The supplement industry, like every industry, has the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some companies make quality products across the board, others are hit or miss, and there are those that make cheap products.
So what’s the difference between them? What is good quality? How can you make sure your dollars are going to your health rather than just the company?
Of chief importance is that the product in question contains only the ingredients listed and not any fillers or binders. It’s cheap and easy to bulk up a pill with starch and make it look impressive, but it won’t deliver a proper therapeutic dose. In addition, if a company cheaps out by using fillers and the like, they may also opt for lower-quality active ingredients, further reducing effectiveness.
Some other concerns regarding supplements are: is every ingredient the best form for the body to use? Is the product tested for purity and potency? Is each ingredient in a strong enough dose to make a difference? How do the ingredients — plus fillers and binders — interact with one another? Does the manufacturer store, ship, and mix the ingredients properly?
Walk into any store, head to the supplement section, and stand there. How do you usually choose? A lot of people pick the least expensive product with the longest list of ingredients and potential benefits. Many famous supermarket multivitamins, for instance, are relatively inexpensive, and seem to provide a lot of great stuff. Take a closer look, though. It provides calcium, but how much and from what source? How about B12? Odds are it’s a very small, perhaps insignificant, amount in a form that is not readily absorbed by the body anyway. So it may say 200mg., but perhaps you’ll only absorb twenty. The real question is not, “how much does this bottle cost”, but rather, “how many of these bottles do I have to take to get the result I’m looking for?”
Then there’s the matter, mentioned above, of interaction. Some adulterating ingredients are not just useless to the body, they actually make it more difficult to absorb any good ingredients that are in the product to begin with! A supplement should not go through a washing machine (or your body) and come out whole (yes, it happens). Consume the whole bottle and you have still got nothing. Literally.
Is it possible to know that what you are purchasing is a quality product?
One solid guarantee is to purchase supplements from a professional line, meaning they are available through healthcare practitioners such as a naturopathic doctor. These lines produce products backed by research and are often third-party tested to ensure both purity and potency. The companies that manufacture professional lines have built their reputation on earning the trust of healthcare practitioners through top notch products. What you see is what you get. No more, no less.
And manufacturers of this nature tend to be very passionate about being and producing the best. They dig into contemporary and traditional medicine to find out what works and why, ascertain the best dose, and how they can deliver it in the most effective way possible. No stone is left unturned, and each new piece of research may lead to a reformulation of a classic or something novel and game changing.
As a Naturopathic practice, the Nardella Clinic carries several different lines of top grade professional supplements. We choose each based on the strengths of individual manufacturers and the role it will have in serving our client’s health. In addition to carrying better quality supplements, our naturopathic doctors are experts in helping you determine which supplements are most appropriate for you.
We also carry a line of private label products, which we formulated based on research and years of combined clinical experience. These products, like the professional lines we carry, are free of fillers and other questionable ingredients. We are, of course, no stranger to convenience, and our private label products provide therapeutic doses in simple, easy to take formats, such as our once-a-day multivitamin.
One of the most important things to consider is that, regardless of the manufacturer or product, it is best to have a naturopathic doctor, or other healthcare practitioner monitor your health and your supplements to fine-tune your intake and regularly assess your needs.
Your health is worth a lot, and $50 of prevention can be worth thousands of cure.