Friday, February 5, 2010
Selecting supplements 101
Now that health care’s cost are increasing, more and more of us are paying attention to our health and well being.
If you are eating healthy diet, doing your regular mental and physical exercise you are almost hitting your target of perfect health.
The fact is few of us are disciplined enough to stay in a routine healthy diet/mental and physical exercise. No wonder the obesity and diabetes are on the increase in the US.
When we were young with never ending energy, we had little thought for eating the right food for us or doing the exercise that is good for us!
Now that every doctor’s visit we make and every test we take is really putting a toll on us so what’s the solution.
Long story short there is no easy fix! This blog is not about promoting supplements or drugs rather a call to take responsibility NOW for your health.
Yes-some drugs and supplements are beneficial. Others have drawbacks and side effects to weigh against any potential benefit.
The question is how you select amongst so many choices of supplements available today!
Let’s take a look at simple steps of identifying your needs and selecting supplements:
Warning! If you have any health condition -it’s always prudent to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement.
For a normal healthy person a daily dose of multivitamin with essential minerals and an Omega-3
Supplements are more than adequate.
As we age we may need more and more of a specific supplement. The best way to find out is to have a blood test for any deficiencies and determine their root cause by consulting with your primary care physicians.
Following are some commonly taken as you age:
What to look for when selecting any supplement:
1. Is the manufacturer follow current good manufacturing (cGMP) practice or USP for it’s manufacturing and testing to guarantee quality of their supplements? Remember following cGMP is not required for supplement manufacturer in the US but when the manufacturer uses this practice you know they have gone beyond their minimum requirements to guarantee their quality and to serve their customers well.
2. What inactive ingredients are the manufacturers utilizing to formulate these supplements? Remember serious side effects can occur from inactive ingredients if you are not very careful in selecting them.
3. Some may even use artificial sweetener that has demonstrated to cause tumors in laboratory animals.
4. There are other ingredients to look for as well such as certain kind of preservatives, artificial coloring, protein or animal derivatives or other ingredients you are not familiar for example that should be avoided.
5. Contamination with lead or other contaminants such as mercury during manufacturing or processing or handling such as packaging which is not very easy to locate just from reading label alone. That is why cGMP practice or USP is so important when it comes to supplement manufacturing.
6. Last but not the least important-Use of appropriate packaging and storage for supplements.