vitamin supplements
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Given that you are reading this article, we can assume that you are into your health and well being. We can also assume that like me, you most probably take supplements and vitamins. As we grow older our bodies slow down in their ability to fully absorb the nutrients we put into our systems. This means we need to somehow supplement this falling quality in nutrient ingestion. The answer is to take vitamins.

Vitamins Supplements Good or Bad?

As with most sectors, in the health and nutrition industry there are good and bad products on the market, so it’s important to know that you are getting the right stuff with the right qualities. To avoid buying junk, getting your vitamins and supplements from your naturopath or from a good health food shop is the best way to guarantee a good product. The assurance that you are buying the right products is becoming more and more important. A recent article in the New York Times explored the vitamin sector and unearthed some quite revealing, even frightening findings.

The New York Attorney General published a paper that suggested tests on popular brands of herbal supplements at leading outlets including Walmart, Walgreen, Target and GNC revealed that roughly four out of five products contained NONE of the listed herbs on the labels. That’s none, as in zero, zilch, zip. In fact they contained little more than cheap fillers like rice, which were of no nutritional value. In some products claiming to have ginkgo biloba the agency found only rice, asparagus and spruce. Other products claiming to be St. John’s wort and Valerian were found to contain powdered beans, peas and wild carrots.

Cinnamon apple herbal tea
Couleur / Pixabay

Insanity. Although herbal trade and education organisations immediately criticized the Attorney General’s actions as premature, calling the testing flawed, scientifically-inappropriate, and inconsistent with the FDA’s requirements for herbal product quality control, it does raise the importance of knowing exactly what’s in the pill you are popping.

Some of the vitamins we are sold may boast that they don’t have any chemicals in them but I know there are brands out there that have no quality nutritional value in them at all. Call me a cynic, but given it’s a £400 million industry in the UK we’re talking about. There are bound to be companies out there looking to expand their profit growth for their pockets and their shareholders, so there are bound to be shortcuts made. Perhaps you need your grocery evaluate too.

BUY THE BEST

So when buying your supplements and vitamins try to buy organic not synthetic. They may be more expensive but they work. The general rule I work to is that if a big bottle is less than £12, it’s synthetic.

You just have to look at the label. If they contain things like polyvinyl alcohol or polyethylene glycol, they are synthetic, so put them back on the shelf. As a grandmother of 10, I started looking into the kids’ vitamins. You’d assume that a multivitamin for kids would contain only good stuff. Wrong. Some of the ingredients used in more popular brands are banned from many countries due to their toxicity on humans and the environment. The children eating these things would be better throwing them in the bin.

Again, with the battles against big business it’s a matter of us making a change happen with the power of our wallets. If we stop buying shoddy products, they’ll stop making them. If we pay more attention, they will have to pay more attention. We control the change so let’s get to work.

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