How to Choose High-Quality Supplements

Despite our best efforts to eat a diet that consists of balanced nutrition for better health, most people struggle to get everything they need to help their body function at optimal levels. For this reason, many turn to supplements to fill the gaps.

However, not all supplements are created equal, and there are often limited regulations surrounding their production and efficacy. For consumers, it can be challenging to see past the marketing and internet gurus touting their product as the next magic pill. Here are some things to look for when sourcing high-quality supplements.

Look at the Ingredients

How forthcoming is the supplement company with its ingredient list? Do they value transparency or is the crux of their information summed up with the words “proprietary blend?” Some great supplement companies choose not to share everything that is in their product, it’s always smart to know exactly what you’re putting in your body, especially if you have health concerns, allergies or are new to supplements.

While looking at the ingredients, be sure to look for a section that outlines “non-medical ingredients.” This list often includes components that are used to bind, fill, or enhance the supplement in some way. For example, a non-medical ingredient in children’s medication might be a dye to give the fluid a bright, fun color. Wheat is often used as a filler, which can be an irritant to someone with a sensitivity.

Who is Telling You What to Buy?

It’s important to think critically when purchasing supplements. First and foremost, consider who is telling you to buy a certain brand over another or insisting that you need supplementation. If your friend sells supplements through a multi-level marketing company, they are doing it for their financial gain, and not your health and well-being.

A nutritionist or medical practitioner are the best people to listen to when looking for recommendations. Conduct your own research, looking at unbiased sources, and ask questions at your local health food store. Make a decision based on your findings.

Your Needs

Your lifestyle will be a huge determining factor in what you purchase. Aging women will require different supplementation than a male in his twenties. A sedentary office worker will have different requirements than their coworker who runs marathons. Recommended daily allowances listed on vitamins and supplements– the percentage you see on the label next to each component– are based on the average, sedentary human being.

When you’ve determined why you need supplementation, you can look for supplements that suit your specific needs. This will drastically narrow down your research and make it easy to choose a high-quality option.

Efficacy and Absorption

One of the many reasons that you should aim to get your vitamins and minerals through balanced nutrition is the bioavailability of the nutrients. Bioavailability means how well it is absorbed. Generally speaking, nutrients from food will be easier for your body to process than those in supplements (though there are some special cases when deficiencies come into play).

Vitamin tablets with a thick, waxy coating are usually harder for your body to extract nutrients from during the digestion process. The coating is meant to improve the shelf life of the tablets, not to benefit you in any way. Powdered or liquid vitamins are more bioavailable and easily absorbed during digestion. Keep this in mind when looking for high-quality products.

Nutrient Form

As a subset of efficacy and absorption, you’ll want to revisit the label and see what form the nutrients are in. As mentioned previously, not all supplements are built the same; neither are nutrients. For example, there are different forms of iron: iron sulfate and iron gluconate. Iron gluconate tends to be easier on the stomach than iron sulfate. There are various types of Vitamin B12, some of which are more readily absorbed than others.

When looking for high-quality supplements, take time to learn more about the various nutrient forms that are integral to your needs, and choose the right one. Speaking with a nutritionist or licensed medical professional can help you make the right choice.

You should always prioritize quality when choosing to put something into your body. Do ample research, look for unbiased recommendations, and speak to a professional when in doubt.

Related Posts

Loading...