Practical and Helpful Tips: Supplements

parašė , 2016-09-17 08:43

Assessing Health Supplements According to Their Nutritive Value

It can be rather overwhelming when you have to choose among the thousands of health supplements available today. It’s not just a question of which supplements you need, but knowing how to spot a product that is safe as well as effective.

Nutrient Types

You need to read the label thoroughly to see what nutrient are found in the product. Some nutrients don’t have to come in any special form. For example, any kind of Vitamin C – whether natural or synthetic – is acceptable. It’s another story though when you talk about beta-carotene and Vitamin E, which are both superior in natural form. Any mineral form is also usually acceptable; however, their bioavailability may differ, depending on the current status of your health. And as different people have different abilities to absorb nutrients, you have to choose mineral supplements with a variety of sources.


There are products that boast having so many good ingredients. Yet upon checking their labels, you may find that the individual amounts of these ingredients are so small that they couldn’t possibly impact your health in any way, let alone a therapeutic way. An arthritis supplement, for example, may claim to have a whole variety of great ingredients, such as 500 mg of glucosamine sulfate. If you know nothing about these things, you may just get impressed. However, according to clinical trials, you need about 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate for you to experience benefits. So while you think you’ve got a great product out there, it’s not actually doing you good. Don’t believe this kind of deceptive marketing.

Know the recommended dosages for the essential nutrients before buying any health supplements. Another thing you need to know is how to interpret the numbers linked to chelated minerals like magnesium succinate and calcium citrate). Keep in mind that chelated mineral doses do not always indicate the mineral’s elemental amounts. By “elemental,” we mean the actual mineral found in a product as opposed to the chelated mineral compound’s total weight. For instance, calcium carbonate is composed of 40 percent elemental calcium–in order to get 500 mg of elemental calcium, 1,250 mg of calcium is necessary.

So if the label says “(blank) mg calcium from calcium carbonate,” “(blank) mg elemental calcium,” or “X mg calcium (as calcium carbonate),” that means the amount of elemental calcium you’ll get is (blank). However, if on the label, it is written, “(blank) mg calcium carbonate,” it’s safe to assume that the total calcium amount is but 40 percent of that.


Yes, every health supplement should have an expiration date. Though certain nutrients, like calcium and other minerals, can stay potent for years upon years, others such as vitamins B and C expire much earlier.

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