Vitamins and supplements are one of the biggest industries going. It is estimated that about 2/3 of the population are taking at least one supplement. The supplement industry contributes about $120 billion to the economy of the United States annually. Vitamins are best used when your diet is not providing adequate nutrition. Go through any pharmacy and you will see almost a whole aisle full of supplements from various manufacturers. Choosing the appropriate supplement for your particular needs can be confusing. The biggest question I hear, “Are all supplements created equal?”
The answer is no. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Certain supplements have different potency levels due to their active ingredients; this can give supplements a “pharmaceutical grade” label. Some supplements contain versions of a particular mineral or vitamin that is not the most absorbable form. Some supplements contain more fillers than are indicated on the label. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you want to try your best to find the highest quality supplement available.
Here are some tips to help you.
When choosing a supplement, make sure that you choose ones with an active ingredient that is easy for your body to absorb. One supplement that comes to mind is calcium. The most common form of calcium is calcium carbonate. This is found in most supplements, but with one draw back. Calcium carbonate requires high acidity in the stomach to absorb it. So if you take an antacid, you won’t be able to absorb it. So let’s look at the most common supplements, and the best forms of them.
Calcium – Citrate, Orotate, Citrate Malate.
Magnesium – Glycinate, Malate
Zinc – Orotate, Chelated
B12 - Methylcobalamin
Vitamin D – cholecalciferol (D3)
Another tip that I will offer, is to buy supplements that are of higher quality. They can be a little more expensive than the pharmacy brands, but they are expensive for a reason. Many of the brands have independent testing that ensures that the supplements contain exact amounts of each ingredient they list. You will benefit from the higher quality.
Here are some supplement brands that I will promote
There are many other supplement companies out there, and many of them are reputable. The ones listed above are ones that I have used, and know to be of the highest quality.
So when trying to navigate the very confusing world of vitamins, remember; not all supplements are created the same. Read labels carefully, know what you are looking for, and follow the recommended daily allowance unless otherwise directed by a health care professional.
*Please consult a health care provider before you start taking any supplement. Some vitamins can be dangerous if the dosage is excessive.