Not All Supplements Are Created Equal
By: Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat
With regard to vitamins and the many various other nutirtional supplements, expert nutritionists have long stressed the importance of supplement quality in terms of both ingredients used to manufacture a given supplement as well as the manufacturing process used to make the supplement. While many health-conscious individuals by now have hear or read that ‘not all supplements are created equal’, for many such a statement is too vague to have any real meaning in terms of understanding which supplements are worth the investment, which are not and how to discern the difference between high-quality and low-quality nutritional supplements.
How is one supposed to know a “trash” vitamin from a “whole food nutrient?” Most of the nutritional supplements that are readily available to the average consumer both in America and abroad are low-grade chemicals stuffed with fillers that contain little-to-no nutritional value to humans when ingested orally (the standard method of ingestion). While the consumer may never know the difference, the overwhelming majority of the so-called “affordable” supplements found in drugstores and major retail chains (or most anywhere else typical health-conscious consumers shop for vitamins and supplements) are not adequete to ensure proper nutrition and avoid or reverse nutritional deficiencies.
“The word is out (that) it pays to take your vitamins”, said Lyle McWilliams, author of the highly esteemed Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. McWilliams is an author, educator, and biochemist. In his Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, McWilliams graded 1500 nutrients on absorption, bio-availability, lack of chemicals, dyes, fillers, and if the product is anti-allergenic.
The bottom-line according to McWilliams is that nutritional supplements should be manufactured to pharmaceutical-model GMP, rather than to the food-model GMP that most U.S. supplement manufacturers use. Compliance with pharmaceutical-model GMP gives consumers assurance that the supplements they consume meet stringent pharmaceutical standards for content, potency, and dissolution, and do not contain unwanted impurities.
Amazingly, the nutrients that most Americans have access to have virtually no nutritional value. Some of these include: Centrum, One-a-Day, Equate, Kroger, Members Mark, Nature Made, Puritan’s Pride, Rexall, Rite Aid, Walgreens.
The top-rated products offering the most nutritional value are medical grade and mainly found in clinicians’ offices. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have access to these without a doctor’s referral. The top-rated supplement brands include Creating Wellness Alliance, Douglas Laboratives, Egan Wellness Clinic, TrueStar Health and USANA. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of people who actually do take supplements on a regular if not daily basis as a means of promoting good health have never even heard of any of the aforementioned brands which actually DO offer high-quality, readily absorbable and bioavailable nutrients.
The good news is that high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional products are becoming easier to obtain, and no longer require a doctor’s visit and subsequent referral just to get access to them. One place everyday health/nutrition-conscious consumers can find high-quality nutrients is the vitamins and nutritional supplements shop at the Egan Wellness Clinic. Egan carries only those brands considered to be of an elite level of quality as determined by the objective criteria set forth in McWilliams’ supplement guide.
When considering the countless numbers of people who waste big money on our hair and nails, justifying doing so by attempting to make up the difference by saving a few pennies buying cheap supplements from major retailers and even brand-name nutrition shops (where cheaply-made supplements cost a fortune but are substantively no better than the grocery store brands). From a wellness or preventative medicine standpoint, the notion that a person would think nothing of blowing a small fortune on vanity items and/or services while skimping on the quality of nutrients that person ultimately puts into his or her body as a means of promoting good health is beyond rational explanation and defies logic — at least when it involves a person who claims to care about his or her own health.
If your cells are starving to death nutritionally, they will age prematurely, hence disease sets in. When that happens, there will be little to show for all the money spent on looking good while feeling less-than-ideal.
To learn more about the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements and/or how to learn what to look for in discerning effective supplements versus those that are a waste of money, check out the official website of the Comparative Guide: http://www.comparativeguide.com/.