here's a simple way to picture what needs to happen; the nutrient has to make it all the way from your mouth to the cell and be in a form the cell can use.
For bioavailability to occur, certain things have to happen once you put that supplement into your mouth. Here are two of those processes. One is dissolution which refers to how fast a supplement dissolves. An example to help you picture this process would be taking some sugar, putting it in a glass of water and stirring it with a spoon until the sugar disappears.
Another process is disintegration. This is similar to dissolution only disintegration refers to how fast the capsule or tablet breaks into smaller pieces so that the dissolution process can take place.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR SUPPLEMENT WILL DISSOLVE
So how in the world are you going to be able to tell if the supplement you are considering does all this dissolution and disintegration stuff? Fortunately, it's pretty straight forward to figure out. A good way to know that your supplement is meeting these standards is to make sure there is some sort of "USP" designation on the label of the product.
USP refers to U.S. Pharmacopeia, an organization that was established to create state-of-the-art standards to ensure the quality of medicines that humans use. This includes vitamin and mineral supplements.
An example of the kind of USP designation that you want to look for on the label of a product you are considering would be something like, "this product conforms to the USPXXVII requirements for disintegration and dissolution".
WHAT CHELATION DOES
Chelation is very important when it comes to making sure that the minerals in your supplement are bioavailable. Chelation refers to a process that increases the absorption of minerals such as chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.
It can be hard to get minerals all the way to that bioavailable state that was discussed earlier. Chelation involves wrapping the mineral in an amino acid so that the body can more easily absorb it. This can improve the absorption of some minerals from only 10% absorption for a non chelated mineral to 45% and more for a chelated mineral.
So when you are looking at the label of a vitamin supplement and you find a trace mineral such as manganese as one of the ingredients, you want to see something like "Manganese (as Manganese Chelate)" on the label. This indicates that the manganese mineral has been chelated.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU PICK THE WRONG SUPPLEMENT
If the vitamin supplement you are considering doesn't meet the standards discussed above, it can pass right through your body and do you no good at all.
To give you an example of this, I have actually seen a photo of an x-ray taken of a person's colon area with the vertebrae of their backbone off to one side. In this photo I could clearly see two supplement tablets, still intact, looking like they had just come out of the bottle. These supplement tablets were poorly made, never disintegrated and would soon end up in the toilet.
Photos like these are a graphic illustration of the fact that just because you swallow your vitamin supplement doesn't mean your body is going to be able to use it.
ARE YOU WASTING YOUR MONEY?
With this in mind, let's look at this useless, undissolved supplement from a another perspective; a financial one. Let's say you find a great deal on a supplement and start taking it. We'll call it Supplement X. Let's also say this Supplement X costs $20 for a sixty day supply.
You think you've found a great deal, however what if it turns out that your Supplement X has been poorly manufactured and is only 10% bio available. What this means is that your body will be only able to use $2 worth of this supplement ($20 times 10%).
And what happened to the other $18 you paid for the supplement? It went right through your body, that's what. Looking at it another way, you paid $20 for your sixty day supplement supply yet ended up completely wasting 90% of that $20 you spent. You literally flushed $18 right down the toilet.
Just like everything else in life, there is no free lunch. When it comes to choosing a supplement, don't be cheap. Do your homework and find a good quality supplement that your body can actually use.
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER
- Are the health benefit claims being made by the supplement company provable?
Vitamin supplement companies may claim that their product will do certain things or that the way they put their product together or package it will create a particular health benefit. This claim may very well be true but the only thing that matters is have they proven it. Are there proven health benefits from taking their supplement? In other words, have there been clinical trials that prove the health benefit claims?
- Is the supplement you are considering safe to consume?
Just because the supplement is in a bottle, the bottle has a fancy label and it looks like it comes from a big company doesn't mean the ingredients in the supplement are pure and safe. There can be many substances in that capsule that can have an immediate harmful effect as well as a harmful effect over the long term.
WHERE YOU CAN LEARN MORE
Specific details on health benefit claims and whether or not the supplement you are considering is safe to consume are beyond the scope of this article.
However, if you would like to learn more about these health benefit and safety subjects, details on these topics can be found on web pages that I have provided a link to below.
On these vitamin resources pages you will also find:
- Organizations that can help you figure out what kinds of vitamins, minerals and other supplements may be right for you
- Where you can get unbiased evaluations on the product you are considering
- Some more interesting facts on absorption
- Surprising information on colloidal minerals
If you have gotten to the point where you are looking for a vitamin and mineral supplement to take, congratulations. You have taken a positive step towards improving your health and taking better care of your body.
However, make sure to continue that commitment to yourself by doing your homework and making sure that you choose a good quality supplement. It makes no sense to go that far then end up wasting your money on something that your body can't even use.
After years of extreme fatigue, severe digestion problems and frequent sickness, Andy Long now enjoys energy levels that allow him to windsurf in 30 mph winds for 3-4 hours at a time.
