Supplements 101… Assessing Supplement Quality, Top 5 Supplements, and How to Avoid the Fish Oil Scam!
2 Steps to Assess Supplement Quality:
1) Check the form of the vitamin.
Many forms of vitamins are poorly absorbed and can cause gastrointestinal upset. Others are synthetic and not the natural form that your body uses. If the label doesn’t state the form of the vitamin, it is the cheapest form available. Here are some examples.
- Minerals like magnesium and zinc should be followed by the work glycinate or chelate or malate NOT “oxide”. Magnesium Citrate is also an option but can have a laxative effect so can be good for treatment of constipation. Magnesium Threonate is good for anxiety and brain health.
- Calcium should be MCHC calcium or di-calcium malate NOT calcium carbonate
- B12 should be in the form of methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, or hydroxycobalamin NOT cyanocobalamin which is a cheap synthetic form that does not occur in nature.
- Folate should be in the active form of methylfolate NOT folic acid.
- Vitamin A should be in the form of palmitate NOT beta carotene.
- Vitamin E should be in the form of mixed tocopherols NOT dl-alpha tocopherol.
2) Read the ingredients on the back of the bottle.
Do your vitamins contain artificial colors, trans-fats, MSG, GMO ingredients, and sugar? Read the label and avoid supplements that contain unhealthy ingredients like FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake (food coloring), hydrogenated palm oil (trans-fats), modified food starch (may contain MSG), talc (anti-caking agent), sucrose and maltodextrin (sugars).
The Great Fish Oil Marketing Scam:
Is it worth spending more to get the higher quality supplement ? In my opinion, yes. There is no comparison. What is the cost difference? Centrum multivitamins run on average 10 cents per tablet. A pharmaceutical grade such as Xymogen Active Nutrients runs about 16 cents per capsule. Is it worth the 6 cent/day difference? In my opinion… absolutely. Your health is worth it!
There are many, many high quality supplement brands available to the consumer. Some examples include Xymogen, Designs for Health, Life Extension, Metagenics, Orthomolecular, and Thorne to name just a few. Good quality fish oil brands also include Nordic Naturals and Carlson’s.
Top 5 Important Supplements
- Multivitamin/multimineral such as Designs for Health Twice Daily Multi 2 per day
- Vitamin D3 of at least 2,000 IU (with vitamin K2) such as Designs for Health Vitamin D Synergy 1 per day
- Magnesium 300 mg such as Designs for Health Magnesium Malate (2 per day)
- Fish oil with 2,000 IU of DHA/EPA such as Designs for Health Omega TG Avail 1000 (2 per day)
- Multistrain Probiotic of at least 50 billion CFU such as Designs for Health ProbioMed 50 1 per day
(Disclaimer – I do not own stock in Designs for Health. I just like their products!)
Think of the food labels as a warning label and if you follow the following rules, your health and wellness will be better in the long run… Read the ingredients rather than calories or nutrients. Calorie counting is less not effective for losing the inflammatory...