Vitamins- Are you confused? Become a smart consumer!

Vitamins- Are you confused? Become a smart consumer!

Many people believe that all vitamins and dietary supplements are the same, so why not just buy the cheapest or the one that has the catchy advertising? How can all those different brands be that much different?

Let’s compare the three main types of supplements, using Vitamin C as an example.

A whole food Vitamin C uses Mother Nature as the raw ingredient and contains nutrients naturally occurring in an organic orange. This type of vitamin C contains co-factors such as bioflavonoids, hesperidin and rutins. These nutrients are recognized by the cell as food and therefore, feed the body on a on a cellular level.

Another type of supplement, a synthetic Vitamin C, does not use Mother Nature as the source and is made in a laboratory setting. It is chemically derived ascorbic acid and has no co-factors present. Most of the food supplements sold on the market today are synthetic and they are the cheapest to produce.

A third type of supplement is a natural isolate. The ascorbic acid is isolated from a natural source, with heat, high pressure and a chemical solvent. Again, no co-factors are present since they are lost or damaged in the processing and Mother Nature’s balance is not present.

Now, how do we make sure we are getting Mother Nature’s best vitamin? How do we know that the claims a company makes are valid? There are literally dozens of companies out there that are producing products. What are the differences in these companies?

·Are the products bioavailable? In other words, do the products break down for use within the body at the right place and within the right time frame to get into the bloodstream? Many products end up passing right through the system without ever breaking down. A simple test is to use a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water (simulating stomach acid) and see how long it takes for the vitamin to dissolve. It should take no more than 17 minutes.

· Has the company conducted clinical research that has been accepted for publication in refereed or peer reviewed scientific professional journals? This should be published research done by scientists employed by the company or those on their advisory board concerning work on the actual products they are selling. Very few companies have done this.

· How does the company process their raw ingredients? Many companies resort to harsh chemical, high heat and pressure methods to cut the cost of processing. No detrimental ingredients should be included such as genetically modified crops, pesticides, refined sugar, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin), preservatives, synthetic fillers, binders, or coatings.

· What kind of quality control standards does the company have? Quality, purity and safety testing should be done on all raw materials and continue right through to the final product on every batch produced, not just the original test batch.

· Do all their products carry a 100% unconditional guarantee.

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