Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Supplements-Do you Use Them?

Do you use vitamins in a bottle, supplements, minerals, fish oils, herbs encapsulated, pro-biotics, tinctures, green powders, bee products, enzymes and the like? I help manage a natural supplement store and I was just wondering where you stand. Right off the cuff I will tell you that I do support supplement usage.  I wouldn't work at a store that sells them if I didn't. I am, however, very specific about the types that should be taken.

 What many people don't realize is that vitamin and supplement companies get their vitamins, minerals, and other supplements from various sources. Not all sources are equal. Unfortunately, you really get what you pay for with supplements.  What you purchase at your local wholesaler, superstore, or pharmacy on the corner is not usually of very high quality. Working at a natural supplement store where this is all we do, and our heart and desire is to give our customers the highest quality, and hopefully most affordable price we can afford to give them. We are always researching and learning.

 Larger stores that sell other products are not taking that time. The goals and outcomes are completely different. No, we and stores like us, cannot compete with prices. I understand within the economically pressed times that we are living in that paying your mortgage versus paying for high quality supplements is no contest. Quite frankly though, if that's the case, then I wouldn't spend any money on supplements. I'd focus on diet. Poor supplement quality can be a hindrance to your health.There are also many supplements that really are not needed. There are certain vitamins and minerals that we simply don't take in unless it is through food. There are also certain ones that can only be absorbed in certain ways.

Calcium is always a big concern. I see customers come into the natural supplement store I work at almost everyday asking for a good calcium supplement.  Its interesting the range of customers that you get. Some are the I just want to get something down me because I should, or my doctor said or, or it makes me feel like I'm doing something good customer. Then I get the customers that have done their research, or at least a little bit, and are more concerned with absorption, and how our body will process it.

What I'd like to accomplish in this particular post is to just give a few tips to think about when supplement shopping. 

  • If it has soy, other than fermented, avoid it all, its a hormonal disruptor and horrible on your digestive tract, only fermented is safe
  • If it has corn, avoid it, it's most likely GMO
  • If it has sugar, fructose, aspartame, agave, or sucralose, avoid it
  • If you are buying fish oil, make sure it comes in superior or natural triglyceride form, not ethyl ester
  • If you are buying vitamin C make sure it is not ascorbic acid, look for acerola, camu camu, alma fruit sources-only whole food fruit sources, it will go right through your urine otherwise, not be absorbed, and can cause depletions in other areas
  • If you are buying vitamin D3, and that by the way is the only D you should be buying not D2, it should come in natural cholcalciferol form-read the label, if its ergocalciferol don't buy it
  • If it's B12, only buy a sublingual-fancy work word for to be taken under the tongue, if you get a liquid try to get one one without preservatives, no sweeteners are needed in liquid or tablets
  •  If you can, buy organic, especially with herbs, or at least wild crafted and sustainably grown
  • If you are buying calcium be sure it is from algaes and not rocks or shells
  • If you can buy in this order for better absorbtion and less added mess: powder, then liquid without sweeteners/preservatives, then capsules, then only tablets or caplets if you must
  • If you are taking medications, be wise, and research everything before you pop something else in your mouth
  • If you buy a multivitamin, I don't like these by the way, make sure its whole foods sourced only
  • If you are buying supplements for kids, don't buy gummies, THEY ARE CANDY, and they are bad for their teeth

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