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How Do I Know Which Supplements to Take?

I recently made the case for taking multivitamin and mineral supplements.

But how do you know that it will meet your expectations, your needs and quite honestly – is it right for you?

In the earlier segment, I talked about the way macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates and fats – require micronutrients for the metabolic processes that drive the development and maintenance of muscle and nervous tissue and provide the energy necessary for work and play throughout the day. I didn’t, however, discuss, “How do I select a micronutrient supplement?”

So what about selecting multivitamin and mineral supplements? The first thing that you must know is that the FDA does not regulate – that’s right – does not regulate the supplement industry. So in many ways, you are dependent upon the integrity of the manufacturer and the distributor to know that what you’re getting is a quality product – that the ingredients are safe, that there are not any toxins or unnecessary fillers or interfering substances that render them worthless, and that they work in the way you expect them to work, even if the ingredients placed on the labels look to be just exactly what you need.

In selecting a multivitamin and mineral, you should find out if it is made in the USA. Even though the FDA does not regulate the supplement industry, the labs in the United States that manufacture these should be certified by the National Product Association for Good Manufacturing Practices and that they observe the standards of that organization.

Is it made in the USA, is the laboratory certified by the National Product Association for Good Manufacturing Practices. That’s first and foremost – made in the USA. You should know then, if the Good Manufacturing Practices are followed, that it is free of toxins and fillers and interfering substances.

But, what you still don’t know is who designed and who came up with the formula; you need to know that, but most importantly are those formulas backed by science. Are the claims made by the supplement manufacturer or distributor backed by science.

How the heck do I know how to that? Quite honestly, that’s really, really tough and for many may be beyond your educational level, especially if you are not in the health sciences.

Well, I’ve got  the simple answer. The Linus Pauling Micronutrient Institute at the Oregon State University has on its website a marvelous array of understandable micronutrient and nutritional information – they are easy to access, understandably written.

So, bottom line. How do you select a supplement? Is it made in the United States? Is a made in a National Product Association Good Manufacturing Practices laboratory? And finally, are the claims made backed by science? And you’ll find that online at the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Institute.

Power your path to happiness! This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy!