A Guide on How to Choose the Right Supplement
Choosing a vitamin or supplement to help maintain or increase health and wellness is becoming an act more and more people are taking each and every day. But with all the different products and claims, how do you know which supplement is the right one for you. How do you find the best supplement available that will actually help and not harm your health? Here is a guide to get you started down the right path.
So many choices and so many claims - How do you choose?
Here's a guide to help you choose the best supplement for you.
More and more people are turning to nutritional, dietary and herbal supplements to prevent diseases and promote general good health.
Taking steps towards improving my health lead me in the direction of nutritional supplementation or more simply put - Vitamins. Growing numbers of people (including me) feel that modern medicine is failing to address the issues that are important. The huge cost of medical care has many of us looking to maintain wellness and prevent disease so we can avoid the need to be so dependent on doctors and prescription drugs.
Modern lifestyles expose us to processed unnatural foods as well as toxins in the air we breathe and the water we drink. There are many aspects of modern day life that threaten to damage our health and push us down a path to poor health.
Even health conscious people can struggle to get all the basic nutritional elements they need.
Nutritional supplements can be the answer for many people as they provide the essential elements our bodies need to thrive and achieve the best health possible.
Remember that vitamins and supplements are a great way to complement your diet, but they are just that a good complement. They are not a "magic Pill" that gives us the freedom to eat a diet of junk food while we sit on the couch doing nothing.
The right supplement will definitely improve your health, however eating some fruits and vegetables and getting some exercise gives the body the best chance to achieve maximum wellness.
Be sure to choose your supplements wisely! Not all supplements are created equal. Just as there are different levels of quality in the food we eat and the products we buy there are quality levels in supplements.
The nutritional health and wellness industry is growing by leaps and bounds (partly due to the aging baby boomers) and many companies are putting vitamins and supplements on the shelves and online. It is becoming increasingly difficult to know if you are getting quality that you can trust.
A recent study shows that the likelihood of choosing a non-toxic and effective health supplement from the overwhelming array of products that are available is only 2.5%. In other words, there is a 97.5% chance that without investigating the reliability of the product yourself you could select a nutritional product that might be hazardous to your health! (I call that a step in the wrong direction).
SO.... The question is "Who can you trust and what is actually good for you?" It comes down to making choices. Research your products and the companies that make them before you put your health on the line.
Many of us agonize over what clothes or car or TV we should buy but just grab the cheapest vitamin on the shelf. It's your body and your life. The choices you make now affect your future health and wellness.
So how do you choose the right supplement?
First let me educate you on some information that I wasn't aware of until just recently. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate the vitamin and supplement industry. That means that what is written on the label of a vitamin bottle might be true but also might be just a scam trying to make the supplement look better than it is.
There is no one regulating what can or cannot be said about the effectiveness of the supplement. This also means that there are no laws regulating the serving size or amount of vitamin and/or mineral contained in each tablet or capsule you are ingesting. No one to make sure it is a dosage your body needs or can use to maintain health.
Many vitamins work together in your body and if the proper amounts of each are not ingested together they might as well not be ingested at all. They could actually do more harm than good.
Another important thing I learned during my supplement research is that many of the vitamins available use fillers and artificial ingredients in their products. I always thought if you bought Vitamin C then the pill was all Vitamin C. Turns out it might have things like petroleum in there too. It might even have more 'junk' then it does the actual vitamin.
The first step in choosing a vitamin or supplement is choosing a vitamin or supplement company. Look at the label of any vitamin you plan on purchasing and see who the company is and check for contact information. Look them up on the Internet or even call them and find out some of their manufacturing practices.
- Do they follow and meet with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance?
- Are the products they make independently tested and analyzed for effectiveness?
- Does the manufacturer test the supplements for purity and potency?
- What types of ingredients are used?
- Are they natural or synthetic?
- Is the product full of fillers and other artificial ingredients? Many companies use fillers, binders and coatings in their vitamin tablets. These are usually inactive ingredients that are unnecessary for your body and can actually do harm.
* Fillers are just that. They fill up space and help form the tablet.
* Coatings help keep it all together and can contain artificial flavors to make it taste better. (If you are trying to cover up petroleum and other nasty things no wonder you need artificial flavors.)
- Are the products bioavailable? Meaning does it actually get absorbed and used by the body and not just get passed through the system as waste.
- Are your vitamins and supplements a food or a drug?
All of this information should be available on the company's website or by contacting their customer service representatives. If you are unable to find it or if they are unwilling to share this kind of information then it is probably in your best interest to avoid these supplements.
The second step is to research and educate yourself on how vitamins and supplements affect your body.
Learn what vitamins work together and why you need a good balance. Taking too much of a vitamin or taking an improper balance of vitamins can actually do more harm than good.
This knowledge can help you when it comes to choosing which supplements to purchase.
The key is to take a step - DO SOMETHING! Take an active role in maintaining your health.
Think about it!
Article Tags: Right Supplement
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Tomberlin has been teaching young people for over ten years. He is now directing his efforts to teaching people more about physical, financial and environmental health. He has a website at http://www.healthylife-healthyplanet.com . You can visit him there or contact Michael directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns, comments or questions. Thanks.