3 Main Aspects to Consider in Selecting Food Supplements
There are over thousand brands of food supplements in the market, many claiming to be the “best” in the market.
That is why we need to consider below 3 main aspects while selecting food supplements.
1) Are the food supplements safe to take?
This is the most important aspect to look at if you want to consume food supplements. It is difficult for consumers to ensure whether the supplements are safe to be taken. The only way is you call the company and ask. If there is no contact information available, then don’t buy the food supplements.
Actually, food supplements are simply encapsulated group of ingredients taken from plants, or created in a laboratory. There might be harmful substances inside the capsules so we need to confirm the products safety before buying them.
It is found that only scientific-based nutrition companies will test food supplements ingredients for contamination. When they perform the test, they reject as much as 30% of the ingredients due to contamination from the so called “contamination free” ingredients. These contaminants include:
- E.coli: Bacteria that cause severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Slamonella: This cause diarrhea, fever and also abdominal cramps
- Pathogens: This is agents that cause diseases
- Pesticides: Pesticides can cause everything including mild skin irritation, convulsions, vomiting, tremors and coma to long term accumulative illnesses and diseases.
Toxic levels from food supplements can be caused by inconsistencies in the strength of raw materials. Therefore, it is important to test the strength and purity of each batch of food supplements to substantiate that not only each pill contains the same strength and purity, but it has the exact same strength and purity in the products ordered afterwards, either next month or next year.
2) Do the supplements get absorbed?
The food supplements you choose should use the U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP) designation on the label. This represents these supplements meets at least one or all of the following standards:
Disintegration: A measurement of how fast a capsule or tablet breaks down into small pieces so that the nutrients can dissolve.
Dissolution: Indicate how fast a food supplements dissolves. The nutrients cannot be absorbed as long as the capsules or tablets do not dissolve.
Strength: Strength is the amount of a specific vitamin, mineral, or herb in each capsule or tablet.
Purity: Assures that the food supplements products are within a range for acceptable impurities from contamination or degradation.
Expiration date: Must be shown indicating the date beyond which the products may no longer meet USP standards of quality and strength etc.
As we know, minerals are difficult to be absorbed by the body. Some minerals absorption can be lower than 10%. Anyhow, the absorption can be substantially increased by a process called chelation, and this is proved by studies carried out.
As such, please look for “Magnesium (as Magnesium Chelate)”, Iron (as Iron Chelate), “Chromium (as Chromium Chelate)” etc.
3) Are there proven health benefits?
It is very important that we can differentiate between proven ingredients and proven products. A proven ingredient means that study has been conducted to prove that ingredient (such as vitamin E) has health benefits. A proven product, however might contain several ingredients and the study has been conducted to prove that there are health benefits from taking that particular product.
How to ensure that the food supplements are proven in bringing health benefits? Only those companies that do clinical trials on their finished products can assure us the health benefits. The most reliable studies are randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. However, there are not much food supplements under this clinical trial as it increases the products’ costs. In addition, proving the finished product (food supplements) is effective is not under regulatory requirements in the USA. Read: Why your weight loss attempts do not work
Some companies claim that liquid supplements are better than capsules, and capsules are better than tablets in term of absorption. Don’t be distracted by the hype. The bottom line is have they proven health benefits from taking those food supplements. Let the clinical trial do its work and tell the ending results.
In fact, choosing and consuming right food supplements can help in maintaining good health and losing weight. You might also increase the weight loss success rate by understanding correct weight loss concept and weight loss tips.