Nutritional supplements review

There are literally thousands of vitamins and mineral products on the market.

This nutritional supplements review answers the three most important questions you need to ask before buying supplements:

• What are nutritional supplements?

• Do I need nutritional supplements?

• How do I choose the best nutritional supplement?

What are nutritional supplements?

Nutritional supplements are products that provide nutrients that are additional to what your current diet delivers.

They are usually made from plant, algae and/or mineral extracts. Synthetic forms of nutrients – made in the laboratory – are also commonly used as a cheap alternative to plant extracts.

The nutrients we need to get from our diet and supplements include energy (calories), protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and phytofactors. Remember, we humans can’t make our own nutrients.

There are 13 vitamins, roughly 20 minerals, several fatty acids and many phytofactors that we need for normal bodily function and metabolism, and to make bone, muscle, blood, enzymes and hormones.

For example, vitamin B3 helps to make and regulate sleep and mood-controlling cycles, working in synergy with folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Vitamins always work together.

Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson successfully used vitamin B3 as a therapy to treat depression and alcoholism.(4)

In light of this and many other examples, it’s clear that the effects of nutritional supplements can include:

• normalizing hormonal levels

• normalizing metabolism

• improving sleep

• improving mood

• increasing energy levels

• lowering insulin resistance

• increasing fat burning capability.

In other words, a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods will help to improve your health by promoting weight loss and supporting detoxification and healthy, functional metabolism.

The right quantities of high quality foods like lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits are the most important foundations of a healthy balanced diet, weight loss and good health.

But nutritional supplements may provide a boost where your diet cannot supply these nutrients, or when your body needs extra resources.

Which might lead you to ask.....

Do I need nutritional supplements?

Our bodies use nutrients continuously throughout the day.

At the very least, to keep disease at bay, we all need regular meals (every three to four hours) and a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods to fuel healthy cell manufacture and function.

Are you getting the vitamins and minerals you need from your food? Let’s look at some health trends across the globe.

• 9 out of 10 Australians fail to get the minimum recommended intake of fruit and vegetables in their diets. (1)

• Up to 1/3 of diseases have diet-related risk factors, in developed countries (WHO). (6)

• Protein or micronutrient deficiency is the leading cause of most health conditions and premature deaths in poor countries (WHO). (6)

• Our veggies aren’t what they used to be. Two large studies of vegetable crops in the UK and USA show a significant decline in the vitamin and mineral content of commercially produced crops since the 1950’s. For example, a 90% lower magnesium content in carrots. (2, 3).

So if you live in a poor country, a developed country, and/or don’t eat the minimum recommended amount of vegetables, fruit and protein each day, you could get some benefits from nutritional supplements.

Have I left anyone out?

Oh yes…if you suffer from acute or chronic stress, miss a meal here and there, get exposed to environmental pollutants, pesticides, herbicides or have any sort of metabolic or endocrine gland disorder, or have any digestive problems, ….you’ll probably benefit from a nutritional supplement too.

In June 2008, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a new food pyramid indicating that that most adults could benefit from a daily multivitamin supplement.

So, after doing all this research, I decided that I needed to include a nutritional supplements review on my website for those who were interested in boosting nutrient levels.

How do I choose the best nutritional supplement?

A lot of people are giving their opinions on the best nutritional supplements.

But I think that an independent scientific rating is much more credible than just someone’s opinion.

The most comprehensive, independent nutritional supplements review I’ve found is Lyle MacWilliam’s Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. (5)

This guide offers a completely independent nutritional supplement review for over 200 of the top selling supplement products Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

Multivitamin and mineral products rating are conducted by a team of independent scientists.

Their ratings cover 18 categories:

• Completeness (does the product contain all 47 essential nutrients?)

• Potency (what is the strength and effectiveness of the dose?)

• Mineral forms (are the most bioavailable mineral forms used – most easily absorbed?)

• Bioactivity of vitamin E

• Gamma tocopherol (does the product contain this important form of Vitamin E?)

• Antioxidant support

• Bone health

• Heart health

• Liver health (detoxification)

• Metabolic health (glucose control)

• Ocular health (eyes)

• Methylation support (nutrients that lower heart disease and stroke risk)

• Lipotrophic factors (fat burning)

• Inflammation control

• Glycation control (anti-aging)

• Bioflavonoid profile

• Phenolic compounds profile (anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic)

• Potential toxicities

If some of the world's best scientists are using these criteria in their nutritional supplements review, then they're probably worth considering when you buy nutritional supplements.

You can read more about this book, and the criteria included in the nutritional supplements review, here: Take me to the nutrisearch website

The top three rated products in this nutritional supplement review, according to the 18 criteria assessed above, are listed bedlow.

If you would like to know more about these companies or purchase their products, click on the links below to leave this site and visit their websites:

1. USANA health sciences Essentials (5 stars)

2. Thorne Basic Nutrients (4½ stars)

3. Xtend-Life Total Balance (4½ stars)

What’s the message?

If you're struggling to get enough fresh, organic produce in your diet or if you have a health concern, you could benefit from a nutritional supplement.

If you want to buy nutritional supplements, make sure you do your research and be sure you’re buying a formulation that is safe, effective, potent and broad-spectrum.

A good nutritional supplements review is objective, science-based and considers a broad range of products and criteria.

References

1 Bureau of Statistics Australia

2 Davis, D.R., Epp, M.D. and Riordan, H.D. 2005. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 – 1999. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23 (6) pp 669-682.

3 Halweil, B. 2007. Still No Free Lunch: Nutrient levels in US food supply eroded by pursuit of high yields. Published by The Organic Centre, www.organic-centre.org.

4 Hoffer, A. MD. Vitamin B-3: Niacin and Its Amide. www.DoctorYourself.com

5 Lyle MacWilliam’s Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

6 WHO Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: Health Synthesis

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