How to be a smart and savvy supplement shopper
Many times when I see a patient, they come to me with a bag full of supplements that have not made them feel better and have dwindled their bank accounts. They are frustrated and skeptical but are willing to seek out professional help to get them feeling better. I commend them on recognizing the importance of finding a health professional who will be able to answer their health questions and get them on the right track with their diet and supplements.
With every person I see, I always begin with the digestive system and diet; It is the foundation of health. It you are not eating well and/or your digestive system is not functioning optimally, your body’s cells and tissues will not be able to obtain the needed nutrients. Once we have talked and implemented that, I begin to tackle the supplements. I am not usually a big supplement taker, however, I do have 3 that I suggest taking daily – probiotic, essential fatty acid, multivitamin and mineral – to maintain health and give your body some extra support and immune boosting. However after understanding my patients health needs, we will decide on whether there are any adjustments that need to made to my basic supplement suggestions. The most important key to taking supplements, is to make sure you have a high grade quality. This is essential and here is why.
There are many brands out there
Many brands do little or no quality testing or use quality ingredients. However, this is where I get my supplements.
What do they test for?
A reputable company will do comprehensive tests on both the raw state and the finished state of the materials used. Conducting contamination testing is performed as well. People deserve quality and pure natural products. A respected supplement company will use a third party laboratory to test all raw materials and the finished product. Chemical residues, authenticity, potency, herbicides, pesticides and heavy metals are a few of the things the labs are looking for.
A good company will do its business in a FDA-inspected facility and will meet the Current Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines for nutritional supplements (this includes authenticity quality testing to cleanliness and documentation). Reliable scientific reference standards and scientifically valid testing are preformed as well.
A company staffed with qualified health professional that research the best herbal and nutrient formulas from quality and evident based research will obtain the true therapeutic doses from the materials used. This is very important and advantageous for the customer.
Most supplements that are found in big box stores do no undergo any of the above. It is definitely well worth doing a little research, find a quality doctor to help you with a supplement plan and to spend the extra $5 to $10 to get an excellent quality supplement.