Top Tips: How to Choose the Best Quality Nutritional Supplements

Are your supplements (and money) going down the drain?

When it comes to health foods—notably vitamins and supplements—the saying “You get what you pay for” is often true. You work hard for your money and your health, so it’s important you invest in effective, superior-quality supplements that work in harmony with your body… supplements that veritably boost, restore and sustain your health and well-being.

Per the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “A supplement’s safety depends on many things, such as its chemical makeup, how it works in the body, how it is prepared, and the dose used.”

We agree 100%. Given the amount of research and testing we dedicate to our supplements, we take great pride in them, both capsules and powders, as we only create products that we would use ourselves and give to our family. Our supplements are formulated to ensure the most superior quality and highest nutritional value. And, of course, our supplements work best with a mostly raw, plant-based diet.

In this spirit, we want to provide you with some applicable tips on how to find and use the best supplements:

Whenever possible, take supplements in their naturally occurring form

For example, inexpensive vitamins often contain vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), the kind synthesized by plants. But the D2 is not as effective in the body as D3, the kind synthesized in your skin when you get exposed to summer sunlight. One study1 concluded that D3 produces two- to three-fold greater storage of vitamin D than the same amount of D2. However, do note that D3 is produced from lanolin, so many vegans avoid D3 and use D2.

Take mineral supplements that are bio-available

Only bio-available forms of minerals, such as citrate or aspartate, are well absorbed by your body. Many low-quality supplements contain substances like carbonate or sulfate, which are hard for your body to break down.

Avoid fillers, artificial ingredients and preservatives at all costs

Fillers are substances that manufacturers add to facilitate production, save money, make capsules easier to swallow and add color so they’re aesthetically pleasing—and they don’t do any good for your health; in fact, they might even be harmful. Don’t consume supplements that contain partially hydrogenated soybean oils, calcium stearate and artificial colors.

Make sure your supplement is hypoallergenic

Whether or not you know you’re intolerant to certain substances, avoid gluten, corn, eggs, yeast, soy and GMOs.

Avoid supplements that contain dyes and artificial sugars

Artificial sugars are added to supplements to add a palatable taste while dyes make supplements (especially those targeted to children) more vibrant and appealing. Some supplements, however, do contain small amounts of natural sugars, which doesn’t pose any health risk to the body.

Combine certain supplements for improved absorption

There are supplement combinations that actually work better together. For example, take vitamin D3 with calcium and magnesium to enhance absorption. Consume Vitamin C to increase iron absorption. Also, take iodine with selenium for better absorption of the iodine.

Store your supplements properly

You should also read the label to check how to store your supplements. Make sure you follow the directions to maximize effectiveness. Generally, most supplements survive best in a cool, dry and dark place. For instance, fatty supplements such as fish oil are better off in the cooler environment in the fridge to prevent rancidity caused by heat.

Take fat-soluble supplements with food

Fat-soluble supplements include vitamins A, D, E and K and fish oil, all of which are absorbed better with fatty foods.

Take certain supplements on an empty stomach

Your stomach produces some very powerful hydrochloric acid that can destroy certain substances, and therefore render them ineffective. Probiotics and digestive enzymes, for example, are most effective 30+ minutes before meals.

Don’t overwhelm your body with supplements all at once

If you take multiple supplements, take them several hours apart so your body has energy to absorb them, while ensuring most of the supplement does not get excreted in urine.

Are you ready to invest in research-backed, superior-quality supplements? Learn more about Hallelujah Diet supplements! 

 

1 Heaney RP, Recker RR, Grote J, Horst RL, Armas LAG. Vitamin D3 Is More Potent Than Vitamin D2 in Humans. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010:jc.2010-2230. doi:10.1210/jc.2010-2230.

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10 comments

  1. HI,
    I appreciate your article! Do any of your supplements contain magnesium stearate? I understand it is toxic and may become banned by the FDA. Thanks!
    Kathy Chiavola

    • The magnesium stearate used in our B12/B6/Folate supplement is derived from the palm tree. It is a lubricant use for running the press to make the tablet. Unfortunately, producing tablets and encapsulation of powders does require some ingredients that may be less than desirable. We try to use the best that is available.

      The amount in each tablet is minimal. You can get a pretty good perspective on this ingredient at http://www.raysahelian.com/magnesiumstearate.html

      Byron Richards further explains: “Magnesium stearate is a magnesium salt containing stearic acid. Stearic acid is an 18 carbon long saturated fat, common in our food supply. It is readily metabolized to oleic acid (the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil). Stearic acid is unique among all saturated fatty acids because it does not raise LDL cholesterol levels.

      10% – 12% of cocoa is fatty acids of stearic acid, one of the richest sources of stearic acid in the food supply. It is easy to get 5 grams of stearic acid (5,000 mg) by eating a bar of chocolate. By comparison, a dietary supplement capsule product typically contains between 1% – 2% stearic acid or 10 mg – 20 mg of stearic acid per capsule, or 1000 mg to 2000 mg per bottle (20% – 40% of a chocolate bar for the entire bottle).

      Stearic acid is also a common fatty acid found in meat, poultry, fish, grains, eggs, butter, and milk products. In meat, it is 1/3 of the saturated fat. The average intake of dietary stearic acid in American women is 5700 milligrams a day and in men 8400 milligrams a day. (Click here for general information on stearic acid.1)

      My point is that the amount of stearic acid ingested in a vitamin product is a small percent of a fatty acid that you consume every day as part of your diet, a type of fatty acid that is not problematic in the first place.

      Magnesium Stearate in Vitamins

      Magnesium stearate has natural lubricant properties, something very important to the quality in how vitamins are produced. This is especially true for complex formulas with multiple ingredients which have inherently different chemistry properties (meaning that ingredients could stick together or clump in different ways based on their properties).

      Once the raw materials of a vitamin product formulation have been mixed up it is very important to maintain the mix consistency, otherwise the nutrients going into the capsule will not be able to meet the label claims of what is in the capsule. By adding a small amount of magnesium stearate the nutrients don’t stick together, thereby allowing a consistently maintained mixture.

      Magnesium stearate also prevents ingredients from sticking to the encapsulation machine. This is also important, as certain active ingredients may otherwise adhere to machine parts and not get into your capsules in the desired amounts or at the stated dosage.

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