All Dietary Supplements are not Equal

Dietary supplements and medical foods frequently complement the nutritional and health-oriented services you may be receiving. That said, not all products are created equal: in price, clinical testing, bioavailability of ingredients, manufacturing methods, and standardization processes. Too often, patients compare nutritional products on price alone. So how do you know if the products you are taking are of high quality?
Does the product label state the specific ingredients or plant compounds from which the product was formulated/standardized? Or does the product simply generalize by stating vitamin E, calcium, ginseng or say “standarized” without additional information? Without quality of ingredients, inferior, inexpensive ingredients are used in place of high quality ingredients such as poorly absorbed mineral salts in place of true amino acid chelates (e.g. magnesium oxide in place of magnesium glycinate), synthetic vitamin E in place of natural vitamin E or mixed vitamin E (e.g. dl alpha tocopherol or dl alpha tocopherol succinate in place of d alpha tocopherol, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherol), etc. You can’t build a high-quality nutritional supplement without high-quality ingredients. And good ingredients are not cheap!

Are the ingredients in the formula the most important compounds for the product’s application? In other words, are there any proven clinical studies that show the ingredients have a benefit for the condition under consideration? Why include minimal levels of an ingredient with no clinical purpose other than as an inexpensive filler or to catch your eye because you’ve read an article or heard from someone that a specific compound may be helpful to your health? It’s easy for a company to throw everything into a multiple vitamin and call it complete. But if quality ingredients, supplied in the proper ratio and balance, are not considered in formulation, effectiveness will be sacrificed.

Is the product backed by research and clinical experience as being helpful to patients using the product? Many companies copy formulas already in the market but the true test of a quality formula is whether or not the product was researched, designed and tested by scientists and licensed health care providers experienced in the nutritional sciences area. A quality manufacturer and distributor has clinicians formulating, researching and testing its products to ensure that they are efficacious. Leading edge companies continue to innovate and offer the latest scientifically validated products to ensure the best products in the market.

In what form is the product available? Is it liquid, capsule, tablet, powdered-food beverage? Although many consider liquid as the favored delivery system and capsule second because of supposed ease of digestion and assimilation, tableting can be efficacious as long as the product is formulated with high quality tableting ingredients to ensure complete dissolution and absorption. Some companies add fillers, binders, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives and synthetic compounds to their formulas to ease manufacturing challenges. However, these ingredients may cause gas, bloating, worsen irritable bowel or digestive symptoms and interfere with proper absorption and assimilation. Why take a product that is poorly absorbed, uses common allergens or causes digestive complaints?

Are the products tested for safety and are they guaranteed free of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and PCBs? With the growing concern over the safety of our food supply, the last place you need to obtain environmental contaminants is in your supplements. So consider only products that undergo rigorous third party assay of product raw materials and finished formulations, offer high quality manufacturing standards, and guarantee safety, purity, potency and bioavailability.

Quality is the priority when selecting any nutritional product for your health. The Health Enhancement Corporation has selected distributors based on their product quality, integrity, and efficacy. You do get what you pay for when utilizing these fine products.