Based on my over 25 years of experience, I feel I can offer to you some simple yet effective tips when choosing quality vitamin supplements for not all nutrition supplements are created equal. Until there is a medical review of emerging nutritional supplements, hopefully this short article will be that guide for you.
Clearly, it’s vitally important to your health that you choose vitamin supplements that are actually USED by the body and not quickly eliminated. Did you know that 90% of nutrition supplements are actually urinated out? Don’t believe me? Take an off-the-shelf vitamin brand, follow their recommended daily allowance and within an hour, sometimes less, you will urinate it out – your urine will be a significantly darker quietum plus yellow color. I know talking about body elimination is not something one talks at parties, but it is important to understand what is happening here.
Why does that happen? It’s because the vast majority of nutrition supplements are not assimilated by the body, yet the supplement industry of which nutrition supplements are a part, are a literal multi-billion dollar a year enterprise.
Without any further adieu, here are the key things to look for when choosing quality vitamin supplements.
- Product Development and Nutrient Reactions: The supplement you’re considering should be rigorously tested and its creation process overseen by certified professionals. Vitamins work in a precise symbiotic synergism. Getting optimal assimilation is 0% art, 100% science. In other words, the vitamin supplements should be scientifically formulated and certified with each batch (see point #2).
- Manufacturing Procedures: These should utilize pharmaceutical blending not paddle/ribbon blender-type mixers. In addition, contact the company to ask if they have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on file, confirming the potency of each batch. If the company ignores you or hesitates, that’s not a good sign. Lastly, you should select a vitamin supplements maker that adheres to pharmaceutical GMP compliance – this is the highest standard possible.
- Optimal Delivery System: The supplement should have enteric coating for optimal assimilation in the human system. (I discuss this more in depth later on in this article.) This is critical yet almost nobody considers this when choosing a vitamin. If they did, they would save a lot of money.
- Product Quality & Freshness: The ingredients the vitamins are made from should be made in smaller batches with the manufacturing process NOT outsourced out to other manufacturers. Remember, most vitamin and mineral supplement makers, as well as herbal product manufacturers are unregulated by the FDA. While this has its pros and cons, a vast majority of vitamin supplements don’t even insert the claimed ingredients into the supplement and contamination is a legitimate threat (again, this is why you want pharmaceutical GMP compliance).
- Pharmaceutical Grade Quality: You want a vitamin supplement that is pharmaceutical grade quality. Again, look for vitamins that are “enteric coated.”
- Value for Money: They should be inexpensive yet provide discernible benefits. However, with that said, the old saying of “you get what you pay for” is true. For a nutraceutical-quality, pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplement, expect to pay $30 to $38 or so per 90-day supply. You get what you pay for. In the long run, paying for quality is never dumb.
- Vitamins & Co-Factors, Standardized Herbal Extracts, Amino Acids, Active Enzymes, & Essential Minerals and Trace Elements: Ideally, a multi-vitamin should have vitamins but the necessary co-factors along with the other elements mentioned in the bullet point #7. The more comprehensive containing a broad range of synergistic nutrients and micro-nutrients is essential for maximum impact.
- Excipients. The “excipients” should be the highest quality. Ask the vitamin manufacturer as to what specific excipients they’re using. Excipients are the binding agents that hold together the vitamin tablet. Excipients are substances that are added to vitamin formulas or tablets that bind while not providing nutritive value. Examples of excipients include monoglycerides, magnesium stearate, modified food starch, etc. Some vitamin companies even use silica – or what people usually refer to as “sand” – as an excipient.
- Easy to Use: They should be easily ingestable at any time.
- Product Delivery: The supplement should be easy to order and shipping should ideally be free.
- Money-Back Guarantee: The longer the guarantee, the better. Look for guarantees longer than 30 days. You want 90 days or more. The longer the guarantee, the more convinced the manufacturer is of their product.
- Contact Information: It should be very easy to contact the company via phone and email.