There has been quite the rise in nutritional supplement use throughout the last several years, making it increasingly important to ensure the high-quality of these supplements. There are so many different supplements out there now that it can be difficult to determine the inferior alternatives from those of a higher quality. With the media shedding light on so many nutritional supplement horror stories, it can be difficult for people to trust the industry as a whole. Though in many cases these doubts are warranted, they should be redirected to fuel the search for high-quality rather than being used to abandon the entire supplement industry. There are definitely some key ways of filtering through supplements with unacceptable quality to find the ones that can benefit your health; you just have to know where to look. Is quality really that important, especially if it is going to cause me to spend a little more money? A likely question you might have when considering the different options of nutritional supplements that are accessible to you. Quality is vital for such supplements because you have to determine if what you are putting in your body is going to be beneficial or harmful. There are several rules of thumb that can help you determine the good from the bad.
One of the most important ways of determining quality is looking for products that are GMP certified. GMP, or good manufacturing practices, is the highest standard for supplement quality so if you come across a non-GMP certified supplement you should keep walking. Most manufacturers are actually not formally certified due to how expensive getting the certification is. Coming across a GMP certified nutritional supplement would insure high quality because of the high expense the manufacturer has paid to demonstrate their reputability.
Research is essential for choosing high quality products. Doing your homework will definitely result in finding the best nutritional supplements out there. Reaching out to the company is never a bad idea because you would be receiving information directly from the source. Their contact information should be clear and the individuals that you reach through this contact should provide you with answers to any of your questions about their product. The less distinguished companies will have less apparent contact information and will likely provide minimal responses if they have been contacted. Investigating these products will help you make a better educated purchase.
Cost is often a big issue for buyers because they may not see the importance of spending the extra cash on these supplements. Usually the more expensive the nutritional supplements the higher-quality they are. This is because low priced suppliers don’t spend the money to incorporate the more expensive ingredients, to get the certification and to do the research to create a safe product. This could put the consumer at risk of buying unsafe and ineffective products from such suppliers. So, wouldn’t you be better off spending extra than wasting your money on products that won’t work and could potentially harm you?
Label checking is another way that you can examine a product for quality. Starting with the expiration date, you can determine the freshness of a supplement just as you would when checking for freshness of your food. It is best to avoid the products you come across that do not seem to have an expiration date.
Quality ingredients are crucial for a quality product so examining the label for any red flags is always a good idea before you buy. The ingredients that make up a product are extremely important because you only want to be putting high quality ingredients into your body. Many people may not see the point in paying extra money for these supplements when there are cheaper options, but these cheap alternatives are typically made with inexpensive and substandard ingredients. An important factor that you can determine about the ingredients is whether or not they are all-natural. The highest quality products would not have any artificial preservatives or dyes so this is definitely important to look for. Some specifics to seek out on the label are be sucralose, aspartame, or acesulfame-potassium (ace-K). These are artificial sweeteners that are frequently found in nutritional supplements. It is best to avoid any products with these ingredients in their labels.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you become a better supplement examiner and more informed in your buying process.
If you find yourself browsing for a collagen supplement, or any other supplement that may contain collagen, it is important to know what to look for. Determining whether or not the product is grass-fed and pastured is the first step. It is always better to opt for the pastured choice because knowing how the animals are being fed, how they are treated, and where they live are all valuable points to consider. Insisting on the animals being grass-fed will help you sort through your options.
Along with this, there is much debate about choosing bovine collagen over marine collagen and vice versa. Bovine collagen is cheaper because of its easier accessibility, though marine collagen, or fish collagen, is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently than the bovine option. Marine collagen also has a greater bioavailability (the extent that a nutrient is able to be used by the body) than bovine collagen and because of this many people prefer this option. Its efficiency makes it a great source for your skin particularly. It is also refined to eliminate the fishy odor, while still holding onto its nutritional characterization.
Folic Acid vs. Natural Folate:
Though these two ingredients sound similar, finding one over the other in a nutritional supplement actually makes a big difference. Both potential ingredients are metabolized differently, which then leads to different effects on the consumer. Folic Acid is an artificial nutrient as opposed to natural folate, which as the name suggests, is a natural one. The liver, though often ineffective at doing so, is where the metabolization of folic acid needs to take place. Great amounts of unmetabolized folic acid can end up in the blood because of the liver’s ineffectiveness at metabolizing folic acid. Taking in greater quantities of folic acid is often associated with a greater risk of getting cancer, so this form of nutrient could potentially put you at risk for a great deal of harm. The supplementation of folic acid is also known to conceivably hide insufficient amounts of the vitamin B12.
Natural folate however, is metabolized into tetrahydrofolate in the intestines, where the metabolization is more successful. This form of folate is listed as 5-methyletrahydrofolate on the label of a supplement. This nutrient has more successful metabolization and does not bear the risks linked with consumption of folic acid supplements. Opting for the natural form of folate is costlier, but will ultimately result in a healthier supplement decision on your part. The bargain priced nutritional supplements will definitely not contain this natural nutrient, and even some top-of-the-line supplements will not necessarily use this form, so finding a supplement that does suggests a high-quality product that you can trust.
Cyanocobalamin vs. Methylcobalamin:
These are both different forms of vitamin B12, though cyanocobalamin is not the natural of the two. Similar to the folic acid vs. natural folate issue, these two nutrients differ largely in terms of absorption. Cyanocobalamin, the cheaper and lower-quality of the two, is unsatisfactorily metabolized. Bargain priced manufacturers opt for this nutrient as an alternative to the more expensive, yet also more efficient, form of vitamin B12. In contrast, methylcobalamin is better absorbed and saves the body from any avoidable labors that the metabolization of cyanocobalamin might create. Naturally, as stated before, methylcobalamin is significantly more expensive but worth the money if you are seeking actual results with your intake of vitamin B12.
The presence of carrageenan in the ingredient label could also be a red flag. It is used as a thickener by some manufacturers and could potentially lead to inflammation in the digestive system. Research and testing has been done to show that if carrageenan is degraded then inflammation can be caused, and though the form it takes in our food is undegraded, it is possible that it may become degraded during our digestive process. Studies on humans and animals have also been seen to suggest that insulin resistance and glucose intolerance can be caused by the existence of carrageenan in your supplements.
Mineral bisglycinates are the best forms of minerals that you can find in your supplements so seeing this on a label would definitely be something to take note of. They are absorbed the best, making them costlier, but again the important thing is that these supplements are helping rather than hurting your body. If you want them to work then you may have to pay a bit more than bargain prices. Also, if you find magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate, or other similar forms of minerals then it is best you avoid these products because these are low-quality signifiers. Citrates and citrate-malate are in the middle of the scale.
The best way of ensuring that you are buying the highest quality nutritional supplements is making sure you do the research. Familiarizing yourself with the information above can help you become more educated on these supplements and help you decipher the trustworthy products from the untrustworthy products. Seeking out higher-quality products will result in a higher-quality health. The least expensive choice may benefit your bank account but that’s just about all it will benefit. When regarding nutritional supplementation, you are better off opting for quality because the inferior choice may hurt you worse than paying the money ever could.