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All Vitamin Supplements Are Not Created Equal

While getting all the essential nutrients from natural foods is ideal, it may not be practical in today's society and many people are turning to vitamin pills to supplement their diet. However, make no mistake about it, vitamin supplements are big business and not all manufacturers have the best interests.

There are thousands of supplements to choose from and consumers spend billions of dollars each year - many of which never make up the bulk of their money.

How do you choose a vitamin supplement that won't just go down the toilet?

There are 3 types of vitamin supplement delivery systems. Capsules, fluids, and tablets. The trick is to choose the right one and not just "pass it" thus wasting the money.

Liquid will be the best, but unfortunately there are not many options on the market. Plus, this can be troublesome and they feel like cough syrup. But, they are great if you can't take the pill and it's good for the kids.

Tablets are the most common form of vitamin supplement. They are made by mixing in organic or inorganic cement and compressing them into shapes. For pills to be dissolved properly, organic cement should be used but it costs more and as you can imagine, many manufacturers are prudent in this stamp. There is also a coated tablet that resembles M&M coated small candy. This is very common found in one day cheap vitamin stores.

Capsules are gelatin containers that dissolve quickly and in most cases are the best option. Since they are not compressed like tablets, you usually need to take two of them for the same tablet.

One important thing with vitamin supplements is that you want to make sure you absorb as much as possible, otherwise you just waste your money. Studies have shown that the individual vitamin isolates contained in the supplement are only about 10% absorbed while the vitamins directly from fresh plant sources are 77% to 93% absorbed. Minerals have a lower absorption rate - 1% to 5%. However, from plants such as raw broccoli, its minerals are 63% to 78% absorbed.

The reason for this difference in absorption is the nature of each vitamin and mineral molecule attached to the protein molecule. That's why you must take your vitamin supplements with food - unless otherwise stated on the label. During digestion, only about 10% of vitamins and minerals, assisted by enzymes, attach to the protein molecules present in your food that allow them to be absorbed and used by your cells. Without the protein involved, the body would see the vitamin isolate as a foreign substance and filter it out. That's why you might see yellow urine after you take vitamins - that's how your body can get rid of chemicals that it thinks aren't working.

When choosing a vitamin supplement, make sure it has the amount of vitamins and minerals you want. Remember that only about 10% of what is in the supplement will be absorbed. Look for BP (British Pharmacopoeia) or USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) on the label. You will find USP or BP initials next to vitamins and this designation means that vitamin isolation is of the highest quality and is easily dissolved in the digestive process.

When looking for the mineral section of the label, look for "chelate" or "chelated". This shows that minerals are attached to proteins before being added to supplements. This increases absorption by 400% to 800%.

Find supplements with "food basics". This is a concentrated plant material where vitamins and minerals are added. Supplements with a dietary base will contain enzymes and nutrients that increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals. This may be the best type of vitamin you can buy but the tablet will be bigger and you may need to take more.

Nutritional supplements should not take up food and should not be used as sticks to supplement bad food. The best recipe for health is to eat nutritious and healthy foods that can be supplemented when needed.


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