Have you ever gone shopping for a multi-vitamin, only to be overwhelmed by the long rows of colorful bottles offering far too many options for optimal nutrition? "Which is better," you ask, "the one with iron or the one without?" To make matters more confusing, it is difficult to know that you are receiving the amount of supplementation that the labels say you are buying.
Supplements Not Always What They Claim
According to a recent report released by ConsumerLab, a company offering independent test results of nutritional supplements and herbs, about 30 per cent of the multi-vitamins they tested do not contain the amount of vitamins or minerals stated on the label. For example, one multi-vitamin had only 49% of the Vitamin A levels claimed on its label. Another tablet contained 173% of the value listed.
The confusion about supplements does not end with multi-vitamins. If you need supplementation for cardiovascular health, how can you tell which of the many Co-Q10 products will work best for you? If your nutritionist recommends that you take folic acid, which one has the bio-availability required for your body to absorb the nutrient you need? And the options for support of prostate health can be downright dizzying.
How to Choose One?
With all of the options available for nutritional supplementation and the confusion surrounding the industry, where can one look for help? First, start with your healthcare provider. Physicians and nutritionists will often provide guidance for choosing reliable, quality supplements. Second, make use of the expertise available at retailers who specialize in vitamins and herbal supplements.