Nature Made? Hmmm, name sounds safe enough. It is Nature made, correct?
People grabs these cleverly named supplements off the shelves of drug stores, grocery stores, and discount department stores feeling confident in something that was nature made.
Cheaper department store vitamins are enticing. Who doesn't like to save a few bucks when and where they can. Money is the currency of our life force energy and we only have so much (life force energy) to burn up in our time on this planet. Is saving a few bucks on cheaper vitamins worth it? Am I supporting or harming my cellular health? This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for and it is best to invest in high quality. Your health is worth it and cheaper versions can be harmful in the long run (your body has to process out, detox through the GI tract and liver, the synthetic vitamins that are not readily or not at all usable by your body).
Reading the nutrient list and ingredients weaves a completely different tale; a tale of deception around these cleverly brand named products.
Reading vitamin labels to avoid synthetic forms of nutrients is as important as reading food package labels to avoid synthetic ingredients.
One of my biggest pieces of advice around packaged food is to read every ingredient in the product with major scrutiny:
- What is/are the ingredient(s)?
- Is/are all ingredients 100% whole food?
- Where was it sourced from? US or foreign?
- Naturally raised, naturally fed (as in cows being grass vs. grain fed)?
Even when you get used to the safeness of a particular product... read the ingredient list every time you buy this product. Companies change hands, ingredients are swapped out for cheaper options... always put your health as #1 priority:
So, let's move on to vitamin/mineral supplements.
Reading labels for the "form" of certain vitamins or minerals in the nutrients line-up can give you a quick idea if the product is quality ingredients or made with cheap versions of the vitamins/ minerals. (The habit by many manufacturing companies is to use the cheapest form of a substance, vitamin or mineral, and charge the customer as much as possible. This ensures the company has the largest profit margin.)
Look for these indications of high quality supplements; it is the natural vs. synthetic form of the nutrients. If the nutrient form is natural, the product just may be of a higher quality. If the nutrient form is synthetic, throw your red flag up to full mast and investigate the entire list with a scrutinizing eye and mind.
This is just 3 easy nutrients to scutinize the label for and start painting a picture in your mind of the quality of the product in your hand (or on your laptop screen if cyber-shopping for vitamins).
Natural Form Vs. Synthetic Form
Folate (Vitamin B9) Folic Acid
Methylcobalamin (B12) Cyanocobalamin
d-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E) dl-alpha tocopherol
You can use the above information to quickly scan the list of nutrients in a vitamin /mineral formula. If any of the above are in their synthetic form, I would seriously scrutinize the rest of the product. The "red flag" to me would be... Cheap, synthetic forms of these nutrients. Most likely the rest of the product was not formulated with high quality, bioavailable ingredients. Lay-person's terms: synthetic is not used well by your body. Nutrients need to be in a form that is usable by your body: meaning the nutrient can be
- digested by your GI tract,
- absorbed into your bloodstream,
- circulated well in your blood, and
- taken in by your cells (pass freely through your cell membranes) to be used in metabloic processes.
Buying quality supplements means getting a product that can actually be used by and benefit your body cells. Body cells are the building block of your body. Vibrantly healthy body cells are the building blocks of wildly happy and healthy bodies.
Vitamins I recommend to clients/students/family/friends/people I pass on the streets: ; )
- Pure Synergy
- Garden of Life
- Superfood Plus (HerbDoc.com)
- New Chapter
- Mega Food
Some of these are available at Nature's Storehouse in Canton, NY
How about those herbal supplements Paula?
Again, cheaper brands are not always quality products. If you are going to put your money into herbal supplements (or homeopathy, or essential oils, etc) you do want to get what you are paying for. Opt for companies that are high end, high quality, have a known reputation for efficacy of their products. After all, you do want them to work for you.
Companies whose herbal products I have used and trust:
- Herbs Etc.
- Oregon Wild Harvest
- Wise Woman Herbals
- Nature's Sunshine
- Dr. Christopher's Original formulas
- Living Earth Wild Yam
- Nature's Secret
I am sure there are more but these are the companies I rely on for quality products.
Read labels on everything you put into or onto your body.
Know what is natural and supposed to be part of your cellular health.
Avoid synthetics that are counter-productive to cellular health.