Wednesday, May 11, 2011
How to Choose Your Supplement
Store shelves are flooded with an endless variety of supplements:
single herbs, herbal combinations, individual
vitamins, “complete” multivitamins, minerals, and ultra
So how do you choose? This can be answered in
two simple statements. Choose a supplement that will:
1) supply only the nutrients your body needs and
2) supply the nutrients in a form that can be used by
the cells of your body. A supplement is of no use to
you if the cells of your body can’t use it. Follow the
guidelines below and you should have no trouble
choosing the supplement that will give you the best
results and provide you with the highest quality ingredients
that can be used by your body.
1. Be sure it is something the body needs.
Always ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” These
needs should be met by a low dose, natural whole-food
supplement containing the correct balance of nutrients.
Although each nutrient has its own specific function in
the body, nutrients tend to work together synergistically.
They help one another. And because nutrients work
together, they need to be taken in a balanced formula,
not just in isolation. You should take appropriate
amounts in correct proportion to one another to get the
most out of them. It is rare for an individual to need a
single-nutrient supplement or a supplement that contains
stimulants, hormones or hormone precursors.
Under normal circumstances, the body should be able
to make adequate amounts of hormones when provided
with adequate nutrition.
If the supplement contains high doses of only one
nutrient, stimulants (caffeine, ephedra, guarana, or ma
huang), hormones (e.g. growth hormone, testosterone,
estrogen, progesterone) or hormone precursors
(androsteinedione), you probably don’t need it. The
most common needs are multi-vitamin, multi-mineral,
antioxidants, flora and enzymes.
2. Be sure the supplement supplies nutrients that the body can use.
This means the ingredients of the supplement must be
both absorbable and useable. A supplement is of no use
to you if the cells of your body can’t use it. Use the following
guidelines to ensure that the supplement will be
absorbed and used by the body.
• Look for supplements in capsule form. The nutrients
in capsules are more available to the body than
tablets. Tablets often have binding agents and a protective
coating added, which make it difficult for the
body to absorb the nutrients. Even if the tablet dissolves,
the nutrients in the tablet are often inactive.
The processing techniques used to put nutrients into
tablet form require extreme temperatures and/or
pressures to compress the ingredients, which destroy
the vitamins, enzymes and food complexes rendering
them useless to the body. Capsules are created under
much milder conditions allowing the nutrients to stay
in their original form and remain available to the
• Don’t play the milligram game. It makes no difference
how much of a nutrient is contained in a
supplement if it isn’t absorbed and if it isn’t in a form
that can be used by the body. Avoid supplements that
play the numbers game and advertise large amounts
(milligrams) of nutrients. Guaranteeing the ingredients
are available to the cells of the body is more important
than how much of a nutrient is listed on a
supplement label. A rock contains large amounts (in
milligrams) of a variety of minerals, but those minerals
are not available for use by the body if you eat
the rock. To be sure the nutrients in your supplement
are in a usable form, choose whole food vitamins,
amino acid chelated minerals, plant enzymes and stabilized
(See details below).
• Look for supplements that ensure cellular
delivery. Cellular delivery is the key to true nutrition.
If a nutrient cannot reach the cells that need it, it is
useless. To achieve cellular delivery, a nutrient delivery
system must be included as part of the
supplement. An effective nutrient delivery system will
include the specific enzymes that are required for a
nutrient to be absorbed and delivered to the cells of
the body. The delivery system should also include the
necessary nutrient cofactors and minerals required for
those enzymes to function optimally. Look for phrases
such as “guaranteed nutrient delivery” , “guaranteed
cellular delivery” , or “assured cellular delivery” on