Many people assume that taking supplements will positively impact their health. Which means that when you buy your multivitamins, 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 a good idea? My answer is..
Yes, I recommend taking a multivitamin, but not just any multivitamin. I've studied for years with the world leading experts in nutrition and functional medicine, and not one of them said to skip the multivitamins.
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, and the majority of supplement companies won't spend the money to ensure quality.
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. This is often why the bad press around supplements.
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 absorbed and used by your body.
2) Opt for a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants 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 Multivitamin and USANA Health Sciences Vita-Antioxidant.
You can see that after 24 hours the apple in which the Centrum Multivitamin 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 oxidation inside the body, not causing it.
It's important to buy from a trusted source, this way you can be sure that you're optimizing your nutritional intake safely.
Click here if you'd like to find out more about the Vita-Antioxidants and Core Minerals (CellSentials), or Healthpak that I use and recommend.
For help with personalised nutrition & health , goals, visit Functional Health Coaching.
Hi, I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Pain & Stress Management Therapist, and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.
I help people elevate their mind and body health by addressing diet, nutrition and lifestyle symptoms. Let's work together to optimize how you feel and function.
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