Choosing a heath supplement can be a confusing process. After all, there are so many choices on the market, each claiming to be the best for your health, so how do you know which one is right for you?
Supplements can be an excellent way to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need, particularly if you’re a vegetarian, low in iron, or have health problems. While they can’t cure all your health woes, it’s usually better to take them than to not take any. The trick is to know what to look for.
Look at the labels on health supplements so you can see which nutrients forms they have. You’ll find these in parentheses, listed after the nutrient’s name. For some nutrients, it doesn’t matter which form is included. Vitamin C is a good example of this, as both natural and synthetic are fine, however beta-carotene and vitamin E are different, with natural forms being superior in this case.
Since minerals come in many different forms, it’s crucial that you understand which form means. Elemental minerals (think those found in soil) aren’t absorbed easily. This means that manufacturers are binding them into substances that our body can absorb like amino acids. These are called chelated minerals and you’ll see them listed as calcium citrate, magnesium succinate etc.
Most of these minerals are fine, however this will sometimes depend on your health. A good example is the most common way that calcium is added to these supplements- as calcium carbonate which isn’t absorbed well if you have a hydrochloric acid deficiency.
For this reason, it’s best to choose a supplement that has a wide variety of sources so that all your bases are covered.
Once you’re happy with the forms of nutrients in the supplement, the next thing you need to do is see if it actually has enough of those nutrients to make a difference. Some products can have a huge range of excellent ingredients, however if you look at the label, the amount of the ingredients is so tiny that there’s no way it would actually help.
That’s why it’s a good idea to know the recommended doses for the nutrients you need so you can see if the supplement actually helps.
Another thing to think about is the manufacturer. Are they reputable? If they are, their health supplements will be based on actual, scientific research, based on the best materials, and independent labs will be making sure that the product does what it claims to. The manufacturer should also be open to customers questions and concerns, and readily available to answer any questions if you contact them.
Price is also important. While everyone likes to save money, the price will affect the quality. Buying a dirt-cheap brand solely on price may just be a waste of money as you’ll find that they’ve cut out key steps or ingredients in order to keep costs low.