18th February 2021
Choosing Vitamin Supplements: Identifying Good vs Bad SupplementsDr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Have you ever wondered if taking vitamin supplements good or bad? Are they filled with the high-quality ingredients promised?
How can you know the difference between a good supplement and a bad supplement? Although we may think that all vitamins are good for us, many contain hidden hazards that are toxic to our bodies. Unfortunately, the production of synthetic vitamins has increased worldwide.
As we all know, vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients the body needs to function correctly. They help keep our bones, muscles, vision, brain function, and immune system in good health. Because our bodies cannot produce these micronutrients on their own, we must obtain them through certain foods.
A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats can provide most of the essential nutrients needed to maintain overall wellness.
Unfortunately, not many people manage to eat a well-balanced diet, which increases the risk of developing illnesses. However, when the nutritional requirement is not being met, supplements can be incorporated into an individual’s diet to compensate.
Over 50% of adults in the United States consume at least one dietary supplement daily.
Even though supplements are highly consumed, it does not mean that they are safe. Did you know that dietary supplements don’t have to be regulated by The Food and Drug Administration, unlike pharmaceutical drugs? That means that these supplements do not need to prove their effectiveness, purity, or marketing claims, before entering the market.
It may seem impossible to figure out which supplements are right for you and harmful to your body. That is why we have provided the following information that will help you distinguish between a good supplement vs a bad supplement.
Good supplements are made with high-quality ingredients. These ingredients tend to be non-genetically modified organisms, organic, tested for contaminants, non-toxic, and have Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) certifications.
Good supplements are usually more expensive due to the extensive scientific research and high-quality ingredients used to manufacture them.
Vitamins that contain high-quality ingredients tend to be absorbed more efficiently and deliver the most nutrients to the body. These supplements usually contain powder or vegetable capsules that are better absorbed by the body.
To determine which vitamins you should start incorporating into your daily regimen, you must be informed of the ingredients you need versus the ingredients you should avoid.
For example, folic acid should be consumed instead of natural folate, a synthetic form of vitamin B9. Methylcobalamin is also a natural form of vitamin B12 that our body can easily absorb, versus Cyanocobalamin, a cheap, artificial, and poorly-absorbed form of vitamin B12.
Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc must be combined with an amino acid to be adequately absorbed in the body. Finally, vitamin K2 should be used instead of vitamin K1 since it contains properties that protect the heart more efficiently.
Bad supplements tend to be more affordable since they contain low-quality ingredients such as inactive or poorly bioavailable nutrients that are inexpensive to produce.
These vitamins do not break down quickly as they pass through the body and do not deliver any nutrients. Although there is a possibility of these vitamins eventually breaking down within the body, they contain ingredients that are unable to be absorbed.
These synthetic supplements can be detrimental to a person’s health in the long-term. Although the clearance rack at your local pharmacy may seem tempting, always make sure that your vitamins are created in an FDA certified facility using industry-leading good manufacturing practices.
Just as importantly, verify that there are non-medicinal ingredients in the supplement since they can be extremely dangerous to your health. This is crucial if you are currently following a doctor's post-operative recommendations, such as consuming a comprehensive supplement that promotes healing like WoundVite.
Choosing Vitamin Supplements: Good vs Bad Overview
Unfortunately, bad supplements can cause dangerous side effects. Since these supplements are made with low-quality ingredients, they can quickly become toxic to the body. They usually cause your body to reserve unnecessary vitamins and minerals, which could be detrimental.
For example, by consuming too much vitamin A, you can develop vision problems, joint pain, and cause permanent liver damage. On the other hand, taking too much vitamin D can cause heart complications, while low blood sugar levels result from too much vitamin K.
In conclusion, before purchasing a supplement, make sure you read the labels carefully and only purchase good supplements that contain high-quality ingredients.
Always invest in your health by eating whole foods and taking the correct vitamins and supplements that your body needs. And do not forget to consult with your healthcare provider before adding these supplements to your daily regimen or combining them with prescribed medications.