Choosing a Supplement
As you may have already experienced, figuring out how to choose a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement can be a confusing and time consuming task. There are several important factors that you should consider when looking for a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement.
One of the first and simplest things to look for which will indicate that you are getting a decent supplement is the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification. This certification is important as it means the company has met certain industry specific conditions to ensure that quality controls are implemented and the environment your supplements are produced in is clean. This ensures the safety of your supplements.
The second thing to note is that your supplements have been third party tested for purity and potency. This ensures that what the company says is in the vitamin is in fact there. Having this done by a third party means that a company separate in every way from the manufacturer is double checking their work!
Once you have established the basic level of protection and oversight exists, there are a few other things you can look for to determine if the supplement you are going to buy is worth the hard earned money you are going to spend on it. There are a few questions you should keep in mind.
Will the Supplement Actually be Absorbed by your Body?
There are many steps that the ingredients in your vitamin and mineral supplement have to go through in order to make it all the way through your digestive tract, into your blood stream and ultimately to where your body needs them. It's a complex process and there are many opportunities for the process to fail. Let's look at some factors that can affect the journey your supplement takes and also affect how well your body can absorb a supplement's ingredients.
What Is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability is the degree to which a nutrient is available to the body for use. From a non-biochemistry perspective: the nutrient has to make it all the way from your mouth to the cell and be in a form the cell can use.
What Is Chelation?
Chelation is very important when it comes to making sure that the minerals in your supplement are bioavailable. Chelation refers to a process that increases the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
It can be hard to get minerals all the way to that bioavailable state that was discussed earlier. Chelation involves wrapping the mineral in an amino acid so that the body can more easily absorb it. This can improve the absorption of some minerals from only 10% absorption for a non-chelated mineral to 45% or more for a chelated mineral. So when you are looking at the label of a vitamin supplement and you find a trace mineral such as selenium as one of the ingredients, you want to see something like "Selenium (as Selenium Chelate)" on the label. This indicates that the selenium mineral has been chelated.
Recommended Companies: Here are a few companies my family and I use often.
Everything Spectrum -Multiple Vitamins, Low Dose ALA, Adrenal Cortex, and other supplements specifically designed for Parents following biomedical protocols. (They now have internaltional shipping).
Lauricidin - Very good Antiviral
Houston Enzymes - Excellent Company for all kinds of enzymes as well as a valuable informational resource.