6 Things to Look For When Buying Health Supplements
Everybody is different, and everyone has varying needs. What your body requires to reach optimal daily health can be totally different to someone else. But there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting which supplements are the perfect fit for you.
As a general guide, we make sure to tick these 6 boxes before trying anything new:
1. Natural Or High-Quality Synthetic Ingredients
When it comes to choosing your day-to-day supplements, always do your best to find natural food derived options instead of those that are separated from the other life-giving nutrients.
Opt for organic where possible, and make sure to choose a reputable brand. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve listed some options that we personally use and recommend below! Remember, as stated above, synthetic supplements may be important for high dose chronic conditions, but for day-to-day supplementation, natural wholefood forms are best.
2. Scientific Evidence To Support Health Claims
This usually takes a little bit of exploration on your part, but if the supplement is making outrageous claims, or promises you a miracle cure without any research behind those statements, then you should be cautious about whether or not it’s the best choice.
Check the label or the manufacturer’s website for resources including links or references to journal articles to show that you’re getting the best supplement for your health.
3. What You Are Looking To Treat
If you are supplementing to treat a particular condition, then it may be necessary to take very specific types of supplements and sometimes synthetic supplements, for a shorter duration of time, to achieve high enough doses for the desired effect.
If you are just looking to maintain great health, however, natural supplements are your best option so that they can be absorbed, metabolized, and used by the body as if they had been ingested as food.
4. Your Requirements
If you are vegetarian or vegan, check that the supplement also is, even the capsules used for certain supplements can be animal based. So it’s best to mention this to your practitioner or look out for any indications on the packaging and ingredients list that it is free from animal products.
Plus, some vitamins are higher strength than others. And whilst you may assume that the higher the dose the better, your needs should dictate the levels you require. When choosing a lower dosage, you have the flexibility to boost your intake when needed, rather than consistently taking large doses, which in some cases, can cause toxicity or interfere with other medications (even natural ones!).
5. Any Drug-Nutrient Interactions?
As we stated above some supplements, particularly herbals ones or high doses of nutrients, may have different drug-nutrient interactions with certain medication. It may mean that you need to avoid a certain supplement or need to plan what times you take them to avoid any negative interactions. In fact, it’s best to consult your integrative doctor or naturopath for specific doses and recommendations prior to trying the supplement.
6. The Ingredients!
The ingredients list is very important and should never be overlooked, it holds the information as to whether or not this product is suitable for you. This is where you can determine if the product is natural or synthetic, animal or plant-based, what form of vitamin or mineral you are getting, the dose per individual tablet, and info on any added ingredients that you might or might not need.
Want to learn more about finding the perfect supplement? Read the Food Matters Supplement Buying Guide here.