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Cheap Vitamins, Do They Really Work That Well?
By James D. Smith, DC, CCN, DACBN
According to Physicians Management Journal, one in three dollars spent on vitamin and dietary supplements is WASTED! In fact, some supplements can be worthless. In the vitamin and herb industry, you literally get what you pay for. This report tells you why this variation in quality and cost exists and how to know the difference. You can go to the discount store or the vitamin mail order company and get, for example, a bottle of supplements for $7.95. Or, you can go to another source such as your chiropractor or quality health food store and get what appears on the label to be the same product for, maybe, $14.95. How can this be? Are the two products really the same? The answer is a resounding NO! They are not the same, sometimes not even close. The reason this can even happen in the first place is that supplements are regulated by food laws not drug laws. Food laws do not require the strict manufacturing standards that are seen in the drug industry. So you need to shop for only the companies that voluntarily manufacture under the more strict standards. The differences lie in the quality of raw materials and the manufacturing processes used. Letís take a look at both.
Are they science-based supplements?
Quality supplements are backed by the latest in nutritional science. Third party studies documenting the effectiveness of supplements are important.
Are they pure and safe ingredients?
It has recently been discovered that many calcium supplements are high in lead, a toxic mineral with potentially harmful effects. Some fish oil products have been found to contain unacceptable levels of mercury.
Are the ingredients absorbable and effective?
Cheaper ingredients are not as well absorbed and therefore rendered ineffective. You can only use what you can absorb. For, example, there are many strains of acidophilus sold, but most strains have very little, if any, research showing their effects.
Dosage of ingredients may determine effectiveness of the product.
Dosages must be the same as was used in the research documenting the product. Many products do not contain adequate dosages. Another problem is the combining of so many ingredients in a single product that it necessitates small dosages of each or the pill would be so large you couldnít swallow it.
How do I know which products are good?
A good product will have "seals of approval" stamped on the label. You should look for the "Purity Certified, Third Party Assayed" seal, the "NSF Independently Registered Manufacturing Facility" seal and the "GMP" (Good Manufacturing Processes) seal from the National Nutritional Foods Association, NNFA. You can get a list of approved manufacturing companies at www.nnfa.org.
It is very important to take only the best quality supplements available. If you take cheap supplements which do you no good, you have wasted all of your money. That makes cheap supplements the most expensive of all! Usually, the products recommended by chiropractors and top quality health food stores will meet the standards we have discussed.