Many people assume that taking supplements will positively impact their health. So when you buy your multi-vitamins, you'll no doubt be expecting them to keep you well and vibrant throughout the year.
But do all supplements deliver what they claim on the label?
Here's 3 checks to make before choosing your supplements.
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.
You can find out more about USANA's Vita-Antioxidants and Core Minerals (CellSentials) or Healthpak here, or check out my Health & Weight Loss Coaching and Nutrition Programmes for specific help with your health and nutritional needs.
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