Have you walked into a healthfood store, pharmacy or supermarket's vitamin section hoping to buy the best product? Have you gone online looking for a supplement to buy and were afraid of not getting the right quality? Well, you are not alone! There are so many brands out there, so many prices, so many strengths of the same vitamin, so many combinations, so many forms (liquid, capsules, etc). So, how do you know you are getting the best product? Here are a couple of tips:
1. Look for a Best By Date (not a secret code) that clearly tells you how long this product will be effective. Without the Best By Date, there is no guaranteed potency by the time of consumption.
2. Choose glass bottles whenever possible. Dark bottles are better because they provide the best barrier to sunlight and moisture, thus ensuring maximum freshness and potency.
3. Check for unnecessary additives and fillers when comparing supplements, especially synthetic fillers. Ingredients such as carnuba wax, artificial flavors and dyes are unnecessary, may hinder absorption, and in general are undesirable in dietary supplements.
4. Consider avoiding products containing artificial products or with gluten, because many individuals are sensitive to these ingredients and they do not add any value to your dietary supplement.
5. Ingredient sources are important. Generally the source follows the ingredient and appears in parentheses. This includes asking where the ingredients came from. Many come from China, be aware of these. Ask the store attendance for local brands that use local sources when possible.
6. Read the label carefully to confirm that the levels of the nutrients match what you need. For example, written either as IUs (International Units), mgs (milligrams), or mcgs (micrograms)
7. Before buying herbal supplements, make sure to consult with your doctor, especially if you are taking any prescription medication. Some herbs are known to have contraindications when taken with prescription medication.
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