He now shares with others what he did to completely regain his health through his health related web sites and newsletter.
To see a list of the topics covered in Andy's newsletter, click on the following link: http://www.ajpip.com/rbopi/ancrb.htm
Should You Take Gingko Biloba to Improve Your Brain Power?
Have you heard of the herbal supplement with the very odd name of gingko biloba?In the last few years, gingko biloba has become one of the most heavily advertised herbal products in health food stores and magazines. It seems that gingko is being advertised everywhere, as a new miracle cure for many common ailments.
Whey Protein Facts
Whey protein is a high quality powder made from cow's milk. Cow's milk is made up of two proteins - casein (80%) and whey (20%).
Supplements and Drugs: A Hazardous Combination
As I have become more involved in using functional nutritional therapy in my practice, I have come to realize that many people are still confused about the safety and effectiveness of various dietary supplements. Because these products are "natural", many feel they are always safe to use.
Not all Antioxidants are Created Equal!
The growing numbers of health conscious people today living more vibrant lives owe much to the efforts and research of certain pioneers who braved ridicule, for without them, many of us now wouldn't be aware of the general benefits of taking antioxidant supplements.To take a particular notable example, great scientist and humanitarian Linus Pauling (the only man to win 2 unshared Nobel Prizes, one in Chemistry and one for Peace) urged people to supplement with Vitamin C after he became convinced of its myriad of benefits.
Suffering From Osteoarthritis Pain? Natural Relief Is Available
It is clearly evident that hyaluronic acid in its oral form supports optimal joint health. The reality of the situation is that after 65 years of age approximately 30 percent of all doctor visits will be related to pain caused by osteoarthritis.
As with most nutrients and minerals, zinc is often ignored by the average person however, it is an essential mineral that plays many roles in promoting the healthy functioning of the body. Its importance to the body's well-being goes far back as the earliest moments of growth and development and is serves a highly important role in maintaining a healthy way of life.
Appreciating the Importance of Folic Acid
Folic acid is actually just one of the many vitamins that make up the Vitamin B complex. Also known as folacin and folate, this indispensable nutrient serves the body in more ways than one.
Pros And Cons For Vitamin Supplements - Are They Good Or Bad?
There are a number of pros and cons for vitamin supplements. You may find yourself reading articles and watching adverts that claim vitamin supplements are the best things since sliced bread - a cure for everything and a suitable alternative for a diet that is rich in nutritional value.
What If You Could Turn Back The Clock To When You Were healthy?
What if there was a solution to protecting and restoring your health. What if you could turn back the clock and return to when you were healthy.
Herbal Supplement - what is it?So what is an herbal supplement? The herbal supplement is a supplement that provides you body with various nutrients necessary for your health and which is based of herbs and natural products. There are a wide variety of different types of herbal supplements available in the market nowadays.
Supplements and Vitamins - Can They Enhance Your Weight Loss Goals?
Nutritional supplements can play a key role in the health of children and adults. Many people feel that they don't get enough vitamins and minerals through their daily intake of food and, therefore, turn to supplements to fill in the gaps.
Natural Supplements - Help Your Body
Vitamins and mineral supplements are a good way to supply your body with nutrients that you might not be getting from your diet. Go down any vitamin aisle in a drugstore, market, or health food store.
Amino Acids For Height Growth - Boosting Your Growth Hormones
Many people take amino acids for height growth these days. L-Arginine is an acid supplement that is known for its ability to burn fat, and release HGH (Human Growth Hormone) within the body.
Creatine Supplementation for Increased Performance and Building Muscle
Creatine is an amino acid that is in meat and fish. It is produced by the body in the liver and kidneys and converted in the muscles to creatine phosphate to resupply them with their source of energy.
The Science Behind Phytonutrient Rich Soy Based Products
A healthier diet is very much in the news these days, given such initiatives as Jamie Oliver's campaign to change the eating habits of our younger generation.Not an easy task as adults like us need to be educated as well.
Researching Glyconutritionals (a.k.a. Glyconutrients)?
The Greek word "Glyco" means, "Sugar". Most people think of sugar as being bad for you.
Vitamin A and C: How They Affect The Skin
Benefits of using Vitamin A products:Retinol is pure and active Vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the few substances with a small enough molecular structure to penetrate the outer layers of the skin and work to repair AND stimulate the lower layers of the skin where collagen and elastin reside creating firmer smoother skin.
Vitamin E to Protect Against Parkinsons Disease
Moderate amounts of vitamin E in the diet can protect against Parkinson's disease, according to a study in the Lancet Neurology (2005;4:362-5).A chronic, progressive neurological disease, Parkinson's disease is characterized by resting tremors, increasing muscle rigidity, and eventual paralysis.
We have all heard that it is important to eat fruits and vegetables everyday. Some of us actually do eat the minimum recommended servings.
The Liquid Vitamin Supplement
Not many years ago the liquid vitamin supplement was unheard of. I remember the advent of the pills years ago and later on the capsule.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.