Good quality supplements and how to choose them

Supplements and fruit

Buying supplements for specific health goals can be a challenge in itself. It’s important to make sure you’re buying good quality supplements that are effective in helping you to achieve your goals.

Many people use supplements without actually addressing the underlying problem – we need to get to the ‘root’ not simply address the ‘branches’ when it comes to health. Eating a variety of foods is the best way to ensure you’re meeting your vitamin and mineral needs. However, if you have an underlying health condition, or if there are issues with the quality of food you consume, or you’re not absorbing enough nutrients, then supplementation is often needed, and correct supplementation is key.

Common mistakes when choosing supplements:

– Taking a poor-quality supplement
– Taking the wrong product
– Taking it at the wrong time
– Taking it in the wrong form
– Taking too much
– Taking too little

To help you avoid these mistakes, and get the most out of your supplements, we only sell products that are:
– High quality with minimal fillers, colours or preservatives
– Manufactured by superior, trusted brands
– Clearly labelled, with the manufacturer’s own descriptions, ingredients lists and ‘how to take’ guidelines

American supplements

At Bigvits, we have been selling US vitamins and supplements in the UK and Europe since 2009.

The vitamin and supplement market is much bigger in America compared to Europe. A higher percentage of adults take supplements as a preventative measure, possibly due to the cost of healthcare in the US. This means that there is more investment in developing high quality products in America, and a large number of brands to choose from.

When we’re selecting the brands and products to offer our customers, we always look for the purity of ingredients. We only choose supplements with reduced fillers, colours, or preservatives. These ingredients can perpetuate inflammation and symptoms for those with chronic health problems.

Excipients – what are they?

Excipients are agents that are added to the supplement, but are not expected to have health benefits themselves. Excipients are used as binders, to stabilise the active ingredients, promote shelf-life and/or improve the flavour of the supplement.

The quality of excipients is important as people can be allergic to excipients. Additionally, people can have unexpectedly high exposure to sugar or food additives from poorly selected excipients.

Excipients are just some of the inactive ingredients in vitamins that don’t contribute any nutritional value, and can often be dangerous or cause harm.

Other inactive ingredients to avoid

Binders: Act as glue that helps bind or hold together the ingredients in vitamins.
Fillers: These ingredients act as bulking agents by adding volume to the size of the capsule.
Flow Agents: Ensure capsules don’t stick to the machines during the process. Some companies include anti-adherents to decrease the friction of capsules as they move through the machinery.
Disintegrants: Allow capsules to break down and dissolve in your digestive system. They release the active ingredients to be absorbed by your body.
Colouring: Added to improve the appearance of vitamins.
Preservatives: Sometimes included to increase the shelf life of products.

Avoid the following ingredients when choosing vitamins:

Magnesium silicate is used as an anti-caking agent or filler. It can cause issues when ingested and lung problems when inhaled.
Magnesium Stearate is used as a binder or flow agent. There is controversy around this ingredient being safe for human ingestion.
Titanium Dioxide is used as a colourant. It can cause small intestine or lung inflammation.
Carrageenan is a vegan thickening agent. Some scientific studies have shown this ingredient to cause inflammation of the digestive tract and possibly malignant tumours.
Potassium Sorbate is usually used as a food preservative and is synthetically produced. Some people experience sensitivities or allergies when digesting this ingredient.

“Quality over quantity”

Lastly, don’t just go for the cheapest option. With supplements, you really do get what you pay for.

High-quality vitamins are often more expensive to buy because they contain better ingredients, fewer fillers, no harmful levels of contaminants, and have undergone more rigorous testing. These high-quality ingredients make it easier for the body to absorb them, meaning they work more efficiently around the body. Most store-bought multivitamins use low-quality ingredients or very high dosages.

Before you choose, do your research to check on the reputability of the manufacturer and the best vitamin brands for your nutritional needs.

Both the wrong ingredients, as well as vitamin overdoses, can cause side effects such as nausea. A cheap multivitamin can indicate that the manufacturer is using cheaper ingredients which could risk your health. And ultimately, you are less likely to see the results that you are hoping for when it comes to your health goals

If you would like some guidance on nutrition and supplements to support your health you should speak with a Registered Nutritionist or a healthcare professional.
Author: Neha Deol DipCNM

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