Many people assume that taking supplements will positively impact their health. Which means that when you buy your multi-vitamins, you'll no doubt be expecting them to keep you in good health all year round.
It's one of the most frequently asked questions though - are supplements are a good idea? My answer is..
Yes, I recommend you take a multi-vitamin, but not just any multi-vitamin. I've studied for years with the world leading experts in nutrition and functional medicine, and not one of them said to skip the multi-vitamins.
But when asked do all supplements deliver what they claim on the label, the answer is no. This means you're absolutely right to be cautious before you buy.
Unfortunately, many of the cheap ones contain contaminants or nothing more than rice powder. All of this and more is why I've written this post. It's why I want to share with you some important information on what to look for when choosing your supplements to save you time, money and disappointment.
Supplements - Here's 3 Beneficial Checks To Make Before You Buy
1) Is the supplement made to pharmaceutical-grade standards?
Unfortunately most supplements aren't made to pharmaceutical-grade standards. This is because there is no regulation stating that they need to be produced and tested in the same way as prescription and over-the-counter medications. There is also a substantial cost involved in voluntarily adhering to the same testing and manufacturing criteria as drugs.
A failure to meet this requirement is a sign that the vitamin pill doesn't contain the ingredients listed on the label. There's also been several cases recently uncovering companies that are using unlisted contaminated substances, as in the GNC example. As you can see this will do you more harm than good.
Pharmaceutical testing measures indicate that the tablet is bioavailable. This is the degree to which the nutrients are available to the body for use and how quickly they will be absorbed into your bloodstream once taken. You may think that you're ingesting a certain dose of vitamins only to discover that they're not reaching your body. If they're not received by your body, they can't be used by your body.
2) Opt for a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that are complete and balanced
Don't buy the odd one, two or three... individual vitamin bottles. Not only will you strike the wrong balance, but you'll also miss out on key nutrients. Vitamins and minerals work together, so they rely on each other to function properly.
Choose optimal levels to make sure you're getting sufficient amounts of nutrients to enjoy and maintain your best health.
3) Does the supplement pass the apple test?
I've seen this experiment on several occasions, but the most recent one shown below compares the difference in quality and functionality between Centrum's Multi-Vitamin and USANA Health Sciences Vita-Antioxidant.
You can see that after 24 hours the apple in with the Centrum Multi-Vitamin starts to oxidise (essentially rust), while USANA's Vita-Antioxidant dissolves perfectly and maintains the apple's pristine condition. In fact, if you leave them for several days the Centrum apple worsens and the USANA one continues to remain unchanged.
This apple test is a great way to test out the purity, safety and effectiveness of your supplements. If you're taking antioxidants they should be preventing oxidisation inside the body, not causing it.
So it's important to buy from a trusted source. Play it safe and opt for quality.
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