Wellness

When it Comes to Nutritional Supplements, You Get What You Pay For

There are so many vitamins, minerals, and protein powders on the market that can help us feel our best and experience peak health. And the competition between brands is stiff. While many of us are looking for top quality product to feed our one and only precious body, many of us are also hard wired to find a bargain. But in the case of supplements, not only is buying a bargain a bad idea, it can be detrimental to your health.

Often, popular brands of vitamins are full of preservatives.

To keep up with demand for the product, millions of tablets are being manufactured at once. To ensure profits are made, the product cannot spoil and that means preservatives must be part of the recipe. There are natural preservatives, such as ascorbic acid and certain B vitamins. But if a manufacturer is looking for an extra long shelf-life, they will often use fillers and cheaper preservatives. Always read your ingredient label. Do whatever you can to avoid Magnesium Stearate, Titanium Dioxide, any Hydrogenated Oil, and all artificial colors. If you do a Google search on any of these toxic preservatives, you’ll be able to read all sorts of articles about their danger to your health.

What if you found that your supplements may have gone moldy? You’d be grossed out and never touch them again. Similarly, would you want to eat moldy food? Obviously, the answer is no. But we WANT mold to eventually grow on food because it is a sign of it being natural and not over processed. If your food never grows mold, you can be sure it has been genetically modified.

Now, GMO (which stands for genetically modified organism) foods may have positive impact, especially when it comes to feeding people in countries where natural disasters, existing climates inhospitable to growing, or war has resulted in lack of food and mass starvation. Although it’s impact on the environment – and people – is still being debated, Golden Rice was developed to ensure those in developing countries were taking in enough Vitamin A. Although it is being argued that Golden Rice is a technological solution to a social problem, a lack of Vitamin A can result in blindness and susceptibility to other diseases, especially in children.

In North America, GMOs are used to grow fruits and vegetables with added resistance to insects and certain herbacides, as well as increased shelf life so that crops can travel great distances to stores. But generally, the longer food lasts, the farther it is from it’s natural state.

Expiration dates…

If you see an expiration date of two years away on a supplement, do not take it! Most likely what you’re getting is a heavily processed, low quality product that is full of preservatives AND is probably made from GMO ingredients. If it is expensive, that is because it is a popular name brand or a product from a multi-level marketing (MLM) company. Products from MLM’s are not necessarily expensive because they are high quality. Those prices are often higher than necessary because the company has to pay out to those in the chain AND make a profit for themselves. And – speaking of MLM’s – never, EVER sign up for auto-shipped nutritionals of any kind. Those products live in a warehouse for MONTHS before they are shipped to you and are most likely full of preservatives. I can think of one very popular MLM that has not changed their formulations in decades – in spite of all sorts of developments having been made in the science of nutritionals they are still using ingredients that now have much healthier alternatives, like soy. 93% of all soy grown in the United States is genetically modified.

I know that hearing ‘you get what you pay for’ isn’t exactly like getting good news. But there is absolutely no point in taking cheap vitamins with low quality ingredients when your goal is to improve your health. Buy as much of the highest quality supplements as you can afford. Look for a brand that is GMO, gluten, lactose, wheat, nut and sugar free, and contains no artificial flavors or colors. In the case of supplements, less is definitely more – and you can be confident that anything you’re taking – even if it is just one formulation – is doing everything it promises.

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