Looking for quality nutritional supplements can seem quite overwhelming at times, especially if you're just starting out. It is just as important to be sure you're taking high quality supplements as it is to take the right supplements, because there's no point in taking them if they don't work. You may be tempted to buy a "store brand" or bargain nutritional supplement, but just as with anything else, be wary of trading quality for price.
One of the main criteria you want to look for in choosing the right supplement is making sure the potency of the nutrients is ensured. When the label says that there is a standardized
amount of a certain nutrient in the supplement, this means that the balance of herbs has been developed to make sure that each and every capsule contains the same amount of active ingredient. Depending on the herb in question, it is possible for say 10 milligrams of the standardized extract to be as potent or even more so than 100 or even 1000 milligrams of a cheaper version.
Another thing you want to check is whether or not the nutritional supplements contain natural or synthetic ingredients. While synthetics are of course less expensive, their natural counterparts are much more potent and effective, and have the added bonus of being more readily utilized by the body. Some people can even have reactions to the synthetic version of a nutrient who have never had a problem before, which can lead to problems in the future as well.
Whether or not the active ingredient in the supplement is sourced from organic materials is also very important. Nutritional studies have proven time and time again that there are more of
the key nutrients in organically grown fruits and vegetables than there are in mass produced, chemically treated ones, so it only makes sense that this benefit would be passed on or withheld
depending on the source of the ingredients. Also, full spectrum sourcing is vital to making sure that your supplement has all the nutrients you need, as key enzymes and ingredients can be lost in
an extraction process.
There are also some nutrients that work best when taken together with a complementary vitamin or mineral, and in the majority of cases, this can actually improve their effectiveness. A
perfect example is that of Vitamin D, which when taken together with a quality calcium supplement can both enhance the absorption rate and reduce the amount of calcium that is excreted in waste products. Of course, you will still get some benefit from calcium
supplementation alone, but for those to whom every bit of nutrition counts, a little homework is your best bet.
The most important reason to choose a high quality nutritional supplement is of course, safety. Unfortunately, since supplements and vitamins have become more popular with the general public, many bargain basement brands have popped up overnight with the claim that their product is just as good as the more expensive ones and much cheaper to boot. Be very wary of such claims! Remember, if a supplement is priced far below its competitors, they had to find some way to trim down the costs...are you willing to risk finding out what it was?
Mass produced nutritional supplements are often made in huge batches with equipment intended to churn out as much of the stuff as possible in the shortest amount of time, and often the quality of the supplement will suffer. Worse yet, there is the increased risk of contamination.
When choosing nutritional supplements, you must keep in mind that your very health is dependant on the decisions you make. While it might seem like a good idea to save a few dollars now, in the long run you might find yourself wishing that you had invested that extra little bit in the interest of quality. This is not to say that a less expensive nutritional supplement won't give you
some benefit, but it might actually end up costing you more in the long run if you're having to take multiple pills several times daily to get any kind of effect.
Take the time to find a high quality nutritional supplement from a reputable manufacturer...you'll be glad you did!
David Bloom is an avid health enthusiast and senior editor of Herbal Supplements Guide, a site that discusses nutritional and herbal supplements and their potential therapeutic value. The site covers how supplements can be used not only to treat health conditions but also prevent illness and promote general health and well-being.