Three reasons to ditch your big box supplements

Three reasons to ditch your big box supplements

Why ditch your inexpensive big box brand supplements and use professional grade? Aren’t all supplements made the same? Aren’t all ingredients the same? Absolutely not!

And here’s why:

First and foremost, use professional-grade supplements because the ingredients are certified to be what they say they are. That’s pretty basic and yet a high percentage of products in box stores, especially herbal products, are mislabeled.

For example, look at the shocking results of tests done by New York State’s Attorney General’s office:

Tests were done at the request of the New York AG’s office on the following store-brand supplements: Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Valerian Root, Garlic, and Saw Palmetto. Three to four samples of each supplement purchased in different parts of the state were tested. Each sample was tested five times, for a total of 390 tests on 78 samples.

Schneiderman said that only 4% of Walmart’s supplements (“Spring Valley” brand) actually contained the ingredients listed on the label, while 18% did at Walgreens (“Finest Nutrition” brand), 22% at GNC (“Herbal Plus” brand), and 41% at Target stores (“Up & Up” brand).“

That’s as little as 4% of the ingredients listed on the label!

Avoiding Toxic Load Increases

Another reason to use professional grade supplements is that the raw materials from which they are made are certified to be free of toxins. We get enough poisons every day from our food supply and the environment. Why add to your toxic load from supplements? Here are the top six toxins found in low quality supplements: titanium dioxide, magnesium silicate, talc, artificial colors (primarily, Red 40, Blue 2, Yellow 5), artificial flavors, lead, mercury, and arsenic.


Take Supplements Your Body Can Absorb

Reason number 3 has to do with getting the nutrients in their most easily absorbable form and in meaningful amounts. For example,  B6 is important for the nervous system and for energy production. Most people need upwards of 25 mg each day. Most multivitamins provide 1-2 mg. People from certain regions of the world aren’t able to process B6 in the liver so they need the activated form, P5P. This form isn’t typically available in OTC multis because, let’s face it, it is more expensive to make.

Here are my top 4 recommendations for what to look for when buying supplements:

  • Company follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) or is NSF-certified (National Sanitary Foundation), which means their pharmaceutical grade facility is audited regularly (usually twice a year).
  • Careful and consistent identification of all raw materials coming into the manufacturing plant. All raw materials are of the highest quality (for example, harvested at peak potency) and certified free of toxins.
  • Each batch of every supplement is tested by a third party.
  • The minerals are in their most absorbable forms, for example:
    • Calcium in the malate (bound to a protein for best absorption) and not the carbonate form, which is basically limestone.
    • Free of synthetic forms of Vita E (this would be the dl-tocopherol form) beta Carotene and folate, some which can actually be harmful.
    • Fish oils in the Triglyceride form for best absorption, and fresh, not rancid.
    • B vitamins in their phosphorylated, or their most bio-available form.

If you are going to use supplements, be smart about it. Get the best your budget can handle. What you spend on supplements may save you pain, time, and money at the doctor’s office years down the road!


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