There are many misconceptions about dietary supplements.
One of the most common is that all vitamins/supplements are created equal, so you don’t need to worry what you take, just grab a multivitamin off the shelf and you are set. However, this is not true!
There are many differences between various brands and types of vitamin supplements on the market today.
So how do you know if your supplement will be effective?
In this blog post we discuss 3 Key things you need to know about what makes the difference when choosing vitamins/supplements and why they definitely are not created equal—it's worth reading through before making a purchase decision!
Many people think that any supplement—Vitamin C, D, B12 or a multivitamin—is of the same quality, no matter the source, the store, or the bottle.
Unfortunately, this is not true.
Just because a product’s nutritional facts has the words “Vitamin B12” on it, does NOT mean it is of good quality or even beneficial for your body. There are many factors involved with the quality of a nutritional supplement including: methylation, bioavailability, synthetic versus non-synthetic and purity of the source.
Many people end up wasting money by buying the cheaper stuff because the ingredients do not actually work, do not get absorbed, or they are of extremely low or questionable quality.
Let’s dive into the 3 Key things you need to pay attention to when choosing vitamins/supplements starting with two words that sound big but are vital to the quality of nutritional supplements.
In order to understand how supplements work, we need to first talk about methylation and bioavailability.
Methylation is the process that our body uses to create energy in our cells. (And this happens 200,000,000 times per minute in your body!)
It is the process of taking the nutrition of the supplement and breaking it down into what our body needs.
Bioavailability is the ability for the actual broken-down vitamins to be absorbed into your body.
For good nutrition, you want the supplements/vitamins to be bioavailable so they can be easily used in the body.
Unfortunately, cheaper/low quality supplements do NOT provide bioavailable ingredients. That means they can’t even be used in the body!
The second key area you need to consider when choosing vitamins/supplements is with regard to the supplement being synthetic or certified natural.
Synthetic vs non-synthetic
A big issue in the supplement world is whether the ingredient is synthetic or not synthetic (natural). If it is processed and not natural, our bodies actually need to work harder to consume it. Through this process, you can lose more energy and you can store some of the excess material from the synthetic ingredient as toxins in your body.
This also relates to the extra fillers and preservatives that are found in lower quality supplements.
It turns out 90% of supplements out there are synthetic.
This means when you see studies or articles that show that people take supplements and there is no difference or health improvement, there is a 90% chance they are taking synthetics.
Now a very scary fact is that cheaper vitamins can even be harmful!
For example, with B12, if it is a synthetic version (which most are) and the methylation process is not done well, you could end up with some toxins in your system.
25-40% of the population actually have difficulty methylating.
If a person methylates appropriately, they may be okay taking a synthetic supplement at times. But if you are in the 25-40% that don’t methylate well and you consume a synthetic product, you likely will not be able to break it down correctly for your body to use and that can create excess toxins (which can be harmful for the body).
When B12 is in the methylation process it breaks down into a few different things that can be used differently in the body.
Cyanocobalamin is an element of the most common B12 that at a certain place in the methylation cycle breaks down into cobalamin and cyanide.
If you don't finish the methylation process well, you can have cyanide now in your body. When the body has a substance that it cannot process, it will store it—often in fat—and the build up of toxins like this can make some people ill.
On the other hand, if you have natural/quality ingredients, like methylcobalamin, the body can work with these more easily. And if our bodies don’t methylate well, the ingredients will still be broken down into useful and un-harmful nutrients.
You are better off not taking anything than taking cheap B12!
Purity of the source - GMOs
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are another popular, confusing, and controversial topic. Many of the lower quality supplements have GMO ingredients. The discussion of GMOs is a large and complex subject but in regard to nutritional products, we ideally do not want GMOs.
This is because, although they are designed to create massive amounts of growth, they do not function the same as natural sources.
Once you have modified something (even slightly), it can affect your health system and how your body breaks down and absorbs its nutrients.
GMOs can throw off your microbiome and your gut.
And of course, each vitamin and supplement have a different scale on the effect of its GMOs, so it is difficult to measure and quantify the impact they can have.
Ideally, you want non-GMO supplements for optimal health.
As we mentioned, 25-40% of people have an issue with methylation; and if you use synthetic supplements or GMO-derived supplements, you can have a buildup of toxic elements. Some people take vitamins and actually get sick.
Ideally, you want quality-sourced, USA-made, pure ingredients for your optimal health.
You want ingredients that are bioavailable, in their proper form and ready for the body to use. This means your body has to work less in order to use it. Supplements should give you more energy than they take to process!
You really need to know what is going into your body.
You need to know the ingredients, the sources, and the standards of quality. Because, it’s true—ingredients matter.
How do I know if my vitamin/supplement is the best for my body?
One of the key indicators that you can look at is what the manufacturer is willing to put on the Supplement Facts. If the label is vague such as just listing Vitamin C or B with no additional information, you are most likely looking at a product that is not methylated or bioavailable. It is most likely synthetic and made with GMO ingredients.
When a manufacturer goes to the trouble of putting additional information on their label such as B1 as BenfoPure® (Thiamine) there is a better chance that they are using a higher quality ingredient.
However, this is not a guarantee.
Just like any important purchase in your life you will want to do your due diligence and research the ingredients listed. We know this can feel overwhelming, but this is your body and ingredients matter!
Getting non-GMO is as simple as looking for products that clearly state that they are made with non-GMO ingredients.
The good news is that Tennant Products has done the work for you.
We are diligent about providing the highest quality ingredients that are methylated, bioavailable, natural and non-GMO.
We are transparent about all of our ingredients and where they come from.
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