Are They Workin' For Ya?

vitamins Posted on August 10, 2012    

Did you take your vitamins today? Many people enjoy the benefits of quicker healing and faster health results by adding vitamins to their daily regimen.  Others see value in supplementation, but admit they don't take 'em because they "can't swallow pills.”  Ever burp and taste your vitamin?  Or feel like it’s stuck in your throat?  You probably had the misfortune of taking poor quality vitamin supplements.

Not all vitamins are created equally.  They can come in many forms: tablet, softgel, capsule or liquid but should be power-packed and water soluble.  Vitamins are NOT meant to last on a shelf forever (sorry giant wholesale warehouses,) a 30 day supply is plenty.  They should literally melt in your mouth, AND your hand.   (Though, it would be wise to swallow them with a glass of water to avoid that.  They're not meant to be sucked on and won't taste very good!)

You do want to make sure your vitamins are quality and GMP certified.  Make sure the brand you choose does their due diligence to ensure high standards (no product contamination or mix-ups, etc).  Three brands I can recommend whole-heartedly: Metagenics, Nu Medica and Thorne Research.  There are so many brands out there to choose from and oftentimes claims on attractive packaging can make it confusing.  How can you tell a good quality vitamin when you see one?

Try this test: drop one of your vitamins, a “One a Day” for example, in an 8 oz glass of room temperature water.  Watch what happens.  That vitamin should begin dissolving immediately and be reduced to a pile of nutrient granules within the 30-minute standard set by the United States Pharmacopoeia.  pharmacopeiaIf it remains intact after one, two or even 24 hours later—it’s no good! You are wasting your money and not benefitting your health at all.  This can also cause indigestion.  The bonding agents in a “One a Day” actually prevent the vitamin tablet from dissolving right away.   They're supposed to be on a time-release, but they often fail to work properly and have passed through your body before any of the benefit is received. The purpose of vitamins is to UTILIZE nutrients immediately. 

Other issues to look out for: contaminants or too much of an ingredient.  For example, as reported on The Today Show in 2007, randomly tested one Lot each from various popular vitamin brands.  A few of their findings was LEAD in a Vitamin Shoppe Woman’s “One a Day” and some children’s “Yummi Bears” actually exceeded the daily recommended dose of Vitamins.  If a vitamin is meant to be taken 3x/day, each tablet should be 1/3 or 33% the RDA (recommended daily allowance).  If your vitamin of choice IS a "one a day," do YOUR due diligence and check with your doctor, health coach or the US Pharmacopoeia pocket guide to be sure you're not OVER-consuming a nutrient. 

Find a brand you love that meets your needs and matches your values, see that you are ACTUALLY getting the results you're looking for and be consistent.  If you're going to take the time invest in a nutritious insurance policy, make sure it’s working for you!