How to Evaluate Nutritional Supplements Video
When my patients ask me, “What should I look for in a supplement?” I always recommend using a high-quality supplement. Supplementation is definitely one of these areas where you get what you pay for. Ideally, you find a manufacturer that uses organic ingredients whenever possible, has high standards for production methods, offers a consistent product, tests their levels on a regular basis, uses green methods of production whenever possible. I also advise that they avoid the cheap, low-end products. Supplementation is something that you get what you pay for. There are several excellent manufacturers out there. There are also a host of low-priced and poor quality supplements. These supplements tend to use a lot of fillers, artificial colors; they use cheap, imported ingredients from different sources whatever is the cheapest at that time, and do not maintain good quality control. The FDA doesn’t tightly regulate supplementation to the degree they do prescription drugs. There is a lot of variability allowed in what’s put in a capsule
The other issue is bio-availability of the nutrients. Many supplements are compounded in such a way that if it’s not thought through well you can have some ingredients in there that actually inhibit the absorption of other ingredients. The concept of bio-availability is important. That is, not only is it available in the capsule but is it bio-available and absorbed by your body? As a general rule, capsules, powders, and liquids are more readily absorbed than tablets. Kind of a waste to have a tablet that passes through you without even breaking down, rather than having a capsule which once the gel cap dissolves you have a powder that can dissolve in the stomach and small intestine and get absorbed. Since the FDA allows such variability in quality of supplements, you really depend on a quality manufacturer and quality supplier to make sure that you’re getting the best possible supplements you can.